When will you pay off your credit card?
Credit card debt can be a problem for your finances, especially when it has accumulated over time, and you don't know how long it will take to be debt-free.
A credit card payoff calculator can help you know when you will pay off your credit card debt so that you can plan your payments with a pre-determined amortization schedule and pay off your debt faster.
Why should you pay off your credit card debt?
To get on the path to financial security and freedom, you should first get out of debt. So if you have unmanageable credit card debt, it can pose a serious threat to your financial security.
Top reasons why you should pay off your credit card debt include:
- Avoid high-interest debt: Most credit card APRs are in the double digits. The longer you carry a balance on your card, the more interest you’ll have to pay in the long run. Thus, you can easily slide into huge debt if you don't plan and manage your credit card repayments well.
- Regain your financial security: Credit card debt prevents you from making the most out of your income. Once you pay off your balance and become debt-free, you can focus on other financial goals, like savings and investing.
- Improve your credit score: Paying off your credit cards helps lower your credit utilization and reduce your debt to income ratio. Thus, you can qualify for a credit at more favorable terms.
What does payoff consist of?
Your payoff amount is how much you must pay to fully satisfy your obligation to the card issuer. It consists of the following:
- The principal amount: This is the original amount of money you’ve spent on purchases with your card.
- Interest charges: The total interest you’ve to pay through the date you plan to pay off your debt.
- Fees: Any fees, including annual fees, late payment fees, cash advance fees, penalty fees, or any other fees you may have incurred over time.
You can request your payoff amount from your credit card issuer.
How long will it take to pay off your credit card?
How long it takes to pay off your credit card comes down to three factors, including your outstanding balance, APR charged, and how much you pay each month. Once you have these values figured out, you can easily determine how long it will take to pay off your credit card debt using a credit card payoff calculator.
Simply put these values in a credit card payoff calculator and it will crunch the numbers for you. It'll help you determine your total debt, the remaining monthly payment until your debt is paid off, and when the last payment will be made.
Thus, you can cope with the debt with a predetermined amortization schedule and be self-organized using the exact payoff time. The larger your monthly payments, the faster you’ll pay off your debt.
You should stop accumulating more debt on your credit card during the paydown period.
How to pay off high-interest credit cards?
Once you figure out your payoff time, there are a couple of strategies you can use to pay down high-interest credit cards, including:
Make a repayment plan
You can plan to pay off your credit card using either the avalanche or the snowball method. With the avalanche method, you focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. Once it's paid off, you then move to the next high-interest debt, in that order, until all your debts are paid off.
If you’re finding it hard to stay motivated or stick to your debt repayment plan with the avalanche method, the snowball method may work for you. With this debt paydown plan, you pay off the debt with the lowest interest rate first, then move to the next debt with a higher interest rate, in that order, until all your debts are paid off.
While this method is reputed for short-term mental rewards that help keep you motivated, it isn't cost-effective, and you’ll end up paying more in interest than with the avalanche method.
Reducing your spending during the payback period leaves you with extra money to put toward your monthly payments. Thus, you’ll be able to make more than the minimum monthly payments and pay off your high-interest cards faster.
Make an extra monthly payment
Interest on your credit card accrues daily based on your credit card’s average daily balance, and the longer you wait to make a payment, the more interest your interests compound.
Therefore, you can reduce the total interest charges by making more than one payment per month. For instance, you can opt to make weekly or biweekly payments.
Get a balance transfer credit card
Balance transfer credit cards offer an introductory 0% APR period, which could be anywhere between 6-21 months depending on the card issuer. Within this period, you can transfer your high-interest credit card debt and pay it interest-free. Thus, every monthly payment goes directly towards reducing the principal.
So if you have a high credit score and are eligible for the card, getting one can help you pay off your credit card debt faster if you stay focused and pay your debt before the 0% APR period ends.
Consolidate high-interest credit card debt
A debt consolidation loan is also a great way to pay off your high-interest credit card. If you can qualify for a personal loan at a lower rate than you’re currently paying on your cards, consolidating your credit card debt is a viable option to save on interest costs.
Seek professional help from a credit counseling service
If your credit card debt is no longer manageable, consider seeking help from a credit counseling professional. They can help you work out a debt payoff calendar that fits your financial situation, and negotiate with your creditors to arrive at a debt paydown formula that will work for both of you.
May I pay off my credit card earlier?
The earliest you can pay your credit card debt is before the due date on your monthly statement. So if you want to pay your credit card debt early and avoid paying interest, check the due date on the billing statement and pay the balance in full before that date elapses.
What is a credit card amortization schedule?
A credit card amortization schedule is a complete table of periodic payments showing your total credit debt, total interest until the debt is paid off, the remaining monthly payments, and the exact date when your debt will be paid off.
It also shows the amount that goes towards the principal and interest payment with each monthly repayment. As such, you are able to see how your debt amortizes over time until it’s paid off.
Which credit card to pay off first?
To save money on interest costs, you should pay off the credit card with the highest interest rates first.