It's all about the numbers.

Minimum Payments

Carrying a credit card balance is costly--particularly for consumers  who make only the minimum monthly payment.  The Federal Reserve Board's  online Credit Card Repayment Calculator will allow consumers to estimate  how long it will take to pay their credit card bills under different  payment scenarios.

"By identifying the true cost of credit, this new tool can help  consumers devise a plan to manage the cost of carrying a credit card  balance," said Federal Reserve Board Governor Elizabeth A. Duke.  The  median balance on credit cards, as reported in the Federal Reserve  Board's 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances, is $3,000.  The average  interest rate on cards that carry a balance is 13 percent.  Using the  calculator, consumers will find that paying off a $3,000 balance at an  interest rate of 13 percent could take as long as 16 years and cost  $2,812 in interest if they only make the minimum payment each month. 

 "We hope that, armed with this information, consumers can make better  decisions for themselves and their families," Governor Duke said. 

Minimum Payment Calculator 

**Disclaimer: Content obtained from the US Federal Reserve's website at: