Debt: The Minimum Payment Trap

by Larry Hehn on February 11, 2011

Have you ever stopped to check some of the fine print at the bottom of your credit card statement? I looked at mine last week and was floored to find the following note:

minimum paymentYep, as long as I don’t make any more purchases, and I continue to make the minimum monthly payments, I can have my credit card debt paid off in time to celebrate my 144th birthday.


Today I have the pleasure of guest posting at Bryan Allain’s blog. To find out how my wife and I plan to pay off that hundred year debt by the end of 2011, jump on over to Bryan’s blog and join the fun!


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Dustin February 11, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Heading over now!
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Larry Hehn February 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Thanks, Dustin. I like your new gravatar.


Tony Alicea February 11, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Woo! I love guest posts. I hope you have a bunch of new peeps find your site.
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Larry Hehn February 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Thank you, Tony. All those guest posts you had on your blog while you were in Brazil were a blast!


Rachel February 11, 2011 at 7:06 pm

My hubby pays our entire statement off each and every month. Our only debt is the house – and that’s not even “that bad”.
Is that seriously your statement? WOW to the balance. That would be a big part of the 100 year thing, no?


Larry Hehn February 11, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Yep, Rachel. The bad news is, that figure is real. The good news is, it will be zero by the end of the year. Once that happens, we’ll definitely be following your lead and keeping a zero balance. That’s the right way to do it!


Rachel February 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

That’ll be such a weight off the shoulders when that happens! We just got the visa bill – even with a balance of $68 it would take us 8 months to pay that off with just paying minimum payments! Thanks for showing me that there is that portion of the bill – I had never noticed it before 🙂


Larry Hehn February 15, 2011 at 9:37 am

Wow, that’s incredible Rachel. I doubt that they would ever do it, but it would be neat to have them also note how much interest you’d have to pay in that period of time. I did a rough calculation of ours and figured that it would cost us more than $72000 in interest over the hundred years. And that’s with a “low interest” card. Yikes!


John Saddington February 13, 2011 at 7:25 pm

love this. no debt is awesome debt.
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Larry Hehn February 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Wow, so glad to have you stop by, John! Yep, I’m looking forward to having that debt behind us. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University was a huge help.


Sam Van Eman February 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

Morning, Larry. I’ve always been so afraid of credit cards that we have very little debt. But I love to hear success stories and to cheer for my friends who go through this or that financial course (Financial Peace is a good example). Congrats to you and your wife for taking on this behemoth.

In the italics above you invited us to click to see “how” you planned to do that. Where’s the how?
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Larry Hehn February 15, 2011 at 9:30 am

Oops, sorry about that Sam. The “how” is basically by paying much more than just the minimum payment each month. Following the suggestions of Financial Peace University, my wife and I have actually taken on some extra part-time work over and above our day jobs, and all that money is being paid down onto the card. It’s so nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel!


Sam Van Eman February 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Thanks for the reply. Press on!
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