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Credit Card Payoff Calculator: How to Pay Off Debt Faster

Credit cards are a helpful way to build credit, but you can spend too much if you don’t practice sound financial habits. While appealing, purchases like trips to the movies, the latest phone, and skin care products can add up. When the time comes, you’ll have to pay off your credit card charges.

You can handle your debt before it gets more complicated. Use our credit card payoff calculator to help crunch the numbers and tackle your credit card debt.

Credit card payoff calculator

To use our credit card payoff calculator, enter your credit card balance, your credit card’s interest rate, and either your monthly payment amount or your desired payoff timeline.

Graphic of a credit card over cash.

Credit Card Payoff Calculator

Enter a number between 1 and 999,999

Enter a value between 0.1% and 99.9%

Enter a number between 1 and 999,999

or

months

Enter a number ≥ 1

Oops!

Your estimated monthly credit card payment is:

Time to payoff:

months

Credit card payoff date:

Total principal paid:

$

Total interest paid:

$

Alternate payoff scenarios:

MonthsMonthly payment
12
$431.21
24
$383.21
36
$262.21
48
$153.21
54
$108.21

Tips to reduce your credit card balance:

  1. Set up alerts to notify you when a credit card payment due date is approaching.
  2. Set up auto pay for your monthly credit card payments to automatically come from your bank account each month.
  3. Stick to one or two cards for a lower credit card debt balance and smaller payments.
  4. Pay more than the monthly minimum to reduce debt faster.
  5. Use the snowball or avalanche methods to strategize your payments.
  6. Consider a debt consolidation loan to chip away at the debt with one monthly payment.
  7. Sign up for a balance transfer card to move your debt to a single card with a lower interest rate.
  8. Apply for a debt consolidation loan to condense your monthly payments.

This calculator is for educational purposes only. It calculates the amount you may need to pay per month to pay off your credit card balance, based on the information you provide. The estimates do not include any potential fees, and your results assume you won’t use your card to make any new purchases. This calculator assumes your interest rate will not change – any changes to your interest rate will affect your expected monthly payment and/or payoff time frame. You should enter figures that are appropriate to your individual situation. The purpose of this calculator is not to offer any tax, legal, financial, or investment advice.

How to pay off credit card debt

You can use credit cards to pay for everyday and emergency expenses while possibly earning points and cash back benefits. However, they can have high interest rates, leading to debt if you don’t pay your balance in full every month. Thankfully there are multiple ways to pay off credit card debt for a better future.

Below are four ways to pay off credit card debt: the avalanche method, the snowball method, debt consolidations, and balance transfer.

MethodDescription
The avalanche methodPrioritize paying higher interest debts first: You’ll still need to pay the minimum amount on all cards, but the largest payment will go toward the card with the highest APR (annual percentage rate).
The snowball methodFocuses on tackling lower balances first: Any extra funds you have after paying the low balances will go toward the higher amounts. You’ll still need to pay the minimum amount on all accounts to avoid fees.
Consolidate credit card debtsInstead of several monthly payments, you’ll only have one. A debt consolidation loan will ideally have a lower interest rate than your credit cards to help reduce your accumulated overall interest.
Credit card balance transfersMove the debt from your existing accounts to one, low-interest card to create a single monthly payment. Cards designed for this purpose often have a 0% introductory interest rate so that you can reduce your debt faster.

How to use the avalanche method

The avalanche method prioritizes paying higher-interest debts first. You will still need to pay the minimum amount on all credit cards, but you’ll make a larger payment on the card with the highest APR (annual percentage rate).

After you’ve paid off the high-interest debt, put your money toward the account with the second highest interest rate. You’ll pay less interest overall, leaving more money in your pocket.

Example: If you have three credit cards with 35%, 22%, and 18% interest rates, you’ll want to make additional payments on the 35% card. Once you’ve paid this debt, you can start paying more towards the 22% credit card, then the 18% one.

How to use the snowball method

The snowball method focuses on tackling lower balances first. After paying the lower balances, any extra funds will go toward the higher amounts. You’ll still need to pay the minimum amounts on all accounts to avoid fees.

Example: If you have three credit cards with balances of $6,000, $2,000, and $1,200, you’ll pay down the $1,200 balance first. Next, you’ll focus on the balance of $2,000, saving the $6,000 balance for last.

How to consolidate your debt

You can pay off your debts faster and potentially with a lower interest rate with debt consolidation. Instead of making several monthly payments, you’ll only have one.

The debt consolidation loan will ideally have a lower interest rate than your credit cards to help you accumulate less interest.

Keep in mind: 

  • You’ll have to apply and qualify for this type of credit card payoff method.
  • Most lenders require a mid-600 credit score for debt consolidation loans.
  • You may still qualify if your credit score is lower, but the interest rate may be higher.

How to transfer a credit card balance

Balance transfers to a credit card allow you to move the debt from your existing accounts to create a single monthly payment. Most of these cards have a 0% introductory interest rate so that you can reduce your debt faster.

Keep in mind: 

  • The offer requires you to transfer your balance within a certain time frame.
  • After the introductory period, the interest rate will increase.
  • You’ll want to pay off your balance as soon as possible.

Some credit cards have a smaller limit than your debt amount. If that’s the case, you could open an additional credit card. As a result of maxing out your credit card limit, your credit score could be negatively affected.

Should you have more than one credit card?

You can have more than one credit card if you pay them off each month – there’s no harm in taking advantage of the different reward programs while working on your credit score.

However, if you can’t afford multiple credit card payments, you may want to limit the number of credit cards you own.

A chart compares the pros and cons of having multiple credit cards.

Benefits of multiple credit cards

If you’re using your card responsibly, you can reap benefits like:

  • Reward programs: Some types of credit card rewards include cash back, points, and airline miles for every dollar you spend. You can maximize your rewards on every purchase if you have multiple credit cards.
  • Backup card: If your credit card is stolen, lost, or compromised, you’ll have an additional form of payment.
  • Improve credit score: More available credit can result in a lower credit utilization rate and positively affect your score.

Negatives of multiple credit cards

If you’re struggling with paying off your credit card, you’ll want to avoid opening another account.

  • Additional payments to keep track of: It can be challenging to juggle multiple monthly payments – you don’t want to miss payments and rack up high interest.
  • Increase your spending temptations: If you have multiple lines of credit, your mindset may shift to spending more freely and frequently.

How does credit card debt impact your credit score?

Credit cards are a great way to build your credit, which can help you get approved for loans in the future. Your credit score is the three-digit number determined by your overall credit history. FICO® credit scores include the following factors:

  • Payment history: 35%
  • Credit utilization: 30%
  • Credit age: 15%
  • Credit mix: 10%
  • Credit inquiries: 10%

Your overall credit score also can affect the interest rates you pay. Credit cards work by demonstrating your spending history and proving you can pay off your balances on time. Credit lenders review your track record and are more likely to let you borrow money based on your history.

It’s best to keep your balances and credit utilization lower to stay on a positive trend. Regularly missing payments or accumulating high interest can affect your credit score. The closer you are to maxing out your credit limit can also negatively impact your credit score.

Manage credit with confidence

Using our credit card payoff calculator, you can find out how long it could take to pay off your credit card debt and how much your monthly payments should be to erase your balance. Regardless of your financial situation, make a plan to pay off your credit card debt today.

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FAQs about paying off your debts

Get more answers to commonly asked credit card payoff questions below.

How do I figure out how to pay off my credit card?

Your credit card statement shows how much to pay off and when your payment is due. The minimum payment and total balance are available on your credit card bill. 

A credit card payoff calculator can also help determine how long it will take to pay off your credit card.

How do I figure out how much interest I'll pay on my credit card?

Divide your credit card’s interest rate by the number of payments you plan on making each year. Take this number and multiply it by your average monthly balance to figure out how much interest you’ll pay on your credit card. You can also find out how much interest you’ll pay on your credit card by using our credit card payoff calculator.

How do you calculate your credit card payoff date?

Our credit card payoff calculator will crunch the numbers for you to determine your credit card payoff date. Our formula combines the number of payment periods and a constant interest rate to calculate how long it will take you to pay off your credit card, either with your current monthly payment or how much you will need to pay monthly to pay off your balance within your desired time frame.

Is it better to pay off credit cards in full?

It’s usually better to pay the entire credit card balance in full when possible. Carrying over a balance could lower your credit score, and you’ll have to pay interest.

If you can’t pay the total amount, you should pay at least the minimum payment to avoid fees. Otherwise, your credit card account could eventually be sent to collections.

How much will my score increase if I pay off my credit card in full?

Your credit score could increase if you pay off your credit card debt. When you reduce your debt amount, your credit utilization goes down, and thus your credit score could improve. If you go from a significant amount of credit card debt to none, you might see a more significant improvement in your credit score.

How can I consolidate my credit card debt?

You can consolidate your credit card debt through a debt management plan, debt consolidation loan, or by opening a credit card to transfer the balance. 

  • Debt management plans: a consulting company helps you negotiate a lower interest rate or waive fees. 
  • Debt consolidation loans: help you reduce your credit card debt by using the funds to pay off a chunk of debt with less interest.
  • Credit card balance transfer: consolidate your debt and shift your credit card debt to a single card with a lower annual percentage rate (APR).

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