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  Category: Articles » Finance » Credit » Article

How You Trap Into Credit Card Debt

By Cornie Herring

These days credit card or plastic money is very popular and used extensively. It is indeed of great utility if used in a calculative manner, but it is also the main cause that leads many people trap into credit card debt. Let see how it happen to most of people.

Many of retailers are implementing easy payment scheme for their products or services, with some fraction amount of money for monthly installed, you can buy thousand of dollars of items or go for a luxury vacation which you can't afford to buy if one lump sum of money is needed, these monthly installment are automatically charge to your credit card. Every month, you just pay the minimum amount of your credit card balance and you continue spend on your credit card. Let use a case study to review on how a person credit card debt can grow and how it will take to get rid of it.

Case Study

Scott earn $2,500 a month, he is holding a credit card with interest rates of 12%. All his credit cards allow him to pay a minimum of 3% or $10 which ever is higher. His credit card limit is $15,000.

Scott's credit card balance at current month is $4,550 ($3000 in principle and $1550 interest). He tends to pay the minimum of his credit card balance and each month he will averagely swipe about $500 on petrol and other utilities.

Let see how's Scott's credit card balance grow:

Month 1

Credit card balance = $4,550.00

Minimum Payment = $136.50

New Credit Card Spending = $500.00

New Balance = ($4,550 - $136.50 + $500.00) = $4913.50

Month 10

Credit card balance = $7976.02

Minimum Payment = $239.28

New Credit Card Spending = $500.00

New Balance = ($7976.02 - $239.28 + $500.00) = $8236.74

Month 20

Credit card balance = $11109.85

Minimum Payment = $333.29

New Credit Card Spending = $500.00

New Balance = $11109.85 - $333.29 + $500.00) = $11276.55

Month 30

Credit card balance = $13662.60

Minimum Payment = $409.88

New Credit Card Spending = $500.00

New Balance = $13662.60 - $409.88 + $500.00) = $13752.72

Month 36

Credit card balance = $14961.02

Minimum Payment = $448.83

New Credit Card Spending = $500.00

New Balance = $14961.02 - $448.83 + $500.00) = $15012.19

If Scott continues his practice, his will hit his credit card limit after 36 month compare to current month.

Let say Scott stop using his card with the balance at month 36 of $15012.19 and continue paying the monthly minimum. It will take him 228 months which equal to 19 years to just to pay off his $15012.19 debt.

The above example is just a simple case study to show you how your credit card debt may piles up so quickly without you even aware of it. You need a lot of time and spend a lot of money on interest in order to get rid of this debt. In real life, many people have more than one card and other loans to support; hence situation may even worse.

How to get rid of credit card faster & affordable?

If you are already at this situation, the first thing you need to do is to change your behavior of paying the minimum only. Paying more each month will definitely pay off your debt faster but the question is you may say that you can't afford to pay more than the minimum. In actually fact, the easiest, faster and affordable way to get rid of your credit card debt is maintain your current minimum monthly payment.

For example, we use back Scott's case. If he affords to pay the minimum payment of his $15012.19 debt, which is $448.83, this is his affordable payment. If he continues to pay $448.83 every month instead of the minimum of his credit card balance, he will need only 43 months to pay off his debt as compare to 228 months. This mean, Scott will have his debt free life in less than 4 years instead of 19 years.

In Summary

Credit card will remain important in many people life, use it intelligently for your convenient, but you much carefully manage your credit card balance, don't let this plastic money drag you into financial crisis; the ideal way is pay the balance in full each month.

About the Author
Cornie Herring is the Author from "StudyKiosk-Credit Basics" is an informational website on credit basics, debt consolidation and bankruptcy.

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