On this month's credit card statement, there was a large notice that read, "Important Information About Your Minimum Payment."
"Your account is currently enrolled in a program that has temporarily reduced your required monthly minimum payment," it said.
Really? I didn't recall enrolling my account in any program.
It continued, "This benefit (emphasis added) was implemented on your account to provide you with some extra breathing room in your budget."
The new minimum payment was the previous month's interest, plus $1.
The true depth of this benefit isn't really obvious. Fortunately, the credit card law Congress passed last year now requires the companies to do the math for customers:
That's no typo.
If I make only the minimum payment requested by the company, it will take me One Thousand, Six Hundred and Seventeen YEARS to pay off the bill.
Or, they helpfully note, I can send in the original minimum payment each month for just three years, and save myself $282,022.
Wow. Imagine what I can do with all that savings. Not to mention all the postage stamps.