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Should I pay more than my credit card minimum?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2020 | Firm News

People have varying priorities when they pay off their credit cards. Some individuals feel fine just paying the minimum amount each time the bills come due. However, just paying the minimum amount may become a debt time bomb if you are not careful. Not only can you accumulate a bigger balance on your card, but you also add more interest to pay as well. 

Nerdwallet explains the problems with paying just your minimum amounts on your cards. While not everyone experiences trouble by paying the minimum amount, you might end up with a burdensome debt if you continue to rack up big expenses while only paying the minimum amount needed on your credit card bill. 

Minimum payment traps 

The Nerdwallet article explains how a minimum payment trap works. You pay only the minimum amount on your card time after time while you use your card to charge up expenses greater than your income can sustain. You may compound your problem by doing this on multiple cards. The result is that you take a longer time to pay off your card debt, plus you have to pay even more because of your card interest rates. 

On the other hand, if you pay more than your minimum card amount, you may cut down on the amount of interest you have to pay. You might reduce your interest by as much as hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You may also resolve your debt in a shorter time frame, by weeks or perhaps even by months. 

Refrain from card purchases 

An important key to avoiding a minimum payment trap is to cut down or even refrain from using your card as you pay off your debt. Mounting card expenses will simply make it harder, if not impossible, to make progress in reducing your debt. It can discourage you and make you feel you are spinning your wheels as you try to rid yourself of credit card debt. 

The good news is that eliminating card debt can be emotionally liberating, making it well worth the effort to limit your expenses and make larger payments. You will not live in fear that you will run up so much debt that you cannot make payments on it and that your card company will harass you for payments.