Credit Cards and Minimum Payments – Living in Debt
Many people love their credit cards. It’s a fact of life and the figures bare this up. If you look at the rate at which UK credit card debt is rising it is quite amazing. Millions are being spent all day every day in an endless frenzy of spending. Pretty soon, three quarters of all adults in the UK will have credit cards and if you were to ask any of them to give theirs up, you can bet their answer would be no. The convenience and security of carrying a credit card is so great that once people experience it, they rarely go back.
One of the favourite features of credit cards for many people is the minimum repayment option. This is usually in the region of five pounds or two per cent. This means that even if you spend a thousand pounds on a shopping spree, your bill at the end of the month could be as low as twenty pounds if you choose to make the minimum payment. And this is what people do. It is what credit card providers want you to do, as it is how they manage to rake in billions in profits every year.
If you do have a significant outstanding balance, then making the minimum repayment is one of the most dangerous habits you can get into. Most minimum payments will barely cover the interest and finance charges that are due on the balance. This means that you are really just servicing the debt. This is what many third world countries are forced to do with their national debts and most people do not want to be the personal equivalent of sub-Saharan Africa do they? Servicing debt means you pay the interest due, but pay nothing against the principal debt. So all those monthly payments that you make are doing absolutely nothing to reduce the amount you owe. If you continue spending on the credit card, the minimum amount, required simply to service the debt, will grow and grow each month. And all the while you are paying back nothing. If you aspire to becoming debt free, then you really have to pay a good deal more than the minimum payment level. Also, if you are serious about clearing your credit card debt, but recognise that it is going to take you more than just a couple of months, you may wish to consider consolidating the debt.
Rate Saver Articles
Rate Saver Books