Minimum Payment Warning: If you make only the minimum payment each period, you will pay more interest and it will take you longer to pay off your balance. This is not a surprise.
If I pay only the minimum it will take 23 years to pay of and I will pay $7,343 in interest! This is a shocker! If I double the minimum, it will take only 3 years to pay the balance off. What a difference!
No wonder people are unable to get out of credit card debt. This disclaimer also included a blurb that if we pay late our interest will go up to 29.99% APR. None of this was really a surprise to me. I knew all this. What was a shock to me was the fact that a relatively small balance take me 23 years to pay off, I will be 61 years old in 23 years.
I am a huge advocate for paying credit cards off in full every month. If you can't than stop using them and put yourself on a payment plan to get yourself out. I will not lie, my husband and I found ourselves in the credit card trap when we were young and just married. The idea of instant gratification was very attractive. If we wanted it, we bought it. We got ourselves into debt in our 20's and got ourselves out in our 30's. Our debt was paid off one bill at a time, taking a lot of patience and perseverance. We are lucky that we took care of it before everything came crashing down in 2008.
We do use our credit cards now. We pay them off every month. One might ask, why do we use them when we have no credit card debt and an emergency fund. We use them because to not use them will ruin your credit. We worked too hard to create a solid credit score, pay off our debts and build an emergency fund to have our credit score ruined by lack of credit. It is an unfortunate cycle, but it the reality we all live in, so why not embrace it and take comfort in knowing that if you ever need credit it is there.