Monday, August 23, 2010

Final phase of federal law restricting credit card fees, interest rates begins8

Washington Post
August 22, 2010

The final phase of the landmark federal legislation that placed new restrictions on credit card interest rates and fees takes effect Sunday. Though the bulk of the law's provisions were enacted earlier this year, there are still a few important changes you need to be aware of:

Limiting penalty fees

The law required the Federal Reserve to write regulations outlining how much credit card companies can hit you with for things such as late payments or over-the-limit purchases. The new rules ban them from charging fees that are larger than the infraction. For example, if you are late on a $20 payment, your penalty fee cannot be more than $20. Or, let's say you spend $5 more than your max. The charge for that cannot be more than $5.

Banning certain fees

Issuers will no longer be able to charge you an inactivity fee for not using your card. They also can only charge you one fee per infraction. So if you make one late payment, they can you only ding you once.


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