What is negative amortization?

Amortization means paying off a loan with regular payments. Negative amortization means that even when you pay your minimum payment, because you are not paying the interest, the amount you owe will still go up. Your lender may offer you the choice to make a minimum payment that doesn’t cover the interest you owe. The unpaid interest gets added to the amount you borrowed, and the amount you owe increases.

Certain loans have payment options that let you pay only a portion of the amount of interest you owe each month. If you only pay some of the interest, the amount that you do not pay may get added to your principal balance. Then you end up paying not only interest on the money you borrowed, but interest on the interest you are being charged for the money you borrowed. This dramatically increases the amount of debt you have and the cost of the loan. To keep your debt from growing, try to pay down all of the interest and at least some of the principal you owe.

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