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By Michael D. 

Here's the part that's comforting: nearly half of all Americans carry credit card debt. In fact, the average household owes about $6,000 according to CNBC. So how is it we rack up all of this debt? As it turns out, it's those interest rates that will get you and gouge you.

Just how costly is it? Personal finance site NerdWallet crunched the numbers and determined the interest costs of paying off debt. It assumed credit card debt of $6,081 and an interest rate of 14.99 percent.

Here's the breakdown of how much interest would accrue if you:

Just make the minimum payment: $4,064
Make double the minimum payment: $1,509
Make the minimum payment plus $100: $1,409

Essentially, you want to pay off the balance in full every month. That's not always doable, especially if you've needed to use the card for a costly emergency. However, even tacking on $50 to $100 extra per month will chip away at the balance.

NerdWallet also notes that only paying the minimum means you'll be in the red for years.

Here's how long it would take to pay off $6,081 worth of credit card debt if you:

Just make the minimum payment: 169 months (about 14 years)
Make double the minimum payment: 65 months (about 5.5 years)
Make the minimum payment plus $100: 41 months (about 3.5 years)

The sooner you begin paying off your credit card debt, the better. Carrying a balance not only grows interest, it also has a negative impact on your credit score. Avoid throwing away money on interest; your bank account (and your credit score) will thank you. Don’t spend 14 years in the red - start paying that debt off today!