A man stresses about finances. The adjusted balance method starts with the balance at the beginning of the billing cycle and subtracts any payments you made during the billing cycle. Purchases are not included in the balance. Out of all the ways to calculate finance charges, this method results in the lowest finance charge, but not very many credit card issuers use it. The average daily balance method uses the average of your balance during the billing cycle. Each day’s balance is added together and divided by the number of days in the billing cycle. New charges are sometimes excluded in the calculation of the average daily balance. This is the most common way finance charges are calculated.
Calculating the Average Daily Balance
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If you tend to carry a credit card balance rather than pay off your balance every month, then you’ve seen a finance charge added to your balance. Finance charges are applied to credit card balances that aren’t paid before the grace period. Unlike most other credit card fees, finance charges aren’t a flat fee. Instead, the finance charge is calculated for each billing cycle based on your balance and interest rate. Generally, higher balances and interest rates result in higher finance charges.
We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process. Managing your money isn’t the easiest thing to do. Now that we no longer balance a checkbook, tracking and expenses and keeping up with the bank balance can get a little difficult. Personal finance apps can connect with your bank account and help you keep up with your spending. Not only that, personal finance apps can help you pinpoint areas that you’ve been spending, track upcoming bill payments (some allow you to pay your bills directly through the app), keep up with your credit score and investment portfolio. The best personal finance apps provide several different features (e-mail reminders, bill due dates, track subscriptions, shared wallets, etc.) for managing your overall finances. All the apps on our list are available on both iOS and Android, so you can enjoy no matter which smartphone giant you’re partial to.
If, for some reason, your minimum payment is less than your finance charge, paying the minimum will result in a bigger, not smaller, balance. Can You Lower Your Finance Charge Amount? Since your finance charge is based on your interest rate and credit card balance, you’ll pay higher finance charges when these amounts are high. You can reduce the amount of interest you pay by paying off your balance faster, requesting a lower interest rate, or by moving your balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate. You can also avoid finance charges altogether by paying your entire balance before the grace period ends. If you pay your balance in full each month, you’ll avoid finance charges completely.