OnPath Credit Union

How to pay off credit card debt faster?

A $2,000 balance on your credit card – how did that happen? (Oh yeah, online shopping, new tires, excessive food take out…) Thankfully the minimum payment is only $38. You can afford that!

Before you make the minimum payment online, consider this: Most creditors require one to three percent of an outstanding balance as the monthly minimum payment. For $2,000, the average would be $40. But if you only pay the minimum, the interest adds up and increases your total balance over time.

You can avoid wasting precious time and money by disregarding the requested payment on your statement and using the “consistent payment method” instead. The process is simple and efficient:

  1. Determine a realistic and fixed amount you can pay each month
  2. Declare a freeze on using the card until the balance is repaid
  3. Pay more when you can – but never go under your preset amount

How much can this method possibly save you? Plenty. If you can manage $80 every month, you will repay the debt in 7.5 years, cutting off 10 years, with a final payout of $2,821.52.

Increase the payment to $100 and the payoff time plummets to 6 years, and $2,617.87. (You can use any online financial calculator for easy computations) Expedite the process even further by lowering the interest rate. Ask your creditor for a reduction when you have made several larger than average consistent payments.

Now you can celebrate your savings!