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10 min read

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Should I Pay My Credit Card Off Early?

If you're in a position where you can afford to pay off your credit card debt early, you might not see any reason not to. It would be great not to have any credit card debt. But sometimes, it' can be better to keep paying your minimum payments rather than paying off the total credit card balance. Here at Consolidation Express, one of the UK’s leading providers of debt consolidation and advice, we explain why.

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If I pay my credit card early, can I use it again?

The simple answer is yes, if you pay off your credit card you can use it again. Your credit card account will remain open until you close it even if you've paid off your credit card balance. How much you can spend will depend on your credit limit. If you want to find out what your credit limit is speak to your credit card provider.

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How long do I have to pay off my credit card?

How long you have to pay off your credit card, typically depends on your credit card provider. Every credit card and every credit card company is different. It also will probably depend on the amount you have borrowed.

The best thing to do is check directly with your credit card provider. They'll be able to give you all the information you need:

  • How long you have to pay it back
  • How much your minimum payments are
  • How much your interest payments are
  • What your credit limit is

You should also find all this information on any documents they sent you when you opened the credit account.

If I pay my credit card back, in full, every month, do I pay interest?

Even if you pay back your credit card in full every month, you may still pay some interest. Most credit cards will offer a promotional interest free period but that doesn't mean you'll never pay interest. The average credit card interest rate in the UK is 21.46%.

Is it better to make the minimum payment or pay as much as I can?

If you're comfortable making the minimum payment on your credit card every month then you're borrowing effectively but it could still be beneficial to pay off more. Interest rates may mean that the longer it takes you to pay off credit card debt, the higher the amount of debt will be - this is why you might want to consider paying back as much as you can afford each month.

if you're struggling to meet credit card repayments, it's better to reach your minimum payments than pay later. Missing or late credit card repayments will affect your credit rating and may incur additional fees.

Will paying my credit card bill early help my credit score?

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Paying off your credit card debt could help your credit score.

You might have heard that it's better to just make the minimum payment as a longer credit history can look good if you're hoping to take out credit in the future. Although in some cases, this can be true, it's better to pay off your credit card debt in full each month and take out more credit - consistent use of your credit card will improve your credit score.

What if I'm struggling to pay my credit card debt?

If you're struggling to pay back your credit card debt, it might be time to consider a debt solution. A debt consolidation loan could be a viable option to help you pay off credit card debts.

Debt consolidation loans are a way to consolidate multiple debts into one affordable monthly payment. This means you can pay back your credit card balance straight away along with other unsecured debts such as:

  • Store cards
  • Personal loans
  • Catalogue debts
  • Payday loans

This leaves you in a position where you just pay back one monthly payment straight to your debt consolidation loan provider. This means one payment, one interest rate and only one creditor to deal with.

Can I transfer my debt onto a new credit account?

If you're struggling with credit card debt, another option is to get a balance transfer credit card. A balance transfer card is a way to transfer your debt from one credit account to another. You might want to do this if you're being charged high or the highest interest rate, as many banks and creditors offer 0% balance transfer cards - this will be a promotional and temporary offer.

The credit card issuer will give you a certain amount of time at a 0% interest rate to pay back your credit card debt - usually, this is between 9 and 16 months and depends on if you have a good credit rating.

Also, keep in mind: The credit card issuer will charge a transfer fee - usually between 2-3%.

What's the debt avalanche method?

The debt avalanche method is a specific strategy to pay back your credit card debt if you're dealing with more than one creditor.

The idea is to pay back your credit card with the highest interest rate first while making minimum payments on your other cards. Once you've paid off your most expensive credit card, then you can use that money to pay back your other cards.

This can be a good method if you want to avoid paying interest particularly high interest charges that come with some credit cards.

What's the debt snowball method?

The debt snowball method is where you pay off the lowest credit card balance first while making minimum payments on the others. Once that card has been paid off, you pay off, in turn, each credit card balance from lowest to highest.

This can be a useful method if you want to see progression quickly.

However, these methods - the debt avalanche method and the debt snowball method - only work if you have enough monthly spending money to afford that. If you don't have enough money, then you will have to consider other options.

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Summary

The key points to take away:

  • If you can afford to pay back more than the minimum payments on a credit card it can be a good idea
  • A longer credit history looks better but consistent use of your credit card will help your credit rating as much as just making minimum payments would – as long as you’re paying back regularly, on time and in full
  • If you’re missing payments, it might be time to consider a debt solution

If you're struggling with credit card debt, and you're looking for a debt solution, then you might want to consider a debt consolidation loan. Debt consolidation loans can help you to pay off multiple credit cards, and other unsecured debts.

Want to know how much debt you could be paying back per month? Fill in our online application today.

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