Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

June 04, 2009 12:17 ET

FCAC Launches Credit Card Payment Calculator

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 4, 2009) - Making only the minimum payment against credit card balances could be costing Canadians a lot of money in interest charges. To help consumers better understand the advantages of paying off the balance on their credit cards as quickly as possible, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has launched a new interactive tool called the Credit Card Payment Calculator.

"A number of consumers are not fully aware of the consequences of paying only the minimum amount set by their credit card issuer. Many of them do not realize that they will end up paying a lot in interest," noted FCAC Commissioner Ursula Menke.

The Credit Card Payment Calculator compares three payment options: the minimum payment required, the minimum payment required plus an additional amount and a fixed monthly amount higher than the minimum payment. Once all the data are entered in the calculator, it figures out the amount of interest, the total amount paid and any money saved with the repayment option chosen. Depending on their financial situation, consumers can change the data entered to see how they can minimize their interest charges.

"By seeing the results obtained with the Credit Card Payment Calculator, consumers will gain a better understanding of the financial consequences of not paying off their credit card balance and can choose the method of payment that best suits them," added Commissioner Menke.

Consumers will be able to access the Credit Card Payment Calculator and give their feedback by visiting the FCAC's Web site www.moneytools.ca. The calculator complements the interactive tool Credit Cards and You, which helps consumers choose the credit card that best meets their needs. Also available on the Agency's Web site are two publications entitled Managing Your Money: How to Save with a Credit Card and Getting the Most from Your Credit Card, which explain how to save on interest charges by making early payments between statements, and describe the risks and benefits of credit cards. For more information, consumers can also contact FCAC by calling toll-free 1-866-461-3222 (or 1-866-914-6097 for TTY service for the deaf and hearing impaired).

About FCAC

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada provides consumers with objective, timely information to help them choose the financial products and services that best meet their needs. FCAC also informs Canadians about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with financial institutions. It ensures that federally regulated banks and trust, loan and insurance companies comply with consumer protection laws and agreements.

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