How to Avoid a Finance Charge. Since finance charges are the credit card issuer’s way of charging you for carrying a balance, the simple way to avoid finance charges is to not carry a balance. Paying your credit card balance in full every month will prevent your credit card issuer from adding a finance charge to your balance.
If you want to calculate your own finance charge, you have to know your credit card balance for each day of the billing cycle. While your credit card statement won’t list each day’s credit card balance, you can use your statement (or your online transaction log) to figure out the balance. Start with the balance at the beginning of the billing cycle. Then, add or subtract from the balance each day you have new transaction. Let’s say your APR is 12% and your billing cycle is 25 days long. You started the billing cycle with a balance of $100. On Day 4, you made a $100 purchase. On Day 20, a $25 payment was credited to your account. Your daily balance for each day during the billing cycle would be: Day 1 – 3: $100. Day 4 – 20: $200 ($100 purchase). Day 20 – 25: $175 ($25 credit)
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The Millionaire Next Door. In this newly updated book, authors Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D. attempt to debunk the myth that most American millionaires have inherited their wealth. They even go as far as to identify seven common traits that are shared among many of those who have accumulated significant wealth. By demonstrating how hard work and smart investing have made millionaires out of average Americans, this book shows us that we too can be among the ranks of the wealthy. The book makes for a very interesting and motivating read.
In a separate section that breaks down your interest charges, you’ll see a break down of your finance charges by the type of balances you’re carrying. For example, if you have a purchases balance and a transfer balance, you’ll see details of the finance charges for each. This is because these balances often have different interest rates and grace periods. How to Pay Off Your Finance Charge. Making your minimum credit card payment, which is printed on the first page of your credit card billing statement, is usually enough to cover your finance charge plus a small percentage of the balance. However, if you’re only paying the minimum payment, your balance will shrink at a small pace since so much of the payment goes toward paying interest. You’ll need to increase your minimum payment if you want to pay off your balance faster.
Different credit cards calculate finance charges in different ways. To find out how your creditor calculates your charge, look on the back of a recent billing statement. You should find an explanation there. If you know how your credit card issuer calculates your finance charge, you can estimate your own finance charge and even find ways to minimize the finance charge you pay. Regardless of how your credit card issuer calculates your finance charges, you can avoid paying interest on your balance by paying in full each month. Below are six ways finance charges can be calculated – one has been made illegal within the past decade. Click on the links for a more detailed explanation including example of how each finance charge calculation method works.