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I am disappointed with Michael Jackson’s interest rate

Ramit Sethi · April 14th, 2006

Michael Jackson pays a lot of interest on his credit card.

Originally, they had tried to hammer out a deal in which Citigroup would acquire the loans, and offer Mr. Jackson a more favorable interest rate, around 6 percent, these executives said. Mr. Jackson had been paying more than 20 percent in monthly interest payments.

Erick Schonfeld does the math and notes, “That comes to about $50 million a year just in interest.”

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Good god.

Heh, I wonder if it’s as simple as taking my advice to call Bank of America, smile, and ask them to lower his interest rate. “Hi, yes, Nicole is it? Nicole, I’d like to have my interest rate lowered please” (expectant pause).

…I guess maybe my advice doesn’t work once your interest payments alone are FIFTY FOUR MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!!

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7 Comments

 
  1. Jonathan

    You’re right Ramit. all it takes is a simply phone call. I’ve done it many times.

    if they say no, try again next month. At one point or another, they will be able to lower it.

    Also, make sure you pay on time everymonth. If your payment record is clean, you increase your chances of getting your rates lowered.

  2. Heh, looks like Michael Jackson employs a lot more people than he thinks!

  3. Actually, a great tactic to try with any organization with a large call center is to simply cut a conversation short with a rep if you’re not satisfied with their help. The chances are fairly good of getting an entirely different person who is more helpful.

  4. Judah L.

    20% is unbelievable. He either needs a new financial advisor, a 0% balance transfer, or repeat the greatness of Thriller. I wonder what those minimum monthly payments are?

  5. Freelove

    People need to remember than Michael Jackson is an extremely special case. He is faced with countless lawsuits that could potentially bankrupt the pedophile, er singer, at any given time. In some cases a court ruling against him may take precedence over prior credit obligations. The credit companies must have an increased risk with MJ, though Ramit’s advice is still quite valid for the majority of us.

  6. Ramit,
    As long as your account is in good standing with your credit card company, most will actually lower your rate if they ask. If they balk at doing so, you can always mention that you’re thinking of switching to another card that’s offering a lower rate. That usually entices them to match the offer.

  7. thrillhouse

    this is exactly why it does not matter how much money you have, if you manage it poorly, you will be broke.
    credit card companies are snakes, and debt is evil.