Pros and Cons of Making Minimum Payments on Your Loan


Whether you’re dealing with credit cards, installment loans, mortgages, or any other online loans with monthly payments, understanding the significance of minimum payments is crucial. The minimum payment acts as a baseline, encompassing interest charges, additional fees, and a portion of the outstanding debt. However, relying solely on this minimum amount can significantly affect your credit scores and lead to substantial interest expenses. Click on to understand the importance of debt repayment.

This blog examines the benefits and drawbacks of making minimum payments to help you make informed decisions.

A Closer Look at How Minimum Monthly Payments Work

The minimum monthly payment represents the smallest amount credit card issuers, and online loan lenders accept toward each month’s outstanding balance. Paying at least this amount must be considered “on time” and avoid late fees and penalties. Failure to make the minimum payment on time may result in an increased interest rate imposed by the creditor.

Calculation: The minimum payment is typically calculated as a percentage of the outstanding balance or a fixed dollar amount, usually between 1% and 3% of the loan balance. It encompasses accrued interest and applicable fees.

For example, consider a borrower with a balance of $1,500, and the interest charges for the month are $20. The minimum payment is 1% of the credit ($15) plus the interest charges ($20), totaling $35.

Penalties for Late Payments: Not making the minimum monthly payment on time results in fines in the form of late fees, an increased APR (Penalty APR), and possible negative reporting to credit bureaus for delinquency. This negative reporting can occur after two full billing cycles or when the account is 60 days past due.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Making Minimum Payments

Let’s explore the pros and cons of making minimum payments on your monthly online loans:


  1. Building Credit History: Making the minimum payment contributes positively to your credit history by establishing a track record of on-time payments with credit issuers, which is vital in determining your credit score and overall creditworthiness.
  2. Avoiding Late Fees and Penalty APRs: Timely minimum payments ensure you steer clear of late fees and penalty APRs, which, if added to your credit card terms of service, could lead to unnecessary additional expenses.
  3. Managing Large Expenses: Timely minimum payments ensure you steer clear of late fees and penalty APRs, which, if added to your credit card terms of service, could lead to unnecessary additional expenses.
  4. Strategic Debt Repayment: Utilizing minimum payments may be beneficial when simultaneously paying down multiple debts. Focusing on credit cards with higher APRs while making minimum payments on those with lower APRs can be a wise approach to efficiently managing and reducing overall debt.


  1. Accumulation of Higher Interest: Opting for minimum payments results in paying significantly more in interest over time and increasing the overall cost of your original balance. It prolongs the duration of your debt repayment due to a small portion of the minimum payment allocated towards the principal balance, while the rest covers accrued interest and fees.
  2. Impact on Credit Utilization: Making only the minimum payment could negatively impact your credit utilization ratio—the percentage of available credit you’re using—which affects your credit score. High utilization ratios, sustained by minimum payments, may harm your creditworthiness, so increasing your monthly payments is advisable to maintain a healthier utilization ratio of 30% or lower.
  3. Extended Repayment Period: Choosing minimum payments extends the time required to pay off your loan balance, leading to prolonged debt obligations. Credit card issuers and lenders must disclose the projected years needed to pay off the balance with minimum payments, emphasizing the longer commitment required compared to higher payments.
  4. Encouragement of Overspending: The attraction of lower monthly payments may encourage borrowers to borrow more money, leading to increased debt. The false sense of affordability due to minimum payments can result in excessive spending and the potential for deeper financial strain.


While minimum payments can help you build a credit history and manage immediate financial needs, they can also lead to increased interest expenses and prolonged debt repayment. It’s crucial to balance making minimum payments and considering their long-term impact on your credit scores and overall financial well-being.

Amy Virgilio
Amy Virgilio is passionate about bringing new ideas and creativity through writing.

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