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Revolving Credit April 13, 2011

Posted by CredZoo - Tame Your Credit in New Credit Information.
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Part III in our “How to Manage Debt & Credit” posts: Revolving Credit (AKA – Credit Cards)

A revolving line of credit, also called “open-ended credit,” is made available to you for use at any time. Examples of revolving credit are credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and department store cards. When you apply for one of these cards, you receive a credit limit based on your credit payment history and income. When you use the credit line, you must make monthly minimum payments based on the total balance outstanding that month. Some lines of credit will also have an annual account fee.

 

While revolving credit is a convenient way to borrow, it can also become an endless pit of minimum payments that barely cover the interest due. Many cards charge annual rates of interest of 18% or higher. As you pay off your debt, the minimum payment is also reduced, thus extending your payoff period and, consequently, the interest you pay. Paying just the minimum due on a $2,000 credit card loan could mean making monthly interest payments for 10 or more years!

Revolving credit, in addition to being convenient, eliminates the need to carry a lot of cash and can help establish you as a creditworthy risk for future loans. The itemized monthly statements also can help you track your expenses. But some people can easily yield to the temptation that the convenience of credit cards offers. Impulse buying, failing to compare costs, and purchasing large items you can’t afford are all downfalls brought on by always available purchasing power. Spending more than you earn in any given period is a dangerous practice at best, but doing it over an extended period of time can be financial suicide.

Installment Debt vs. Revolving Debt
Lower interest rates and an amortizing repayment schedule can make installment debt a much cheaper alternative to revolving credit.
Installment Revolving
Beginning Balance $2,500 $2,500
Interest Rate 10% 18.5%
Years to Repay 4 30*
Interest Cost $544 $6,500
*Paying 2% minimum monthly payment.
Sources and Costs of Debt
Source Type of Debt Cost
Banks and Credit Unions Personal, secured Low
Personal, unsecured Moderate
Mortgage Low
Credit Card Low to High
Mortgage Companies Mortgage Low
Department Stores Revolving High
Insurance Companies Personal, unsecured High 

(Thanks To Yahoo Finance)

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