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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Paying the Minimum is Not the Right Way to Start

By Paul J. Easton

Getting rid of debt, especially with credit cards, is simpler than you think. It only requires a bit of discipline from your end.

The first step in getting started with eliminating debts is simply avoiding debt totally. This requires you to stop any new spending using your credit cards and, most importantly, finding yourself getting over that impulse to purchase unnecessary objects to end up collecting dusts in your closet.

This takes us to the next step to examine all of your past and current spending. Getting over that impulse might be easily said than done but it starts somewhere to finally realize that spending with a purpose is practically more important than your shopping spree every now and then.

Find out by the numbers how much money you can set aside towards paying off your credit cards if you become conscious with your purchases. Then, when all is done, it is time to finally start paying off that debt.

Credit card companies generally offer minimum payments ranging from 2 - 2.5% of the current outstanding balance. With the current balance of $1,000, you can simply pay a minimum payment of $20 - $25 for the month. Seems pretty convenient and easy, right?

Let's break it down to the details. Your $25 minimum payment goes mostly to the interest on the balance. The tiny amount left after then interest will go to pay off the actual balance. That is if it is still significant enough to really deduct something to your balance.

After doing this for a few months, check back on your statements. The minimum payments will probably take you, in the example of $1000 balance, about 50 months or so to pay off that balance. That's over four years of paying a $1000 balance. In details, you pay a sizeable amount in interests alone giving a huge profit for the bank. Now, is it still convenient and easy?

This only concludes that paying the minimum is not the right place where you want to start if you want to get debt free soon.

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