Check the interest rates you pay–on your mortgage, auto, student loans and credit cards.
Compare the interest rate you pay with the rates advertised online, in newspapers, and in magazines. Ask friends and family what they pay.
If you think you are paying too much, get your credit score–your credit score matters. Then find out the interest rates charged for people with scores in your range.
If you can improve your credit score, do that right away!
If you are paying an interest rate that is too high, call your lender and see if you can get a lower rate. Ask to speak with a supervisor if you can’t get anywhere with the first person you speak with.
If you can’t negotiate a lower rate, consider switching lenders.
If you have a hardship, ask your lender or a legitimate credit counselor about:
- Forbearance. A plan that freezes your account and sets up automatic monthly payments.
- Debt management. Where you work with a credit counselor.
- Watch out for debt-collection scams that prey on people in financial trouble.
- If you are paying high rates on auto, student, or credit card loans, consider consolidating your debt in a lower-interest home equity loan or by refinancing your mortgage. Your new interest rate should be lower and tax-deductible. But know if you can’t make the payments, you could ruin your credit AND lose your house.
Are you paying too much? What Americans paid in interest (2016):
|Type of Loan
|Average Yearly Interest Rate