Last night while going through the mail, I happened upon our Chase Freedom statement. Don’t ask why we’re still getting a paper statement from them, as I’m honestly not sure – guess I need to change that.
Anyway, I don’t usually look at our credit card statements too closely, as we pay our credit card bills in full every month. I usually just skim over the transactions to make sure everything looks right, and that’s about it.
This time around, however, my eye was drawn to the “Minimum Payment Warning” box, pictured below. I’ve talked in the past about recent credit card statement changes, and this is one of the new additions.
For context, our closing balance was $2720.12, the APR is 15.24%, and the minimum required payment is $54. As you can see from the image above, if we made that minimum payment each month and never made another charge, it would take us 21 years to pay it off. 21 years!
Not only would we be paying for our July 2010 purchases through the year 2031, but it would come at a total cost of $5, 936. That’s 118% extra. 118%! If that’s not motivation to get out of debt, I don’t know what is.
The whole point of this table is to make it clear to people just how much money they’re wasting by carrying a balance. They do their best to obfuscate things in the next line, however, where they present an alternate payment scenario.
Guess what? If you pay $95/month, you can pay it off your balance in three years while “saving” $2, 525. That’s all well and good until you remember that this “savings” actually represents nearly $700 in extra interest payments vs. paying it all off up front.
Hmmm. No thanks. I think I’ll keep paying my bill in full. What about you?