By Amy Hebert, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
When you’re having trouble paying your credit card bills, getting a lower interest rate to keep your balance in check could be a game changer. Unfortunately, companies that promise to get you those lower rates often end up leaving you deeper in debt.
Today, the FTC and Florida Attorney General announced a complaint against Orlando-based YF Solution for allegedly defrauding people by promising to substantially and permanently lower the interest rates on their credit cards. According to the complaint, callers from YF Solution often pretended to be connected with people’s credit card companies and told people that — for a fee — they could get them rates that would save them thousands of dollars in interest.
But after people paid, the company didn’t get them a lower rate. Instead, YF Solution opened up new credit cards with low introductory interest rates in people’s names — without their permission. People also had to pay YF Solution up to $4,995 for its services, and were also often left to pay undisclosed balance transfer fees that could total three to five percent of the total amount of money transferred to the new credit cards. As a result, people often ended up with more debt than when they started.
If you’re looking for a lower interest rate on your credit cards, here’s what you need to know:
- It’s illegal for a company to charge you a fee before performing a debt relief service.
- The best way to get a lower rate is to do it yourself for free. Call the customer service number on the back of your credit card and ask the company directly for a lower rate.
Report credit card interest rate schemes at ftc.gov/complaint.