If you can only make the minimum payment on your credit card now and again, it’s not a big deal but don’t make a habit of it.

I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute.

When money gets tight, many people decide to cut back by making only the minimum payment on their credit card. Unfortunately failing to pay more can increase the life and sum of your debt considerably.

Under the 2009 Credit Card Reform Act, all credit card bills must disclose how long it’ll take to pay off your balance when you make only the minimum payment versus a 3-year plan to pay off your debt. Next time you review your bill, take a moment to review the 3-year plan. You’ll  be shocked at how much longer it takes and how much you pay in interest when you just make minimum payments.

Only making the minimum payment can also damage your credit, since your amount of debt is a major credit scoring factor.

I’m Adam Levin. Come visit us at Credit.com and learn how to take control of your credit.