Many people think if they can make the minimum payments on their debts they are doing okay. I realize there are certain circumstances where you may only be able to make the minimum payments. If you can only afford that it is important to make some payment on time. Many credit cards charge a late fee and may increase your interest rate if your payments are late.

But in many cases, the minimum payment barely covers the finance charges. So if you only pay the minimum payments you will barely cover the interest and will gain very little headway on paying off the principal. It is important to do everything you can to pay off the balance you owe.

My latest credit card balance was higher than usual because I had some charges from an upcoming trip and some other expenses on it. However, I have the money saved to pay it off this month. I looked at the minimum balance due and it would take over 5 years to pay off the balance, that is not taking into consideration finance charges or adding any other charges to the balance.

The statment also showed that if they do not receive payment by the due date the late fee penalty could be up to $35 and the interest rate could rise up to 29.99%.

Wit the holiday expenses coming up, you may find yourself in credit card debt. It is important to do what you can to pay it off as soon as you can.

The first part of the year is also a great time to start planning your holiday expenses for next year and butting money aside each month so you are prepared for next year.

Here is a calulator to help determine how long it will take to pay off your credit card debt.

Nancy Kvamme

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