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Consequences of only paying the minimum when in credit card debt

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2018 | Credit Card Debt |

It is not uncommon for Americans to carry a balance on their credit cards. Those who are having difficulty with payments may opt to only make the minimum monthly payment on the balance, usually between $20 to $25 or between 1 and 3 percent of the total balance. However, Texas credit card debt holders who do this may face some consequences down the line.

The average American household carries about $6,081in credit card debt at any given time. According to personal finance site NerdWallet, those who hold this amount of debt and pay only a minimum payment will accrue a whopping $4,063.89 in interest. This is assuming a 14.99 percent interest rate and 3 percent minimum payment; credit cards with higher interest and lower minimum payments could end up costing even more.

Another obvious downside of only paying minimum amounts each month is that it will take much longer to pay down the debt. In NerdWallet’s example, that $6,081 balance would take over fourteen years to pay down. Those who pay down their debt more aggressively can significantly reduce the amount of time they spend in the red.

Some people choose to pay off debt with higher interest first. This is known as the avalanche method. The snowball method, conversely, involves paying down smaller debts first and is ideal for those who need more motivation for debt repayment. In some situations, it may not be financially possible to pay off credit card debt, and bankruptcy could become an option. If this is the case, it is a good idea to talk with a Texas bankruptcy attorney about what options may be available.