Friday, September 24, 2010

The Credit Card Bill

I was so happy to get my Capital One Mastercard statement in the mail yesterday. (Can you hear the sarcasm?) I know that one day the urge to check the mail will be because it will brings news of how my money is working for me instead of reminding me of how stupid I have been in the past.

Yay!! The balance is under $5000!! The interest rate is still at 0%. It shows 2 payments of $100 each in the last thirty days. Good, good. Wait a sec! What is this tiny printing near the top of the statement?

MIN. PAYMENT NOTICE: If you make only the minimum payment, we estimate that it will take you 10 years and 1 month to pay off your balance.


I do some quick math. Balance of $4789.74 divided by monthly payments of $143.00 at zero percent interest equals about 34 months. That would have this debt paid off in July of 2013. Not 2020!! It makes me wonder how they figure this stuff out.

The new credit card rules are supposed to help the consumer understand what their debt is really costing them. If I didn't know better, I would have taken Capital One at their word, figured I'm going to be in Debt Hell for at least 10 years, and ran out to the mall to buy a hundred dollars worth of temporary feel- good stuffs.

Now I know I should be throwing more than the minimum payments on this puppy to get it paid off, but I feel it's more important right now to throw all extra snowflakes of available money at B's MBNA Mastercard which is charging him an astronomical 27.98% interest!! The note on his statement says that making minimum payments, that account will be paid off somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 years from now! We plan on having the $2900 balance paid off in under two years.

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