Another Monday, another scam to warn you about.
Advice from some local folks who help people fix their credit: "Hang up on robo-calls!"
The Federal Trade Commission has recently shut down five companies conducting these non-human phone calls to folks, many offering to reduce credit card interest rates for a fee.
Kevin Maher with credit consoldiating non-profit, West Palm Beach-based DebtHelper.com says "They basically offer people a reduced interest rate without going on any type of a program. They charge them an up-front fee to reduce the rates on their credit cards and potentially save them all this money over time. The problem is they're doing something that anyone can do for themselves, and charging you a big fee to do it."
And worse yet, Kevin tells us that often times these companies don't get anything done for you and it's next to impossible to get your money back.
So, if your credit has improved since the time that you received the credit card with the higher interest rate, Maher says you should call them. "Not only do you have the right, you really should be doing this periodically. If you've done the work to get your credit into really really good shape, why not try to reap the benefits."
It's this simple: "If you say, 'Hey, I'm a good customer. I'd like to do better than this. I might take my business elsewhere.' If they look at you and they see 'Oh, he can do that' and 'we like their business, it's worth keeping this person around, we'll lower the rate for them'"
Keep this in mind: If you don't get a reduction in your interest rates, and you drop the particular credit card, to pick up a new one, it will negatively affect your credit score, temporarily.