Credit card repayment calculator: Get out of debt faster | finder.com

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

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

Repaying your card statement’s monthly minimum can keep your account in good standing. But without contributing more, it could take years to pay down your balance to zero. Long term, it could even lead to ongoing credit card debt and steep unnecessary interest.

Use our calculator to estimate how long you’ll need to pay off your debt based on minimum payments and your payoff goals.

How to use our credit card repayment calculator

We’ve designed our calculator to help you determine three key points to paying off your debt, all to help you learn how the amount you choose to pay monthly affects your overall interest and payoff goals.

  1. Set up your credit card balance details. Enter how much you owe and your interest rate to see how much you’re paying in interest each month.
  2. Adjust your monthly repayments. Start by entering your statement’s minimum to learn how long it’d take you to pay off your balance in full. Then increase the payment amount to see how much you time you can shave off by sending more.
  3. Narrow down a payoff goal. Enter your ideal payoff time frame in months to see how much you’d have to send monthly to reach that goal. Adjust your goal until the monthly payment also matches your budget.

Note that our calculator works only if you commit to making no new purchases on the card you’re trying to pay off, and it doesn’t include compound interest. Adding to your balance will likely increase your monthly repayments, overall interest and time to pay it off.

Credit card repayment and interest calculator

Disclaimer: While we’ve made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this calculator, results are for your general information only and not intended to reflect your specific circumstances. Do your research before applying for any credit card or signing any contract.

How is credit card interest calculated?

Unlike other forms of credit that charge simple interest, credit cards accrue compound interest:

  • 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 yet 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 companies make a lot of money on the interest you pay them. And so, they sets minimum monthly repayments that make it worth their time, ranging from 2% to 3% of your closing balance and all the way up to 10%, in some cases.

Here’s what you could pay with popular credit card issuers:

  • American Express. The greater of $35 or 1% of your closing balance.
  • Bank of America. The greater of $25 or 1% of your closing balance.
  • Capitol One. The greater of $25 or 1% of your closing balance.
  • Chase. The greater of $10 or 2% of your closing balance.
  • Citi. The greater of $30 or 2% of your closing balance.
  • Synchrony. The greater of $25 or 1% of your closing balance.
  • USAA. The greater of $15 or 1% of your closing balance.
  • U.S. Bank. The greater of $30 or 1% of your closing balance.
  • Wells Fargo. The greater of $35 or 2% of your closing balance.

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 issuer’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 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. Using finder.com’s calculator, you learn 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
Amount you save$6,456.05

You’d save a massive $6,456.05 in unnecessary interest on your principal with a higher repayment of $250, paying off your debt 4.5 years early.

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

If accumulating interest is keeping you from paying off your credit card debt, consider a 0% balance transfer credit card. These cards allows you to transfer your debt to a card offering no or low interest for a promotional period.

You’ll still need to pay more than the minimum repayment 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 promo — and you’ll pay off your debt faster.

Note when the introductory offer ends so that you can be back on track before the revert rate kicks in.

Compare savings with our credit card balance transfer calculator

Compare your balance transfer options

Rates last updated November 15th, 2018
Name Product Product Description Intro APR for Balance Transfer APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Annual fee Minimum Credit Score
Chase Slate® Credit Card
Jumpstart your financial fitness! 60 day introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with $0 for transfers in first 60 days. Then $5 or 5% balance transfer fee)
16.74% to 25.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
BankAmericard® Credit Card
Transfer high rate balances and save on interest with an Introductory $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).
0% Intro APR for first 15 statement closing dates (with whichever is greater, $10 or 3% balance transfer fee)
14.49% to 24.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase – it's automatic. No minimum to redeem for cash back.
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 5% balance transfer fee)
16.74% to 25.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
0% Intro APR for 12 statement closing dates (with whichever is greater, $10 or 3% balance transfer fee)
14.74% to 24.74% variable
$0
Good (700-739)
NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card
NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card
Enjoy perks and save money while gaining points that never expire with every purchase.
9.9% Intro APR for 90 days
11.40% to 17.99% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card
A great way to establish or improve your credit history.
13.25% variable
$0
Poor (Below 660)
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
0% Intro APR for twelve billing cycles (with Whichever is greater: $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer% balance transfer fee)
13.74% variable
$0
Good (700-739)
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
2% Cashback at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus 1% cash back on all other credit card purchases.
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months (with the amount of each transfer, 3% balance transfer fee)
24.74% variable
$0
Poor (Below 660)
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases. See Rates and Fees
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater: $10 or 4% balance transfer fee)
14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Apply now Read review
Fifth Third Secured Card
Build, or rebuild, your credit with each purchase.
25.74% variable
$24
Poor (Below 660)

Have we missed anything in the comparison table? Tell us

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US Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Deserve® Classic Card
Deserve® Classic Card

APR

24.49
variable

Annual fee

0 For the first year
More info
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™

APR

16.74
variable

Annual fee

995 For the first year
More info
First Access Visa Card®
First Access Visa Card®

APR

29.99
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card

APR

23.9
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info

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US Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Deserve® Classic Card
Deserve® Classic Card

APR

24.49
variable

Annual fee

0 For the first year
More info
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™

APR

16.74
variable

Annual fee

995 For the first year
More info
First Access Visa Card®
First Access Visa Card®

APR

29.99
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card

APR

23.9
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
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