Prepare Yourself for a Slew of New Credit Card Fees

With the new regulations on the credit companies, you may see some new fees popping up in the next few months.

It was only a few months ago when the Credit CARD (Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act) went into effect. At the time, it was praised as a piece of legislation that was sure to protect credit card holders from unfair interest rates, fees and other charges that just didn’t seem right. But, just like everything else where the federal government butts in, the problem has become worse. Many of the credit card companies have found loopholes and ways around the legislation to recoup the money they were losing from these new guidelines. And now you – the consumer – may suffer as a result. Here are some penalties and fees you may expect in the upcoming months from your credit card company due to the Credit CARD legislation.

Late Fees
As a result of the new legislation, your credit card company can no longer fault you and charge you a late fee on weekends or holidays because there is no mail delivery. However, credit card companies do accept payments seven days a week. This means that if your payment is due on a Sunday, you should make sure it is paid on or before that day whether you do it over the phone or online. Otherwise, you could see your interest rate increase on top of getting charged a late fee.

Annual Fees
Wasn’t that a great deal to sign up for that new credit card with no annual fees? Well, think again because the new guidelines have driven many card companies to charge annual fees on their cards even if it didn’t have a fee when you first signed up for it. Credit card companies can change their rules quite easily so look for this on all of your cards.

Minimum Payments
According to the new guidelines, credit card companies can no longer raise your annual percentage rates if you make on time payments. However, they can make you pay higher minimum payments each month. Be prepared for this in the months to come.

Penalty Fees
It is more difficult for credit card companies to charge penalty fees to customers for violating the contract. This could include late payments, charging more than the allowed limit and other infractions. Card issuers can charge more than the normal rate if they can justify the charge. This isn’t always easy for them to pull off, but it can be done…and it’s legal.

Miscellaneous Fees

Some other fees you may now incur that you didn’t before could include fees to transfer balances, overseas transactions and fees for cash advances. Read each card issuer’s agreement so you can know what to expect and make the proper adjustments in your budget to help keep your credit score as high as possible.

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