The minimum payment will increase each year through 2025.
Quebecers will have to pay more to cover the minimum monthly payments on their credit cards. On August 1, the rate will increase by half a percent to 3.5%. That amount will go up every year until it hits 5% by 2025, as part of measures adopted by the National Assembly in 2017 to prevent debt problems.
While it may seem counterintuitive to increase payment amounts to improve financial literacy, the change aims to encourage people to pay their full credit card balance monthly to avoid added charges and to help those with difficulty paying a higher minimum amount before they fall into immense debt.
The Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC) notes that having difficulty making the minimum payment on your credit card is a sign you might need help from a consumer association that provides free, confidential services to people facing financial difficulties.
\u201c\u00c0 partir du 1er ao\u00fbt prochain, le paiement minimum exig\u00e9 sur votre carte de cr\u00e9dit passera \u00e0 3,5 % de votre solde d\u00fb si votre contrat a \u00e9t\u00e9 conclu avant ao\u00fbt 2019. L\u2019augmentation du paiement minimum vise \u00e0 pr\u00e9venir les probl\u00e8mes d\u2019endettement. https://t.co/lhLesCshM0\u201d— OPC (@OPC) 1657215620
The province has also introduced an online calculator that can determine the time it will take to repay credit card debt if you only pay the minimum amount owed every month.
A credit card with a balance of $1,000 (and a rate of 19.9%) will be paid off in 10 years and 11 months if someone pays the minimum 3% payment every month.
The added charges total $979.87. Meanwhile, increasing the minimum monthly pay rate by 3.5% means that the same person would pay off their debt in 8 years and 11 months, with only $747.80 in added charges. With a 5% minimum payment, that would be down to 6 years and $441.87 in credit charges.
Since August 2019, all new credit card contracts must require minimum payments of no less than 5% of a balance.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.