I know the first question sounds stupid. I've currently 27 and have had a credit card for like a decade but I've always made sure that I lived within my means and would pay it off in full each month, so I've never had to pay interest and I don't know how it works. Eg. if a credit card has a $1,000 balance with a 19% interest rate, does that mean they are paying $190 in interest if they don't make the minimum payment? If they do make the minimum payment, how is interest calculated?
A bit of backstory. My boyfriend is 42 and lived most of his life without any bills since he lived with his parents. He makes more than I do but has no savings and has never learned about personal finance much. On the other hand, I was on my own at 17 so have always needed to pinch my pennies together to make ends meet. I do not have a lot of knowledge, but am trying to learn.
My boyfriend currently his credit card racked up between $4,000-5,000. His interest rate is 19%.
I used a line of credit to buy my car briefly and my rate was 8.5% (I ended up doing more research and realized that it was silly of me to have a line of credit of $4,000 when I had $5,000 in a low interest savings account – it took me a year to realize this and I shelled out a bunch in interest costs, but I suppose it was a learning curve).
From my limited knowledge, I would assume that taking out a line of credit and transferring his debt over would be a smarter choice. I have tried to encourage him to go to the bank and talk to someone but he won't, I suspect he is embarrassed that he is a bit older and is not being very great with his finances. I was intimidated asking at my age, so I totally get it. So I am trying to help him out as best as I can.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Any advice that isn't related to this specific topic is welcomed as well, the more knowledge the better!
I am in Canada if that matters.