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About Your Debt

I have an American credit card that I use for making large purchases as my US credit limit is far greater than my German credit limit.

Tonight I was looking at my current statement, the design of which has been altered, probably to comply with new US laws. At least I assume US law has changed, why else would there be a very visible box that tells me that if I make only the minimum payment ($22 this month), I will pay off my current debt in about 15 years and spend $4,098.33 to do so.  Or if I pay $75.51 this month and every month I can pay it off in 36 months and save $1379.97.

Needless to say, I’m planning on paying it off in one month.

7 comments to About Your Debt

  • “save” $1379.97?

    That sounds like wording that would make me complain. “Pay less in interest,” or similar, sure. But I’d only accept the term “save” if it means you have to pay even less than what you owe right now.

    Meh.

    • Cliff, I posted an image of what it actually looks like. Personally I think the emphasis is on “save”–they never phrase it as paying less in interest.

  • koko

    Bank of America? Looks exactly like my statement…

  • Yes, US credit card laws changed this month and this was one of the required changes. They had to tell you how long it would take to pay off the debt if you made only the minimum monthly payment.

    This law is also the reason that many banks moved to close “dormant” credit accounts, raise interest rates sky high, and other consumer unfriendly moves prior to now. Good luck finding a credit card that has only a 10% interest on it at this point. You can thank the US Congress for that as they passed the law and then gave the banks nearly 2-years to implement it because they “needed time to adjust their computers and systems to meet the new law requirements…”

    Strange, they were able to jack up interest rates real quick. *shrugs*

    I think once this shakes out the lower credit rates will return if for no other reason than competition. It will also make it harder for the banks to hide just how much your credit is costing you if you wish not to pay it off each month.

  • koko – You know the bank then 🙂

    CQ – I wouldn’t say that 10% is low interest — I don’t know enough about this law to make any statements though. I think, though, that including this information is probably helpful to people who don’t understand how credit cards work.

  • I wouldn’t say that is low interest either, but compared to what banks have been pushing most if not all cards up to, it is. *shrugs* It’s a good thing I pay them off each month. Since I do that, the interest could be 5000% and it wouldn’t matter.

  • disenchanted

    It’s low interest compared to the rate on my Sears card (25 percent). Fortunately, I only use that card to buy appliances — and then with the one year, no interest option. And yes, I always pay my Sears purchases off before the interest kicks in!