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.
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.
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Women, Men, and Money. Yet another personal finance book with a telling subtitle: ”The Four Keys for Using Money to Nourish Your Relationship, Bankbook, and Soul.” In Women, Men, and Money Author William Devine goes beyond the practical ins and outs of personal finance and gets to the emotion and meaning behind money, ”showing you how to earn, spend, invest, negotiate, and communicate about money” in a way that will enrich your relationship with your significant other.
Accounting for Anomalies. The human psychology is complex, and it’s obviously impossible to predict every irrational move investors might make. But, those who have studied behavioral finance have concluded that there are a number of thought processes that push us to make less-than-perfect investment decisions.
If you continued making minimum payments and no additional charges on this account, you’d pay $18.00 in finance charges over the course of a year. Why Does the Billing Cycle Matter? Credit card companies state your interest rate in terms of an annual percentage rate, or APR, to make it easier to compare various credit cards and loans. However, you are not charged interest on an annual basis. You’re charged interest periodically based on your billing cycle. Including the billing cycle in the finance charge calculation ensures you are charged interest only for that specific period of time.