Maximum fee rises to $38 for repeat late fees

Federal regulator imposes $1 increase to fix a miscalculation


Maximum penalties for a credit card late fee are going up immediately by $1 for repeat offenders, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Friday. The agency said it made a "miscalculation" in an inflation adjustment in 2015, when it dropped the maximum from $38 to $37.

The maximum is going back up to $38, according to the notice.

For first-time offenders, the maximum initial late fee is staying at $27. But for you recidivists, subsequent late fees on the account can be as high as $38, up from the previous limit of $37.

The limits, set by regulations under the Credit CARD Act of 2009, are adjusted annually for inflation. The rise in the ceiling for subsequent late fees corrects a miscalculation in last year's adjustment, the agency said. It will take effect once the update is published in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly.

The agency also kept the $1 threshold for disclosure of minimum interest charges. A card issuer can impose a minimum interest charge of up to $1 without disclosing it.

See earlier story: Maximum credit card late fee falls $1 for 2016, to $37


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Updated: 03-25-2019