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How long will it take to clear my credit card balance?
If you owe money on your credit card, it’s important to think about how much you repay each month.
Generally, the more you pay back, the quicker you’ll clear your balance. And as you’re charged interest on your entire balance; the more you owe, the more you pay.
This is why it’s a good idea to try to make larger payments each month where you can. By doing this, you should clear your balance faster.
Use a credit card calculator
It can be difficult to do the maths yourself to work out how long you’ll be paying off a credit card balance for.
Thankfully, you don’t have to! A credit card calculator is perfectly capable of doing the maths for you, and takes just a fraction of the time. You can use our credit card calculator here.
In it, you can type in how much you owe on your credit card – you can find this on your latest statement –, what the APR is, and how much you’re paying back each month at the moment.
Then you’ll be told just how long it’ll take you to repay your balance by making the payments you are right now.
You might be surprised at the length of time that comes out. If you are, you could think about paying more if you can afford to. This can reduce the length of time you make repayments for.
Remember, if you’re only making the minimum repayment every month, it may take many years before your credit card balance is back to £0.
Can you afford to pay more?
The quicker you clear your balance, the better, as it means you’ll pay less in interest.
So if you have more cash in your budget to make larger payments each month, it’s definitely worth doing. Even if you’re just making an extra £10 or £15, it all adds up and means you’ll be able to clear your balance faster – as long as you don’t spend more on it.
If you’ve got a date you’d like to be debt-free by, you can use our calculator to work out how much you’ll have to pay each month to achieve that.
You could also consider making a big one-off payment if you’ve got cash elsewhere – like in a savings account. Because the interest rates offered on savings are far lower than what you pay for borrowing, it makes sense to use this money to pay off credit instead.
Again, by doing this, you’ll save money on interest and you should clear your balance much faster.
When using these calculators, keep in mind that they don’t include every tiny detail. For example, if you continue to spend on your credit card, it will take longer for you to clear your balance if you make the same payments every month.