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How to save thousands of dollars on your credit cards

How to save thousands of dollars on your credit cards

Credit card interest rates — which average 20.5% in the US — are likely to remain high for much longer.

Credit card rates should be a priority when planning your personal finances. Financial advisors agree that you should get out of this type of debt as soon as possible and that a few minor adjustments are enough to make it happen faster.

in united states, The average credit card debt for people with balances on them was $7,279 Last December, according to an analysis LendingTree.

Let’s take this number as a starting point, 2% of the total balance generally used by banks to set the minimum monthly payment and 20.5% of the average interest rates for credit cards in the country.

And then, let’s take stock of what would happen to your money in three different scenarios: Pay the monthly minimum, put in a little more each month (in this case around $55), and do more—whenever possible without breaking your budget—double the minimum payment amount. For this we use the credit card balance calculator from Bank.

Pay the monthly minimum this will happen: The balance of $7,279 will require a minimum payment of $145.6 (the 2% that banks or financial institutions usually charge, although it is necessary to clarify that each one uses a different formula to reach the minimum payment).

  • It will take you 114 months (9 1/2 years) to get rid of your $7,279 debt.
  • You will end up paying the debt or principal of $7,279 and also with interest of $9,263. That is, you will pay more interest than the balance you had at the beginning.
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Pay a little more each month: In this exercise, we add $55 to the minimum payment, bringing the monthly payment to $200.

  • It will take 58 months (4 years and 10 months) to pay off your debts. About five years less than in the previous example.
  • You would end up paying the debt or principal of $7,279 and also the interest of $4,200. That is, you’ll pay about $5,000 less in interest if you put in just over the minimum per month.

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Greater effort to double the minimum payment: The monthly payment in this case would be $291.2.

  • It will take much less to pay off your debt: 33 months (2 years and 9 months). That’s almost seven years down when compared to the scenario where you only make the minimum payment of $145.6.
  • You would end up paying the debt or principal of $7,279 and also the interest of $2,295. As it takes with the time it takes to pay off the cards, the interest payments drop a lot and almost three times less than what would be paid just by putting in the monthly minimum.

You will not forget: The Fed will keep the benchmark interest rate at a high level for a longer period. This year it will end at 5.6% and next year it will drop to 4.6%, according to his estimates. These are levels well above the near-zero range in which it maintained its main rate for several months, before starting a cycle of increases in March 2022 to combat inflation.

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  • This means that if you carry balances on your credit cards, those amounts can add up even without making a purchase or adding more debt to your cards.
  • “It’s hard for consumers because there’s nothing they can do about it if they already have debt on their credit cards,” Gil Gonzalez, an analyst at Univision News, told Univision a few months ago. WalletHub. This is because most credit cards have a variable interest rate that rises when the Federal Reserve raises the benchmark interest rate.

In this special, we explain everything you need to know about credit cards, such as what the APR is and how it affects you.

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