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Credit card monthly repayment calculator: See how long it takes to pay off your debt

Estimate how much you need to pay each month to become debt-free.

Disclaimer: This page is under revision, and our credit card monthly repayment calculator is currently unavailable. We’re working on it and hope to have it up and running again soon!

Paying only the minimum on your credit card each month can keep your account in good standing – but without paying more, it could take years to pay down your balance to zero. You could find yourself in an endless cycle of debt and end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest charges. But if you start contributing more today, you could find yourself debt-free in no time.

Let’s walk through how to calculate your interest fees, monthly payments, and the amount of time it could take to pay off your balance.

How to calculate your credit card repayment

Credit card info

You might be surprised by how much of your monthly payment goes toward interest — and not your principal balance. Basically, it’s how much you’re paying for the privilege of borrowing money. Calculating credit card interest can be tedious. In case you’re curious, card providers calculate interest based on the average daily balance method.

Learn more about how the daily balance method works in our guide to credit card interest.

Calculate months to payoff

When paying off credit card debt, your money goes toward 2 costs: the amount you’ve charged to your card and the interest you’ve accrued. Once you calculate your monthly payment, you can figure out how many months it will take to pay off your balance and interest.

Calculate monthly payment

The longer you take to pay off your balance, the more interest you accrue — which can reach half your initial amount due or more. It’s the result of compound interest, which can accumulate very quickly.

To lower your interest, pay off your balance sooner. Contribute a little more to your card payment each month to accomplish this.

Compare credit cards

Compare low interest rate credit cards to reduce the amount of interest your principal balance will accrue. You may be able to pay your debt off faster by paying more towards your principal balance and less toward high interest charges.
Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Reward
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
12.99%
15.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($20 thereafter)
$15,000
Take advantage of an introductory balance transfer offer, annual fee waiver in the first year, and low purchase and cash advance interest rates.
Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee. Plus, get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
12.99%
0% for 6 months, 12.99% thereafter
$0 annual fee for the first year ($29 thereafter)
$12,000
Get a 0% introductory interest rate on cash advances for the first 6 months. Plus, pay no annual fee in the first year. Apply by April 30, 2023.
Get a 0% introductory interest rate on cash advances for the first 6 months. Plus, pay no annual fee in the first year. Apply by April 30, 2023.
National Bank Syncro Mastercard
9.95% or prime + 4.00%
13.95% or prime + 8.00%
$35
N/A
Enjoy low purchase interest, cash advance and balance transfer rates.
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Compare balance transfer credit cards to get a temporary break from interest payments. With good creditworthiness, you can potentially land a low or 0% APR on the transferred balance for a period of 6 months or longer.
Name Product Balance Transfer Rate Balance Transfer Fee Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
BMO CashBack Mastercard
0.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
2%
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
Tangerine World Mastercard
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
3%
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 15% cash back (up to $150) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months Until December 29, 2022. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
3%
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 15% cash back (up to $150) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months Until December 29, 2022. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
0.99% for the first 9 months (then 12.99%)
2%
12.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($20 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee. Plus, get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year.
BMO Rewards Mastercard
0.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
2%
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 725
Get a bonus of 10,000 BMO Rewards points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
BMO AIR MILES Mastercard
0.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
2%
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash). Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card
0% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
N/A
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Earn 5% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 spend). Plus, get a 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months with no balance transfer fee. Apply by April 30, 2023.
Scotia Momentum Visa Card
0% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
N/A
19.99%
$39
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get a 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months. Apply by January 3, 2023.
RBC ION Visa
22.99%
N/A
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Earn 6,000 Avion points when you get approved for the card. Apply by November 30, 2022.
RBC ION+ Visa
22.99%
N/A
19.99%
$48
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Earn 12,000 Avion points when you get approved for the card. Apply by November 30, 2022.
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How is credit card interest calculated?

Unlike other forms of credit that charge simple interest, credit cards accrue compound interest. Let’s take a look at the difference.

  • Simple interest. Interest is charged as a fixed percentage on the principal — or the amount you borrowed initially. Regardless of how much you pay, you pay less interest on your next repayment statement as long as you haven’t added to your balance in the meantime.
  • Compound interest. Interest is charged as a fixed percentage on both the principal and any interest charges you racked up in the meantime. If you’re not making large enough payments each month, you could end up paying more interest on your next bill — effectively paying interest on interest carried across months.

What’s the minimum I need to pay on my credit card?

Credit card providers make a lot of money on the interest you pay them. So in turn, they set minimum monthly repayments that make it worth their time, with minimum limits around $10 plus interest and fees or a minimum or 2.2% of the closing balance.

Here’s an example of what you could pay with popular credit card providers:

Card providerMinimum payment formulaMinimum dollar or % charged per payment
American ExpressThe lesser of the total of $10.00 + interest, fees and any previously billed minimum payments that are unpaid.$10
BMOMinimum payment of $10.00 + interest, fees and any previously billed minimum payments that are unpaid or the amount by which your new balance exceeds your credit limit.$10
CIBCMinimum payment of $10.00 + interest, fees and any previously billed minimum payments that are unpaid or the amount by which your new balance exceeds your credit limit.$10
MBNAMinimum payment of $10.00 + interest, fees and any previously billed minimum payments that are unpaid or the amount by which your new balance exceeds your credit limit.$10
RBCMinimum payment of $10.00 + interest and fees.$10
RogersAny unpaid past due amounts, any amount exceeding your credit limit, plus the greater of: a) $10.00 + interest and fees, or b) 2% of your balance.$10 or 2%
ScotiabankMinimum payment of $10.00 + interest, fees and any previously billed minimum payments that are unpaid or the amount by which your new balance exceeds your credit limit.$10
TangerineMinimum payment is greater of: a) 2% of your new balance + interest, past due and over limit amount, or b) $25.00.2% or $25
TD$10.00 plus any interest and fees (plus any past due amount or any amount that exceeds your Credit Limit).$10

* Please note that these costs may vary between credit cards offered by the same provider. Always check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for your specific credit card.Back to top

What happens if I repay only my statement’s minimum?

By repaying only the minimum monthly payment required, you end up contributing more of your money to the credit card provider’s bottom line, while chipping away at only a small percentage of your overall credit card debt. Because you’re charged compound interest on your credit card debt, you could end up paying interest on interest, ballooning your original principal over months.

In addition to the unnecessary interest you’ll end up paying back, it could take many years to clear your debt. If you continually carry a balance that takes up a large portion of your overall card limit, it might also negatively affect your credit score.

Work to pay off your balance in full. Or, clear as much of the debt as you can each month to minimize interest costs.

How to maximize repayments.

Let’s say you’ve racked up $5,000 on a credit card with a 15% interest rate. Your last statement’s minimum was $100 — or the greater of $20 or 2% of your closing balance. But you’re looking to work out the most efficient way to pay down the debt.

You think you can afford $250 each month. Here’s how much time and simple interest you can save by increasing your monthly repayment.

Minimum repaymentsHigher repayments
Credit card balance$5,000$5,000
Interest rate15%15%
Monthly repayment amount$100$250
Total time to pay off principal6.5 years2 years
Credit card balance$6,456.05

You’d save a massive $6,456.05 in unnecessary interest on your principal by making a higher repayment of $250 each month – plus you’ll pay off your debt 4.5 years early.

What can I do if I’m struggling to repay my debt?

If accumulating endless interest is keeping you from paying off your credit card debt, consider a 0% or low introductory APR balance transfer credit card. These cards allow you to transfer your debt to a card offering no or low interest for a promotional period of time – usually six to 10 months.

You’ll still need to pay more than the minimum repayment each month to completely pay off your debt before the revert rate applies. But because you’ll pay more up front, you’ll pay less overall interest over the life of the promotional period — and you’ll pay off your debt faster.

The goal with a balance transfer card is to pay off your debt in full before the revert rate kicks in.

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Frequently asked questions about minimum payments

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