Credit cards are set up so that you don’t have to pay interest on purchases as long as you pay off the statement balance by the due date.

You can make more purchases immediately after the Credit card statement period ends without paying interest. You pay off those purchases the following month.

But if you’re carrying a balance, that arrangement goes out the window. Instead, you pay interest on all purchases from the moment each transaction hits your account. To break the cycle of interest, you have to pay off everything -- the previous statement balance, any new purchases that you haven’t been billed for yet and interest on all of it.

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