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December 08, 2010


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We have only had a balance on a credit card 3 times in our 20 years of marriage and that was three times too many. Could not believe how much it cost those three times.

Isn't is a scary thought that maybe only 23% of people pay their credit card balance in full every month? If it's 23% of people who previously carried a balance, I think that's great...but if it's 23% of all card users as a whole, I think that's pretty pathetic.

On another note: if, on a charge of $2888 you only paid the minimum for 18 years it would actually only cost you slightly less than double the original amount. I'm not about to start carrying a balance, but I have to say, I don't think that's a bad deal. A 30-year mortgage will cost you more than double the original amount...

Am I confused or did Claire just say 18 years of credit card interest rates are not a bad deal? Is she comparing it FAVORABLY to interest on a 30-year mortgage?

Fortunately at the end of a mortgage you own a home, not true with the end of the rainbow on cc debt.

Homer: I've never carried a balance, have no need to know what the interest rates on my cards are, and therefore have never done the math, so I was surprised that the total amount due over 18 years is less than double the original amount. I had always assumed that a person carrying a balance would end up paying more like 4-5 times the original amount if they only ever made the minimum payment. It's still throwing money away, and not something I'm about to start doing, but based on my previous assumption, less than half isn't bad in comparison. I should have worded my statement differently more to show my surprise at how (comparatively) little would be due.

Then again, FMF probably has fairly low interest rates on his cards - the average consumer with a balance who has made a couple of late payments probably has a much higher interest rate, and so would end up paying the 4-5 times the original amount.

FMF - I have to disagree with you. While you wish it was a bigger number, I wish it was a smaller number.


The people that pay interest charges to credit card companies subsidize the offers for the rest of us that know how to manage our cards. It's going to hurt the deals available to the rest of us.

30% or americans pay off their cards in full every month. I would imagine that the 23% who said the warning helped motivate them were out of people who only pay the minimum. Why would it motivate someone who was already paying more than the minimum to see a warning about only paying the minimum?

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