The Problem with Minimum Credit Card Payments

Posted on Mar 18, 2016 By Joshua Lawhorn

Attorney Joshua LawhornCredit cards are readily available to the majority of Americans and, when used properly, can be quite useful. They are convenient for emergency situations and can provide more security. If you manage to be responsible with your credit card use, you can also build your credit score. This may help save money when financing something like a home or vehicle. Unfortunately, responsible credit card use is not as easy as it sounds.

Aquiring Credit Card Debt

Quite often, credit card debt begins with good intentions. You tell yourself that you will pay it off every month, pay period, or even every week. These intentions get interrupted by unexpected costs or unforeseen circumstances and before you know it you are only able to make minimum payments on your credit cards.

While the average credit card debt per household is somewhere close to $6,000.00, the average credit card debt per indebted household (households whose credit card debt goes unpaid for several months or even longer) is closer to $15,000.00. According to NerdWallet, if you make minimum payments on that amount, it will take nearly seven years to pay that debt off completely. Upon repayment, you not only will have paid off the principle amount owed, you also will have paid roughly $10,000.00 in interest. This, of course, assumes that you make no further purchases over that time. The minimum payment could also be over $300 a month, an amount that many families cannot manage.

Stop Using Your Credit Cards

The first thing to do if you are unable to pay off your credit cards each month is to stop using them. Continued use will only pour dirt into the hole from which you are trying to escape. A balance transfer to a different credit card may be tempting, but more often than not just provides the opportunity to fall further into debt.

If you find that you are unable to handle even your minimum credit card payments, there are other options. Whether you need formal debt relief or just advice on the best course of action, please contact our office nearest you to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.