When you make only the minimum payment on your credit card, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You’re committing to paying more in interest charges. That trade-off can get you into serious financial trouble over time, especially if your card charges a high interest rate.

If you pay the minimum toward your balance each month here’s what you can expect to happen:

Paying down your debt will take much longer

Look at the “Minimum Payment Warning” on your credit card bill. It includes a table that shows how much money and how many years you’ll need to pay off your balance if you pay only the minimum payment each month. By simply making the minimum payment you will notice your balance will increase even with out using the card.Look at one of your statements to verify this information.

Larger interest charges

To estimate your interest charges, divide your card’s annual percentage rate by 12 and multiply it by your average balance. If your card has a 21% APR, for example, your monthly interest rate would be 1.75%, or 21% divided by 12. Multiply that by the balance you’re carrying. If you have a balance of, say, $10,000, you’d owe about $175 in interest next month if you paid only the minimum now.

Your credit score could go down

Experts recommend keeping your credit card utilization below 30%, it’s important to note that creditors also care about the total dollar amount of your available credit. High utilization on a single credit card could especially hurt your credit scores if you have a short credit history and only one card. Although it’s an important factor in calculating your credit scores, try not to focus just on this one aspect.

The Minimum Payment

This credit card statement shows how dangerous the minimum payment can be. This statement has a balance of $7,739.26 and if you made the minimum payment you would pay a total of $21,849 over the next 20 years.

ACCOUNT SUMMARY

  • Previous Balance $7,739.26 $7,739.26
  • Past Due Amount $584.34
  • Payments $0.00
  • Other Credits $0.00
  • Purchases + $0.00
  • Balance Transfer + $0.00
  • Cash Advances + $0.00
  • Fees Charged + $38.00
  • Interest Charged + $101.55
  • New Balance $7,878.81
  • Credit Limit $0.00
  • Cash Limit $0.00
  • Available Credit $0.00
  • Available Cash $0.00
  • Statement Closing Date 05/15/2019
  • Days In Billing Cycle 30

PAYMENT INFORMATION

New Balance $7,878.81

Minimum Payment Due $7,878.81

Payment Due Date $7,878.81

Late Payment Warning:
IF we do not receive your minimum payment by the dates listed above, you may have to pay a late fee of up to $33.00

Late Payment Warning:
IF we do not receive your minimum payment by the dates listed above, you may have to pay a late fee of up to $33.00

If you make no additional charges using this card and each month you pay You will pay off the balance shown on this statement in about And you will end up paying on estimated total of
Only the minimum payment 20 years $21,849 $21,849 $21,849

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