This free online Credit Card Balance Calculator will attempt to forecast if and when you will max out your credit card based on your current charging and minimum payment habits.
The calculator requires that you enter the credit limit on your card and then shows you if and when your balance will grow to exceed that limit.
And finally, the results include a month-by-month chart showing the growth of your credit card balance.
Step #1: Starve the human being of the financial education required to instantly recognize a financial trap.
Step #2: Hire professional actors and actresses to expertly pretend their lives are infinitely easier and happier after acquiring shiny new and improved widgets. Also hire the professionals to expertly pretend that to attract and hold the love of others, all they have to do is provide others with shiny new and improved widgets. This will cause the human being to believe their happiness depends on how many widgets they can acquire for themselves and others.
Step #3: Give the human being a piece of plastic that allows them to acquire the shiny new widgets without having to work to pay cash for them up front. This pushes the pain of having to work for the widgets too far into the future to seem of any consequence. And depending on how well you executed step #2, the human being may even actually agree to pay you an 18%-20% annual fee.
Step #4: Allow the human being to take 20 to 30 years to repay the widgets charged on their account. This makes the monthly payments seem too small to be of any consequence.
Step #5: As the human being approaches the limit of how many shiny new widgets they can have without having to work for the cash to purchase them, increase the credit limit. In effect, this gives the human being more rope to hang themselves with.
Step #6: As soon as the human being's monthly payment exceeds their ability to pay, spring the trap by immediately increasing their APR to the penalty APR (29%) and tack on a $35 fee for every month their balance is above the now maximum credit limit, plus another $35 fee for every month their payment is late. This will insure that the human being is trapped for good.
With that, let's use the following credit card balance calculator to see if and when you will max out your card based on your charging habits and on making only the declining minimum monthly payments.
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Current balance: The current balance from your most recent card statement. Most card companies charge interest based on the average daily balance. Average daily balance is usually calculated by adding all purchases to the beginning balance and then dividing by the number of days in the billing cycle. For simplicity sake, the credit card balance calculator simply uses the current balance and monthly compounding to calculate finance charges.
Annual interest rate: The annual percentage rate (APR) that you are being charged by the card company. Most card companies use daily compounding to calculate interest charges. The credit card balance calculator uses monthly compounding to calculate interest charges so as not to overstate finance charges.
Current minimum payment amount: The current minimum payment amount as listed on your most recent card statement. This is how card companies lure you into the revolving credit trap. Instead of requiring you to make a payment large enough to pay off the balance in a reasonable amount of time (1-5 years), they only require you to pay 2%-5% of the balance, thereby stretching the repayment out for an unreasonable length of time (20-30 years!). Of course, this means that you can suddenly "afford" to be making many tiny payments on many more things without increasing your income.
Credit limit: The total credit limit (not just the amount still available) from your most recent card statement. Your credit limit is the maximum dollar amount of the balance you can carry on your card at any one time -- which is another brilliant ploy card companies use to lure you into the revolving credit trap. If you prove to the company that you pay your declining minimum payments on time, as soon as you approach your credit limit the credit card company will increase the limit! In effect, this is just giving you more rope to hang yourself with.
Annual Fee: Believe it or not, some card companies charge an annual fee (usually around $75 per year) just for the privilege of having your name imprinted on their issued piece of plastic -- regardless of whether or not you actually use the card.
Monthly purchases: The average dollar amount of purchases you charge to the card each month.
Minimum payment percentage: Based on your entered current balance and minimum payment, this is the minimum payment percentage used to figure your monthly payment. The credit card balance calculator will use this percentage for calculating the remaining payment amounts. If your balance is zero, the calculator will use the default 3% figure.
Months till credit card maxed out: Based on your entries this is how many months the calculator estimates it will take for you to max out your card (balance meets or exceeds credit limit). If the result is "n/a," this means that your card will not be maxed out for at least 1,000 months (the maximum number of months the credit card balance calculator will attempt to forecast).