The CARD Act modified what credit cards need to disclose to you on your monthly statements. One requirement was a Minimum Payment warning:

Minimum Payment Warning: If you make only the minimum payment each period, you will pay more in interest and it will take you longer to pay off your balance. For example:

Minimum Payment Warning

If we apply these rules to the current national debt, using this following assumptions:

Fill in the boxes

(note: The first box contains the minimum payment and 3-year payoff amounts. The middle box contains the total years to pay off the debt paying only the minimum payment, and 3-years. The last box is the total cost of the debt after paying it off and the 3-year difference savings.)

1 Answer 1


I finally found an Amortization Schedule Calculator that will accept figures as large as the U.S. National debt. I used the following figures (let me know if I made an error):

  • National Debt, including Intergovernmental Holdings, $16,432,646,968,419
  • The current Annual Interest Rate, 2.5230%
  • Minimum Payment of Interest + 2% (payback 50 years), $48,227,027,367

Not that I think it is possible to pay off the debt in 3 years, as it would require payments of $5.6 trillion per year, but I have included those numbers. The calculator is quite flexible, for example you can enter the number of total U.S. adults. And assuming everyone pays there fair share and stomach the $206 or $2022 monthly payments, each person is obligated to pay $123,320 versus $72,789 (3-year savings = $50,531).

Box 1 is $48,227,027,367 and $474,434,596,403

Box 2 is 50 years and 3 years.

Box 3 is $28,936,216,420,037 and $17,079,645,470,512 (Savings = $11.86 trillion)

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