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Publication #FAR9021

PowerPay Your Way out of Debt 1

Patricia Bartlett and Josephine Turner2

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Many of us carry an unpaid balance on our credit cards and think by paying the minimum amount suggested we'll get the card paid off. Not so: those minimum payment suggestions are for the credit card companies' benefit, not yours. The longer you take to pay and the higher your rate of interest, the more money the credit card company makes . . . and you may never pay it off!

However, there's a free, powerful new tool online called Powerpay ( that shows you how to knock your credit card balances down to zero by "teaming" up your payments.

Designed by Utah State University, the Powerpay website will give you workable methods to trim your credit costs. What seem to be small actions in dealing with credit debt can have far-reaching effects.

Powerpay begins by showing you how long it will take to pay off your current debts at your current payment schedule, and then shows you the impact of "power paying," paying off one card and then adding that amount to the payments you make on another credit card.

The site will show you how much you'll save if you pay off creditors with the highest interest rates first, or if you pay off creditors with the lowest balance first, or if you pay off creditors with the shortest term first. The total amount you pay each month won't be increased, but the pay-off could save you big bucks.

Listening, learning, and living together: it's the science of life. "Family Album" is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and of WUFT-FM. If you'd like to learn more, please visit our website at

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This document is FAR9021, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Broadcast as program 145 and published January 2008. Reviewed January 2015. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Patricia Bartlett, staff writer, and Josephine Turner, professor emeritus, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.