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Credit card late fees could rise in 2014

Federal agency boosts penalty for occasional late payment to $26

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Inflation may be almost whipped, but there was enough of it last year to cause a $1 increase in the late fees that credit card issuers may charge to first-time offenders.

Starting Jan. 1, 2014, card issuers can charge $26 the first time you make a late payment, up from $25 in 2013, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau determined.  For each subsequent violation within six months, the allowed late fee is $37, up from $35. Late fees also cannot exceed the minimum payment due, under the Credit CARD Act of 2009.

However, if your card agreement specifies a minimum late fee that is set at the old threshold, that amount will remain in effect until you receive an updated agreement.  

Card issuers must also disclose if they charge any minimum interest charge of $1 or more per billing cycle. That disclosure threshold remains unchanged for 2014, the CFPB determined.

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 gives the CFPB the authority to annually update the allowed amounts of various credit card charges, based on changes in inflation.

Earlier story: Feds cap credit card late fees at $25

Published: January 6, 2014


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