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Vincent Said:

How bad is the customer service/banker rep job for credit card companies?

We Answered:

Any job is as good or as bad as you make it. Benefits and a paycheck does a lot for me personally to offset smuffiness from other people, even a boss.

I've never worked in a call center, per se, but my sisters do collections and they love it. Yeah, you'll get cursed out, but realize that it isn't personal. There's a lot of turnover in places like this, which means you can actually advance fairly quickly, and hey, nothing wrong with having a right now job while you look for right job.

Just my opinion, but I'd take the paycheck + hassle over just hassle anytime, and that's what you get without a paycheck, hassle, without the benefit of pay.

Better to have even a crappy job in this poor economy than no job at all.

Just my opinion.

Maxine Said:

Who cost USA more; terrorists or bankers?

We Answered:

bankers, by far.

Clayton Said:

Excellent customer service at my bank?

We Answered:

Yes writing a letter to his boss to show your appreciation would be good for him especially during a review.

Clyde Said:

How can I get my APR reduced on my credit card?

We Answered:

Talk to someone at the bank and ask them to lower your APR. DON'T THINK THAT YOU CAN'T GET YOUR BALANCE DOWN!!! Anything beyond the minimum payment should help you reduce your balance. Pay as much as you can to the debt AS SOON AS YOU CAN so that your "average daily balance" (what they compute interest on) is lower. Stop eating out (if you currently are.... fast food can add up almost as quickly as eating at a restaurant or getting take-out), drink tap water instead of ordering a soda if you do go out to eat (it's free and filtered... and has 0 calories).

If you explain your situation (unemployment, but you're back on your feet now), they may be able to help... otherwise, try this:

(1) Gather all the preapproved offers you've received in the mail. (When you call your companies to ask for a break, you need to be able to tell them who's offering you a better deal and how much better it is.)

(2) Have a rough idea of how valuable a customer you've been: how long you have had the card, how much you charge a month or year, how much interest they're earning each year on your business, and whether you pay on time. When you've got it together, you can proceed.

Call the toll-free customer service number and ask or a lower rate... calling and asking for a lower rate results in a reduction 56% of the time -- and a substantial reduction (1/3 of their current rate) at that. Here's a script to follow when you call. Begin with:

"I have [name of card] with you and my interest rate is [X] percent. I received another offer in the mail from [other bank's name] for [X] percent, but before I take it, I want to see if you can lower my interest rate instead."

If the representative says they're not authorized to do that, you say:

"Look, you and I both know that if I transfer my balance today, next week your bank is going to send me an offer to come back at an even lower rate. Why don't you just save the bank the cost of that effort by giving me several points today?"

If the rep says it's not possible because your credit card is at a fixed interest rate, you say:

"Actually, that doesn't have anything to do with whether or not you have the ability to lower my interest rate. A fixed interest rate only means that my rate doesn't very with fluctuations in the prime rate. In fact, the bank can raise it on my account at any time by just giving me 15 days' written notice. And the bank can -- if it chooses -- lower the rate today."

If the rep still says they're not authorized to do that, you say:

"I'd like to speak to your supervisor."

Speak to a supervisor and ask again. Even if you get a substantial cut in the interest rate from the first person, it's worth speaking to a supervisor to see if you can do any better. The person on the front line of customer service will be authorized only to cut your rate by a preset amount (if at all). The customer service representative may also insist that the supervisor doesn't have the power to cut your rate either, or -- if you've already gotten a break -- to cut it further. That may not be true, so insist on speaking to the supervisor anyway.

Threaten to close your account. Let me be clear here: You don't WANT to close your account. It won't do good things to your credit score. However, if the bank believes that you're willing to close your account -- and you've been a profitable customer -- then you stand a better chance of getting what you want.
Keep a record of whom you spoke to and what was said. If your promised rate cut -- or fee waiver -- doesn't materialize, then you're going to need a paper trail to back up your story. Knowing to whom you spoke, when the call was placed and what was promised is key.

Transfer your balance. If you're not successful in reducing your interest rate over the phone, it's time to transfer your balance. There are two places to find good balance transfer offers: your mailbox (the average person gets five credit card solicitations a month) and at websites, including and

Or you can just pay on time and wait for the delinquent APR to subside and your regular APR to take hold again.

Samuel Said:

Where to get the most accurate FICO/credit score?

We Answered:

There are different flavors of FICO scores. If you are getting a free FICO monthly from a WaMu card, that score is called the "bankcard enhanced FICO". There are mortgage enhanced FICOs, auto enhanced FICOs, etc. Remember the point of a FICO score is to indicate creditworthiness. So it's possible for someone to have (for example) a higher mortgage FICO than an auto FICO because the scoring system varies slightly based on the particular factors which are most relevant to that particular type of credit.

I suspect that the scores you are getting from Identity Guard are what are called "FAKO" scores - that is, they are fake FICO scores. They try to simulate the FICO calculations but sometimes are off a lot. It's better than nothing, but it's not the genuine FICO.

If you want to know what your actual "straight" FICO score is, get it from But even then, it could differ from an auto-enhanced FICO which would be shown to a loan officer looking at your car loan application. It should be pretty close, though. Your Ad Here

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