Using a credit card repayment calculator makes managing your credit card easier. To use a credit card responsibly, it is smart to stay on top of your repayments. A credit card can be an excellent tool for building good credit and making purchases. However, losing control of your spending can have adverse effects. Read on for some information about credit cards and how to utilise a credit card repayment calculator.
Please note, specific ideas and products presented in this article may not be on offer by Monzi nor the lenders we work with. This article presents only general information. Consider seeking professional financial, taxation, legal or other advice to check how the information and ideas presented on this website relate to your unique circumstances.
How does a credit card work?
Whenever you swipe your credit card, you are borrowing money from the bank to cover the cost of your goods or services. Therefore, at the end of your statement period, the bank will require you to repay whatever you owe.
You can obtain a credit card from most banks in Australia. However, it is common to receive a credit card from global credit companies such as Mastercard. While the premise of a credit card is fundamental, there are a plethora of cards potentially available. Hence, finding the best credit card can get complicated.
With this in mind, it may be best to consider shopping around and evaluating all of your options before picking a card.
Why would you get a credit card?
In an ideal world, one could operate solely on debit and never need to even apply for a credit card. However, in the real world, there are instances where a credit card can be useful. Several companies won’t always accept credit cards, such as car rental companies. Excluding debit cards as an option, however, is becoming less frequent.
Another potential reason you might want a credit card is to utilise rewards points that that card may offer. You may have heard of frequent flyer points some cards offer. However, you can also potentially get home insurance, shopping deals and accommodation deals when paying with your card.
The final reason to apply for a credit card is to help rebuild a good credit score. In Australia, you don’t necessarily need to have made credit card purchases to qualify for large loans. However, if you must repair your credit score, then making responsible credit purchases may help you restore it.
The pros and cons of a credit card
If you don’t yet own a credit card, or believe you are not using yours to its potential, consider the following pros and cons.
- Earn rewards points: Everyone likes saving money, and earning rewards points may allow you to save money on other costs in the long run. Keep in mind that credit cards that offer these benefits may come with higher interest. So, weigh up the costs and benefits to determine if it’s right for you.
- May be helpful in an emergency: Cash emergencies happen. Not everyone always has the cash lying around to deal with them. Having a credit card can help to cover costs in a tight situation between paychecks.
- Interest-free days: Some cards come with potential interest-free periods where you will be exempt from paying any interest on your card. Please note that you must repay the entire balance by the end of the statement period to maintain your interest-free period.
- Accompanying insurance: Some cards may offer you insurance on qualifying purchases, such as car rental or travel insurance. Helpful if you are trying to save money on an upcoming holiday.
- Extra fees: One of the significant disadvantages of credit cards is the additional fees that accompany them. You may save yourself far more, long-term, by merely paying with debit or cash.
- May potentially hurt your credit score: debt is debt, and if you don’t repay it, it may negatively affect your credit score. If you haven’t made a payment by the deadline of 14 days after your due date, the bank considers your payment missed and a makes a note on your report. To prevent this, use a credit card repayment calculator before completing your application.
- Accompanying interest: If you haven’t paid the entire balance by the due date, interest will begin applying. The interest that applies to credit cards is relatively high unless you have a card that is specifically ‘low-interest’.
How can a credit card repayment calculator help you?
Having established that there are some excellent reasons to place a credit card application, it might be smart to consider your repayments. If you think you will need to be very organised to stay on top of your repayments, you could consider using a credit card repayment calculator.
You can find these credit card repayment calculators for free on many websites. However, if you’re looking for a good one, try the Moneysmart credit card calculator. This calculator will ask you to enter the amount that you owe, along with the interest rate on your card.
Once you’ve done this, the calculator will tell you what your minimum repayments should be per the generated timeline. It will also tell you how much you would pay if you made higher repayments over the period. It will allow you to compare credit cards and what you can potentially save depending on whether you choose higher repayments or not.
Credit card repayment calculator: interest
When you use your credit card, your interest collects on top of what you have to pay back. It may be smart to pay off your credit card debt as quickly as possible, to reduce accumulated interest. It is hard to say what the interest rate may be on the card you choose. However, you can expect the rates to range from 10% per annum to 20% per annum.
You may be able to obtain a card with no or low-interest rates. Although, this is often not permanent, as it usually is for an introductory period. Interest calculates on several factors. Firstly, different transactions types correlate with varying rates of interest. Secondly, your rate calculates on daily fees, outstanding balances, interest from the previous month, promotions, and cash advances.
At the end of your statement period, the interest gets charged. This statement period is typically a month long. The month lengths do vary, which means there is potential for fluctuation in your billing cycle. When you choose to make your repayments, that money will go towards whichever debt has the highest interest rate. It will then work down from there.
A credit card interest calculator does not necessarily exist, as your card provider will tell you the interest rate. If you want to work out what your repayments will be with your card’s given rate, you can use a credit card repayment calculator.
Making credit card repayments
When it comes to repaying credit card debt, your provider should have a few options available. You can either repay the minimum, the entirety or an in-between amount of your choice.
Paying the minimum allows you to pay as little as possible without incurring a late payment fee. If you are struggling to make ends meet for the month, this may be a good option. Paying the entire amount is the best option as you will avoid having to make payment fees. You will also bypass having to pay any interest. If you had any interest free periods, you might even be able to retain these if you pay in entirety.
Paying an in-between amount, however, means that you will most likely accrue purchase interest. Whenever you pay anything less than the entirety, purchase interest applies, meaning it also adds to minimum repayments. Choosing an in-between amount means you will likely lose any interest-free periods that you may have been holding onto. You can use a credit card repayment calculator to help you decide what kind of repayment to make.
Typically, you can make your repayments in a branch, online, over the phone, or through the provider’s app if they have one.
Credit limits on your card
All credit cards come with a limit concerning how much you can spend with them. Your limit may change depending on the card you choose. Typically, your limit depends on your credit history and income. You may be able to request a specific limitation; however, the other factors may overrule this.
Upon application, you may also receive the option of allowing the bank to increase your limit. It may be smart to deny this if you frequently overspend. If you are very disciplined, however, this could be a useful feature for you. Keep in mind also, that minimum limits may apply to the card you choose. Ensure that, if applicable, the minimum limit is reasonable.
Credit limits: continued
It is essential to do your best to avoid going over your limit. Spending beyond your maximum credit means your bank will charge you the ‘over-limit’ amount. Which means that if your limit is exceeded by $500, then you will owe $500. However, if you go over your limit on top of overdue payment, then the bank will most likely take the more significant amount and then add it to your expenses for the statement period.
You most likely won’t be able to find a credit card limit calculator; however, you can give yourself an idea of what it may potentially be. Consider the state of your credit, employment and income. Along with the card itself and the limit you would like to request. If your creditworthiness isn’t good, you may need to consider lowering your standards if you choose to apply.
Credit card repayment calculator: covering the minimum repayments
As mentioned above, you can choose to pay the minimum amount if necessary. Instead of looking for a credit card minimum payment calculator, the standard credit card repayment calculator will generate this information.
It should tell you what your minimum repayments will be and what any potential higher repayment will mean for you. Consider keeping in mind that paying the minimum may mean you will have to pay purchase interest as well.
What’s a credit card surcharge?
When choosing to pay with credit instead of cash or debit, surcharges may apply at certain stores. If you have never heard of this concept, a surcharge is an extra fee that may be added to the cost of your goods or services when you pay with credit or EFTPOS. Generally, you have to pay a surcharge to cover the businesses cost to process your payment.
In Australia, it is common to see surcharges specifically for people using an American Express card to pay. American Express charges retailers more to process their transactions than other credit card companies. However, the Australian government has strict regulations surrounding surcharges to prevent excessive fees.
When it comes to figuring out your surcharge, there is no credit card surcharge calculator. However, charges shouldn’t exceed three per cent of your purchase. If you believe you have encountered a business misusing surcharging, you may report them. Otherwise, you can get around surcharges by using cash.
How do you pick a good credit card?
Before you go about choosing the credit card for you, consider first working out how much you can pay off per month. If you foresee yourself potentially struggling to pay the full balance, opt for a card with low fees and interest. From there, set an affordable limit. The temptation might be there to give yourself a higher limit; however, if you know you can’t repay, then this may hurt you.
Consider then weighing up some of the advantages and disadvantages of the card options available to you. Your choices are usually between store cards, rewards programs and extras like insurance. Store cards are cards like a Woolworths credit card that you can only use for Woolworths owned stores. Rewards programs include Frequent Flyer Points which may appeal to you if you travel a lot. Or extras such as various insurance or cashback offers.
Keep in mind that although these deals sound good on the surface, there is potential for you to end up paying more in the long run. Once you’ve chosen a card you think appeals to you, you can compare your various options online. A credit card repayment calculator may simplify this process.
Credit card calculators: the five C’s of credit
You may have heard this turn of phrase before. The five C’s of credit helps your lender determine your creditworthiness. As your creditworthiness needs examining when you apply for a credit card, it is also applicable here.
The five C’s are capacity, capital, character, collateral, and conditions. The definition of these are:
- Capacity: this criterion determines how much you can borrow and what your lender believes you can repay. In terms of credit cards, capacity will help determine your credit limit. You can use a credit card repayment calculator to help work out your capacity.
- Capital: typically this C is regarding the deposit a borrower puts down for a loan. Meaning that it does not apply significantly to credit cards. However, if you will be seeking other loans (e.g. a first home loan), then you should keep this point in mind.
- Character: this relates to how the lender or provider perceives you. Essentially character is the reflection you have of how well you manage your finances. For example, whether or not you pay your debts back and actively work towards good credit.
- Collateral: also referred to as security, collateral is not necessarily applicable to credit cards. However, if you choose to take a proper loan, you will most likely need to provide some form of security.
- Conditions: the terms you must meet. In this case, your words may be that you must make your repayments by the deadline and that you should not go over your credit limit.
Credit card bonus features
As mentioned, the majority of credit cards come with extra features and bonuses to incentivise you. You can have store bonuses, rewards programs or extras that also require additional payment.
Rewards programs work through banks partnering with a retailer or partnered airline. They operate on an earn rate. The earn rates for different cards and services are not the same; however, they can run on a point per dollar system. Some cards on offer may come with a cap on the number of points you can accrue. If you hit this cap, your earn rate may change. For example, it may become one point per $1.50.
Complimentary insurance is an extra on some cards. If you meet their requirements, you may be able to receive insurance on transit accidents, purchase protection, and international travel.
Store bonuses, or retail reward credit cards, are cards belonging to retailers and supermarkets that may offer you discounts, points, and extra points when you use their credit with them.
Should I get a credit card with bonus features?
The pros of a credit card that offers you incentives include getting points for the money you were going to spend anyway. These cards also come with introductory deals and ongoing perks that may make your shopping more worthwhile. The cons, however, are that you will have an increased temptation to spend and that in the long run, you may end up overspending.
It’s essential to do the calculations on what you will be spending before taking a credit card. They are often designed to look good on the surface level but can be more of a hindrance than initially anticipated. Use a credit card repayment calculator to do this.
Should I use a credit card or a personal loan?
Sometimes, if you’re just looking for a bit of extra cash, you may be able to take a small personal loan instead of using a credit card.
A personal loan may be a good alternative if the amount of money you require exceeds your credit limit. Using a credit card will give you faster access to the cash as you can swipe and go. However, personal loans can provide you with access to a more considerable sum and can be approved reasonably quickly.
If you are interested in using a personal loan as a credit card alternative, consider letting Monzi find you a lender. Our painless process may result in your match to a lender for a personal loan in potentially 60 minutes. Apply now from $300 to $10,000.
Do you need a credit card calculator to build good credit?
Despite what you may have heard about the American 401k and that you must make credit purchases if you want to buy a house; in Australia, this is a myth. You can build your credit history here, without requiring a credit card.
While holding a credit card can make your life easier, paying your bills and rent on time, and paying for large purchases with debit, proves you have adequate money management skills. All your lender wants is to see that you can save well and that you will not be a liability.
Using a credit card repayment calculator can make keeping on top of credit card debt simpler.
How to successfully apply for a credit card?
So, perhaps you’ve used the credit card repayment calculator to work out what you can repay. Now, you just need to apply. The minimum requirements for a credit card are that you are at least 18, have a good credit history, are an Australian citizen, and meet income requirements.
Once you have ticked all these boxes, there are several documents you will also need to apply. You will need:
- Employment information
- Evidence of income such as payslips
- Documentation of your expenses
- The contact details of a friend or relative
- A list of your assets and liabilities
Once you have progressed through all the above, before approval, you have a few more decisions to make. You will need to nominate your desired credit limit, whether you’ll need a balance transfer, and whether you require additional cardholders for the account.
Can pensioners get credit cards?
For pensioners, it can be quite challenging to obtain a credit card. Because, when it comes to lending money, if you are in the pensioner demographic, the bank may see you as more high risk. Typically, this is a result of this age group not qualifying in the income-related field.
The legislation states that banks cannot discriminate by age. However, pensioners can struggle despite this. One option for pensioners is to take a low-interest rate credit card. Low-interest cards often require a smaller minimum income than other types of cards.
Assets may help with your approval. So, if you are a pensioner with a reasonable share portfolio, this could benefit your application. When credit card hunting, try looking specifically for options available to pensioners, as many banks may have options available. Using a credit card repayment calculator will help you work out what you will potentially have to pay on the card of your choice.
Should you cancel your credit card?
You may have a credit card sitting in your wallet that you feel you never actually use. The question is, should you cancel it? If you want to avoid annual fees, or you think it’s enabling you to overspend then the answer is most likely yes. However, this doesn’t mean you get to chuck it in the bin. The following are the step you should take before cancelling your card:
Credit card repayments: pay off your balance
If possible, pay the balance off straight away. If not, contact a financial advisor for help. You may have the option of transferring the balance to a card that you are using. If the card is joint and is in more than one name, both parties must agree to cancel the card for it to progress. You can use the credit card repayment calculator to work out how long it will take to repay.
Be done with direct debit
Suppose you subscribe to any direct debit services through the card. Such as an automatic system for paying for phone data or a weekly meal delivery service. If you want these payments to resume, ensure you switch to the card you will be using.
Get confirmation of your cancellation
Typically you can cancel your card online. However, if you cancel over the phone, it may be smart to confirm that the bank did cancel it correctly. To do this simply, consider making a note of the time and date you called. If you don’t receive confirmation that this account has been closed within two weeks, follow up with an email. In the email, include your account details and list the date and time of the original call.
Get your credit refunded
Don’t let your provider keep your money. If your credit card has a positive balance when you close it, contact your provider and ask to have this amount refunded to an account you use.
Cut the card up
Ensure you sufficiently destroy your card. Shred it or cut it with scissors to prevent someone from using it again.
Online credit card repayment comparisons
Along with being able to use a credit card repayment calculator, you can also use a credit card comparison tool to make life easier. You can locate one of these comparison tools by merely searching ‘credit card comparison’, and the results should give you multiple free sites for you to choose from.
These sites typically allow you to select the desired features you are interested in. From there, it will generate a line of products along with the percentages for their purchase rate, balance transfer and annual fees where applicable. You should be able to enter your monthly spend, and the comparison tool will tell you how much you can save, or how many rewards points you can earn.
Card comparisons simplify locating the credit card that is right for you.
What should you be using your credit card for?
While you can use your credit card for virtually anything, there are some situations where it may be smart to use them. For example, if you are planning a trip away and want to save some money with frequent flyer points. Or if you are tight on cash for the month and need to get through the last few days leading up to payday.
They may also be a good choice if you are trying to improve your credit score. However, ensure you use your card correctly and pay it off on time so that you do more good than damage. Using the credit card repayment calculator may help you avoid this problem from the beginning.
Credit card repayment calculator: consider a personal loan instead?
As mentioned, sometimes a personal loan can be an excellent alternative to a credit card. Whether it’s because you need more than your limit can provide, or because it’s simply a one-off issue, Monzi is here to help.
We cannot help you get a credit card, and we don’t offer a credit card repayment calculator. However, we are 100% online and paperwork free. So, if you’re looking for quick cash, all you need to do is hit ‘Apply Now’. Enter some necessary details, and from there, we will do our best to match you to a lender who may be able to help.
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Please keep in mind that if you are struggling with your credit card debt or debt of any sort, you should speak with a professional. Call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.
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