Only Making Your Minimum Monthly Payment

The Pitfalls of Only Making Your Minimum Monthly Payments

Making minimum payments on your high interest debts is keeping you in debt.

Understanding Credit

As an experienced financial consultant, it often surprises me how many people mistakenly equate the ability to make the minimum monthly payment with a healthy credit standing. While it’s true that maintaining your payments can keep your credit score from plummeting, this is just one metric of financial health – and perhaps not the most significant one.

Misconceptions about Minimum Payments

A few years back, it became a requirement for credit card companies to include a statement on their monthly bills indicating the duration it would take a customer to clear their card balance if they only made the minimum payment and refrained from further card usage.

To illustrate this, consider a recent instance where a Visa card balance of $6,619 required roughly $50 per month to service the card. The statement indicated it would take an astonishing 53 years to clear the balance – resulting in total payments amounting to $31,800.00. This scenario underscores why making only your minimum payments is a strong sign of a credit dilemma.

The Real Cost of Minimum Payments

The issue becomes even more alarming when individuals are making minimum payments across multiple credit cards. The real cost of making only the minimum payment is not just the exorbitant interest accrued over time, but also the opportunity cost associated with it.

Compounding Debt

One major pitfall of making only the minimum payment is that it can trap households in a perpetual cycle of debt, thwarting their ability to meet other financial goals or build a safety net. If a household is barely managing to make the credit card payment, but fails to set aside funds for annual expenses or emergencies, the credit problem is likely to escalate.

The Impact on Future Goals

While maintaining minimum payments, households may find themselves unable to save for future goals such as vacations, home improvements, or education. This can lead to a sense of financial stagnation and frustration.

Unpredictability of Life

Life is anything but predictable. Inevitably, unexpected expenses arise, like vehicle repairs or medical emergencies. Without a reserve of funds, these situations can plunge you further into debt, as the only recourse often becomes relying on more credit to finance these unforeseen needs.

Self-perpetuating Debt Cycle

This erodes any progress made on reducing your debt and further commits your budget to that minimum monthly payment for an even longer duration, creating a vicious cycle. This further signifies why making the minimum payment is indicative of a burgeoning credit issue.

You are Not Alone

If you’ve been diligently making your minimum payments but still aren’t making a dent in your debt, rest assured that you’re not alone. In today’s economic climate, countless people are barely managing from one debt payment to the next.

Seeking Professional Help

Your local Licensed Insolvency Trustee will be able to evaluate your unique financial situation and guide you through your available options. They can help you determine which debt solution is most manageable for you.

Rebuilding Your Financial Future

Taking control of your finances may seem daunting, but the first step is often the hardest. With the right guidance and a solid plan, it’s entirely possible to break free from the cycle of debt and start rebuilding towards a financially secure future!

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

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