When you finish your shopping marathon, here’s consumer alert. Next month when you pay off your credit card bill you'll have to dig deeper into your pocket.
Get ready for some changes coming from the credit card. Right now minimum credit card payments are around two percent, and that low rate has encouraged Americans to spend, but now so many people are in debt. Credit card companies are trying to help people out.
Tony and Kimberly Harris are doing some holiday shopping for their children and grandchildren. They usually shop last minute, but they don't usually use cash.
"Instead of using credit cards, we're using cash ‘cause we overdid it last year," said Tony Harris.
Kimberly says it took them almost a year to pay off last year's bills, but not everyone is paying in cash, and holiday shoppers who pay with plastic now will have some shock later. Starting in January minimum monthly payments are going up.
Bob Lotane with the Florida Department of Financial Services has some advice.
"Write down every time you use that credit card so you have a running tally of what you're actually spending and it’s not a surprise afterward."
Paying with credit cards could become more dangerous if you don't have the money to pay it off. In the long run though, credit card companies say the increase from two to four percent will help keep people out of debt.
"The large amount of credit card debt in the country has been an issue, and it’s something we're always concerned about," said Lotane
That's why the credit card companies are trying to pitch in. Although the increase may be hard to take at first, it's a good way for people to pay off their balances quicker and keep them out of debt in the future.
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