Minimum Payments: A Monster That Will Eat You Alive

Using credit cards comes with plenty of traps, but none is as deep — or easy to fall into — as minimum payments. Card issuers make it seem so easy: even if you owe thousands of dollars, you could settle that monthly bill with a minimum payment that’s just a small percentage of your actual balance. Minimum payments can be as low as 1.5%, so you could pay less than $100 on a balance that’s in the four digits!

This visualization of the disastrous effects of making minimum payments.