How to Calculate How Long to Pay Off Credit Card

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Credit card debt can be overwhelming and it may feel like you'll never have it paid off. If you are paying the minimum amount due, it may indeed take quite a long time to get out of credit card debt. You must stop adding to your debt, but even then it's important to understand how long it will take to pay off a card so that you can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Things You'll Need

  • Credit card bill
  • Calculator
  • Look at your credit card bill and find out how much money you owe, what your interest rate is and when the interest is compounded. You need to know all of this information to calculate how long it will take to pay off your bill.

  • Determine how much you want to pay each month. Keep in mind the smaller amount that you pay the longer it will take for a payoff.

  • Multiply the amount you owe on the credit card times one plus the interest rate in decimal form and then subtract your payment and that is what you will owe after the end of each month if interest is compounded monthly. The formula looks like this, p * (1+r) --x, where p is principal r is the rate and x is your payment.

  • Repeat this for every month until the amount is zero. The amount of months it takes is how long the payoff will take. This is because even if your principal stays the same which it must for the formula to work, the interest keeps being added to what you owe.

  • Consider using an online calculator. The formula for finding the payoff using compound interest without doing math for every month is very complicated. Many financial websites offer online calculators that will do the math for you.

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