Online Calculator for Credit Card Purchases

Paying with a credit card may cost you more than you think.  Depending on how fast you pay off your credit card bill, the interest could exceed the sale or coupon you used in the purchase.  Find out exactly how much that credit card annual percentage rate (APR) will cost you with this easy online calculator. This free online calculator is provided by Jeff Atwater, State of Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, on his website http://www.myfloridacfo.com/YMM/Calculators/CostOfCredit.aspx.  Enter the purchase price, APR, and amount you plan to pay each month, then the calculator will show you how much total interest you will owe, and how many months it will take to pay off the purchase with interest. You may want to adjust how much you are willing to spend on the initial purchase (get a less expensive item), or be more aggressive at paying your credit card bill (pay more each month).  Knowing how much (and for how long) you will be paying can help you make better budgetary decisions for your financial fitness and overall purchasing power.   Read More

Payday Loans: The Poor Get Poorer

If it looks too good to be true, it is probably a payday loan.  While payday loans have to disclose in a dollar amount and annual percentage rate regarding how much they cost to borrow, they also rely on repeat business to extend the loan, costing the consumer a rate of nearly 400 percent or more.  Whether or not the borrower understands that, it costs them money. Payday storefronts outnumber Starbucks by about two to one, but do not tend to be located in the same neighborhoods.  Marketed towards low-income demographics, the loans build a clientele on recycled debt rather than a long-term positive impact.  Repeat borrowers make up 98% of payday loan volume. Payday loans are on the watch list for the Federal Trade Commission as well as the Center for Responsible Lending because they are a great way to make money…if you are the lender. A payday loan is a cash advance secured by personal check or paid by electronic transfer.  You write a check for the amount you want to borrow plus the fee for borrowing the money.  The lender gives you the amount borrowed and agrees to hold your check until your next payday.  However, if […] Read More