The benefit of using credit cards is that consumers can pay off transactions over time through small monthly installments. Credit card companies offer flexible payment options but require a monthly minimum payment. If you’ve ever curiously googled, “How to calculate credit card payment.” then keep reading to learn how creditors determine your minimum payment amount and why you should pay more than the minimum.
What Is a Minimum Payment?
A minimum payment is due every month at the end of your billing cycle. The minimum payment is the lowest amount you can pay to a credit card issuer. As long as borrowers pay the minimum due every month, their accounts remain in good standing and avoid fees.
You can find the minimum payment amount by looking at your physical credit card statement or logging into your online account. Keep in mind that the minimum payment is not a fixed amount. Depending on your credit card debt, this amount can change month to month. Most credit card companies offer automatic payments, so you can choose to have the minimum payment automatically withdrawn every month. Automatic payments ensure you never miss a payment.
How Does a Credit Card Issuer Calculate Minimum Payments?
You may wonder how companies calculate credit card payments if you have a credit card. The calculation method a creditor uses to determine a customer’s minimum payments varies.
To inquire how a creditor calculates your monthly payment, you can call the number on the back of your credit card or review your card’s terms and conditions. Keep in mind that your minimum payment will be affected by fees. If you transfer debt from one card to another, you will have to pay your regular monthly payment plus the cost of the transfer fee.
Below are three basic calculating strategies used by credit card issuers.
Flat Percentage of Balance
This payment calculation is a small percentage of your total credit card debt. If you continue using your credit limit, your minimum payment will change every month. Your minimum payment will be high if you max out your available credit on your credit card.
Percentage of Balance and Interest
Your minimum monthly payments can be a percentage of your credit card balance plus interest or fees. Suppose you used your credit card the previous month. In that case, your minimum payment due depends on the balance and the interest or costs of the prior statement.
Your credit card company may have a low flat rate for every customer. For example, you may have to pay $50 monthly, even if you continue using your available credit limit, although there are exceptions. For example, your balance cannot exceed a certain amount, or you will have to pay more than the flat rate.
How To Make a Minimum Payment on Your Credit Card Balance?
If you opened a new credit card account, you likely have questions about making payments. Credit card issuers offer different payment methods, but typically you can pay online, in person, or over the phone. You can pay the full statement balance, a specific amount, or the minimum due.
You can make monthly payments by logging onto your account through a computer or mobile app. Just input your debit or credit card information. You can also sign up for convenient automatic credit card payments. When you sign up for auto-pay, you can choose to pay the full monthly statement balance, a specific amount, or just the minimum.
Paying in Person
If your credit card company has a local branch, you can visit in-person to pay your monthly payment. The benefit of visiting a local branch is that you have more payment options. You can pay a portion of your credit card balance in person with cash, debit or credit cards, money orders, cashier’s checks, etc.
Paying Over the Phone
You can find the number for your credit card company on the back of your credit card. Follow the prompts, and you will connect with a billing agent. The agent will ask how much you want to pay, and then you can provide your payment information.
Should I Pay More Than the Minimum Payment?
While paying only the minimum amount due every month is tempting, this is not ideal for your finances or your credit score.
A current outstanding balance on your credit card will result in accumulated interest charges. Credit cards typically have a high-interest rate that can quickly overwhelm your finances. It’s crucial for borrowers to understand credit card APRs and interest rates.
A monthly interest fee may not be substantial, but over time you can lose out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars! You could use that extra money to start a trucking business or buy a new car with bad credit instead.
Want to know how long debt repayment can take if you only make minimum payments? The CARD Act of 2009 requires creditors to provide payment information that informs customers how long it will take to pay off a current balance with just minimum payments. You can find repayment information in your credit card statement.
Suppose you only pay the minimum monthly and maintain a high credit card balance. In that case, your credit score can be negatively affected. A credit utilization ratio makes up approximately 30% of your total credit score. A low FICO score can affect your financial decisions and cost you money. Bad credit can make it hard for people to qualify for low-interest rates and manageable payment terms.
How to Quickly Pay off Credit Card Debt?
There are various ways to pay off your credit card debt quickly. But the best way is to pay more than the minimum. Take a look at some financial strategies to speed up the repayment process and reclaim financial independence.
Consolidate Your Credit Card Debt
If you have an outstanding balance on multiple credit cards, the best course of action is to consolidate your debt! By applying for loans with no credit check, or a bad credit loan, you can save money on monthly interest charges and limit the number of monthly bills you pay.
Stick to a Budget Plan
There are various budget methods you can try. No matter your income, there is a budget plan for you. The first step to budgeting is keeping track of how much you earn and how much you spend. To track this vital financial information, you can use expense tracker apps such as Mint or Goodbudget. Your phone is always with you and can help you keep an eye on your financial footprint.
Avoid Unnecessary Bills
One of the easiest ways to save money for debt repayment is to cut off any unnecessary bills. But limiting your expenses is easier said than done. Unnecessary bills are a convenience but not a necessity. For example, you can cut streaming services, gym memberships, subscription boxes, etc. Watching ads is annoying, but over a year, you can save roughly $180 on a $14.99 monthly HBO subscription.