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The Credit You Deserve?

The truth about minimum payments

According to Newsweek, the average balance-carrying household owes $7,564 on credit cards.

According to the Washington Post, it would take more than 35 years to repay a $5,000 credit card debt, at 16% interest, if you paid the minimum 2% each month. Over that 35 years, you'd pay $9,329 in interest on a $5,000 debt. You would greatly reduce the term of the debt by making fixed payments every month. At $100 a month (2 percent of the initial debt), you'd repay $5,000 in about seven years (which is still pretty long).

You can begin to see why banks will sometimes offer you a "free month." The bank continues to earn interest on the payment you do not make. So the next time your are told by your bank that you can skip a month, trying paying two months instead. That'll show 'em.

And one last thing: if you are carrying a balance on your credit cards, quit adding to it. Put away those credit cards and start paying by check. And if you don't have the cash in the bank, skip the purchase, not the payment.

James G. Lewis

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