Calculating Credit Card Payments: Understanding Interest & Costs

Use the credit card interest calculator below to see how you can pay off your debt more quickly or how much you can save with debt consolidation loans and zero-interest credit cards.

Credit Card Interest Calculator


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Credit Card Interest Calculator Instructions

To get the most out of our credit card interest calculator, have your latest statement handy.

To determine how much interest you’re paying and how much interest you could save, you’ll need your current credit card balance, annual percentage rate (APR), and the minimum or average monthly payment.

Then, compare expected interest expenses by entering APR and average expected monthly payment for alternative credit cards.

Use the following instructions to find out how much interest you’re paying on your credit cards.

Step 1: Enter Your Current Balance

You can find your current balance on your most recent credit card statement, either mailed to you or available on your credit card company’s website.

Step 2: Enter Your Interest Rate (APY)

Check your credit card statement to get your credit card’s interest rate.

Step 3: Enter Your Average Monthly Payment

You can estimate this or choose a payment amount you’re planning on making in the future. You can also check your past statements to determine your average payment over the past six months, or however far you want to go back.

Step 4: Enter the Timeframe for Payments

Add the number of months with this payment and the interest rate. This could be in the past to find out what interest you’ve already paid, or you can do a projection to see how much interest you’ll pay in the future.

Step 5: Click “Calculate”

You’ll get the amount of interest you’ve already paid or could expect to pay in the future, based on which timeframe you used for payments. It can be sobering to see just how much you’re paying on interest. Imagine all the things you could do with that money if your credit cards were paid off. Use this number to strengthen your resolve to pay off your high-interest credit cards.

You can do this calculation for each credit card you have to develop a comprehensive plan for paying off your cards.

Which Lenders Have the Best Debt Consolidation Loan Rates?

Finding the right lender could help you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on interest. The smartest way to know if you’re getting the best personal loan rate is to compare offers from competing lenders.

How Can a Debt Consolidation Loan Save Money on Interest?

A debt consolidation loan is a financial tool that combines high-interest debts, such as credit card balances, into one more manageable loan with a fixed and typically lower annual percentage yield (APY). Here’s how it can help you save money on interest.

Single Monthly Payment

With a debt consolidation loan, you only have to make one monthly payment, simplifying your financial management.

Lower Fixed Interest Rate

Debt consolidation loans often offer lower fixed APYs than the variable and usually higher rates associated with credit cards. This means you’ll pay less in interest over the life of the loan.

Predictable Payments

Fixed interest rates provide predictability in your monthly payments, making it easier to budget and plan for debt repayment.

Faster Debt Payoff

With reduced interest charges, a larger portion of the monthly payment is applied toward reducing the principal balance, helping you pay off your debt faster.

Savings on Interest

The total interest cost over the life of the debt consolidation loan is typically lower than what you’d pay on multiple credit cards with higher rates.

It’s essential to choose a debt consolidation loan with favorable terms, such as a lower interest rate and reasonable fees. Additionally, avoid accumulating new debt on your credit cards while repaying the consolidated loan to benefit from the interest savings fully.

How Can a Balance Transfer Save Money on Interest?

Whether you want to take advantage of better rewards or low-interest credit cards, knowing how much interest you’re paying is crucial for your financial health. If you feel you’re paying too much credit card interest, consider transferring your balance to zero-interest credit cards offered during an introductory period.

A credit card balance transfer is a process that involves moving the outstanding balance from one credit card to another, typically one with a lower Annual Percentage Yield (APY) or a promotional 0% APY for a specific period. Here’s how it can help lower your payments and reduce interest costs:

Lower Interest Rate

When you transfer your balance to a card with a lower APY, you’ll pay less interest on the same amount of debt. This can significantly reduce the cost of carrying a balance.

Introductory 0% APY

Some balance transfer cards offer an introductory period with a 0% APY. During this time, you won’t accrue any interest on the transferred balance, allowing you to focus on paying down the principal debt.


If you have multiple high-interest credit card balances, a balance transfer allows you to consolidate them into a single, more manageable payment. This simplifies debt management and can lead to lower monthly payments.

More Payment Towards Principal

With lower or no interest charges, a larger portion of your payment goes toward reducing the principal balance. This accelerates the debt payoff process.

Predictable Payments

A fixed promotional APY or a lower ongoing APY provides predictability in your monthly payments, making budgeting easier.

Faster Debt Repayment

Reduced interest and larger payments toward the principal can help you pay off your debt faster, saving you money in the long run.

However, it’s important to be aware of balance transfer fees, typically around 3% to 5% of the transferred amount. To maximize the benefits of a balance transfer, aim to pay off the transferred balance within the promotional 0% APY period or before any promotional rate expires.