Tonya Papanikolas ReportingCredit counselors say holiday shoppers may have a harder time staying on budget this year because the minimum monthly credit card payments are going up. Unfortunately, not everyone knows about the change.
The American Credit Foundation here in Salt Lake says most people don't know about the federal credit mandate and it could have a big impact on their finances when the holiday shopping season is said and done.
Christmas shoppers are already fulfilling their lists, many of them with credit cards. But if you haven't heard yet, the federal government required credit card companies to increase their minimum monthly payments.
Most customers will now have to pay double what their minimum payment was before. The changes have to take place by the end of the year, so shoppers will see the effects in December and January.
Take into account that the national average for holiday spending is 1,000-dollars and the changes could be financially devastating for some.
Mike Peterson, American Credit Foundation: "Put that into perspective, $1,000, that's a lot of money to make up for when the payments come due. This new mandate is going to be an emergency for a lot of people."
The American Credit Foundation says people may have to spend less on gifts this year. They recommend individuals set a holiday budget and take it with them when they shop.
They also say it's a great idea to track your spending for seven days, writing down everything you buy. Then you can look back on what you really need versus the extras you're purchasing that you just want.