The average credit card debt will take 26 years and nine months to repay if only the minimum payment is made each month, according to a report produced by The Money Charity.
Data from Money Statistics May 2019 reveals that the average credit card debt per UK household was £2,655 in March 2019 and the average interest rate on credit card debt stood at 19.87% in April 2019, which The Money Charity calculated would take over 25 years to pay off when only making the minimum monthly repayments.
When making its calculations, the charity used a formula many providers adopt when charging interest and repayment fees to credit card debt – interest, fees and charges plus 1% of the outstanding balance and often also with a flat rate of for example £5 per month – along with keeping in mind that balances and, therefore, minimum amounts reduce over time as the debt is paid off.
Commenting on the calculation, Erik Porter, acting chief executive of The Money Charity, said:
“This stark calculation shows exactly how problematic credit card debt can become if not taken on with a mindset of full understanding the product, its total costs and affordability, looking towards how it can be managed sustainably by planning and budgeting accordingly. It is essential that consumers appreciate that credit cards can be a helpful financial tool to be used wisely but mustn’t be treated as an inconsequential loan. While the calculation is an extreme one, sadly it does seem a plausible scenario for too many people.”
Those who have an outstanding balance on their credit card every month that is accruing interest could reduce the cost of this by moving their balance to a 0% balance transfer. Normally these types of credit cards will be interest-free for a specific time period (usually between 12-24 months), which give borrowers an opportunity to repay as much as possible, if not the full amount, before incurring interest charges on their credit card debt.
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