How it Works
To use the calculator, all you need to do is enter the details of the debt you want to pay off, and the hard work is done for you. You should be able to find all the info you need on your credit card statement or your card’s app.
Balance Outstanding: Enter the current balance on your credit card.
Interest Rate: Enter the rate of interest being applied to that balance.
Annual Fee: Enter your card’s annual fee (if you have a no annual fee card, just enter 0).
Minimum Repayment Allowed ($): Your card will have a minimum repayment amount, provided as a dollar amount or percentage. Enter the dollar amount here.
Minimum Repayment Allowing (%): Enter the percentage here.
Make A Higher Repayment: Type the repayment amount you want to make each month.
Reading Your Results
After inputting all the required details, the calculator will automatically update with all the info you need to know. So, how do you read that info?
Front & Centre: At the bottom of the calculator, you can clearly see how long it will take you to pay off your debt if you only make the minimum repayment, compared to the length of time it would take making that larger repayment. You can also see the total interest you would pay in each scenario.
Using The Graph: Using the graph, you can clearly see how your repayments affect the size of your debt. Colour-coded, it shows the speed at which you will clear your debt when you make larger repayments, compared to the much longer time it would take just paying the minimum.
Yearly Breakdown: By clicking on the Yearly Breakdown tab, you get a full view of the interest you will pay on your debt in each scenario, broken down year-by-year.
Now you understand the basics of how to use the credit card repayment calculator, you can start playing around with options. By typing in a higher or lower repayment amount, you will see how that affects the length of time it will take to pay off your balance, and the amount you will pay in interest each month, and overall.
Spending some time doing this, you can find the repayment schedule that will work within your budget, getting you out of debt as quickly as possible, while paying the least amount in interest.
Save Or Send: Want to save this info? Too easy. Use the calculator to save, print or email the information you have found.
Freya has a balance of $10,000 on her credit card. Her annual fee is $30, and her interest rate is 16% p.a. While she has only been making the minimum repayments up until now, she wants to pay more to clear her balance faster.
Using a credit card repayment calculator, Freya sees that by only paying the minimum on her card, she will remain in debt for 35 years and 11 months. During this period, she will pay $12,257 in interest. That’s almost as much as her entire starting balance.
Offering an alternative, the calculator shows Freya that by paying off $300 each month, she will clear her balance in 3 years and 9 months. Paying a total of $3,367 in interest, this saves her $8,890, while getting her out of debt more than 30 years quicker.
And if Freya has more money to put towards her credit card repayment each month? By repaying $500 each month, Freya will clear her balance in 2 years, paying $1,725 in interest. That’s a saving of $10,532 on the minimum repayment option.
Credit Card Repayment Calculator - Frequently Asked Questions
Balance transfer offers are often a popular choice for cardholders who want to pay down their debt. Used correctly, they allow cardholders to pay down their balance faster, while paying significantly less in interest.
Using Freya as an example, she could transfer her balance to a balance transfer card offering 0% p.a. for 22 months. By paying off $500 each month, she would clear her balance in 20 months, while paying nothing in interest. Compared to the above $500-per-month example, this would save her $1,725 in interest – while getting her out of debt four months faster.
While many cardholders look to balance transfer offers to save on interest, it’s also possible to save on interest simply by switching to a card with a lower rate. Using the calculator, simply change the interest amount to see how much interest you would save by switching to a lower rate option.
Using the calculator, you can see how much your annual fee affects the overall amount you repay. Obviously, by switching to a lower annual fee card, there would be some money-saving over time. However, over both the long and short term, it is the card’s interest rate that will be the biggest factor to affect how much you pay back on your debt.
With that being said, a low rate and low annual fee combo could be worth looking out for if you’re serious about paying down your debt.