Most of us search for ways to put our hard-earned money to work. This usually involves finding the right balance between risk and reward through investing in some combination of stocks, mutual funds, GICs, real estate, and so on.

Sometimes, however. the simplest and best return for your family is sitting right in front of you: credit card debt.

As of September 2019, the average Canadian household holds $4,240 in credit card debt. The average credit card interest rate in Canada is 19%. If you paid off that credit card, you’d give yourself a 19% return on your money. It’s that simple.

If you have no credit card debt but you have a line of credit, student loans, consolidation loans, or a mortgage, you could guarantee a rate of return equal to the interest you pay on that financing. For example, paying off student loan debt of 7% would equal a 7% rate of return.

You’d be hard-pressed to find that return anywhere else without leveraging yourself or taking on some sort of risk to your initial capital investment. Of course, paying off your credit card might mean sacrificing vacations, nights out, and even making some tough choices, but not paying off your credit card is costing you massive amounts of money.

For example, if you are average and carry $4,240 of credit card debt at 19% interest, making just the minimum payment of $68 a month would take 23.2 years to pay off. That means you’d end up paying $14,646 in interest.

Getting rid of this debt is the best bang for your buck with a guaranteed return on your money, 19% to be exact, and no risk.

It’s something to think about.

Credit cards have their purpose. They’re convenient. They offer rewards programs. But don’t trade in the convenience and those rewards for hard-earned cash.

If you’re carrying high-interest debt and want us to look at a solution for you, we should talk. It doesn’t hurt that interest rates have dropped in the past 30 days.