Are you smarter than a credit card? You’re not if you’re not paying off more than what the credit card company requires you to each month.
Say you’re $10,000 in debt. Assuming a 19.9% APR, if you pay $500 a month, you’ll pay it off in 2 years. Only pay $200? 9 years, and that $10,000 will cost you a total of $21,661. Only pay $60? You’ll be paying off the credit card until you die, never being able to get ahead of the accumulated interest.
Scary numbers make brain hurt, so use John Maeda’s free online tool which not only calculates the impact of different minimum payments, but also lays it out in a more digestible and visual fashion.