Credit Card

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New Rules for Consumer Credit Cards

North Central Bank wants consumers to be aware of new rules governing penalty fees and rate increases on personal credit cards that is effective August 22, 2010. These changes do not apply to traditional corporate cards.

Beginning August 22nd, your credit card provider may only charge reasonable penalty fees. Specifically, you cannot be charged:

  • A late payment fee of more than $25, unless:
  • one of your last six payments was late, in which case your fee may be up to $35; or
  • the costs incurred as a result of late payments justify a higher fee.
  • A late payment fee that is greater than your minimum payment. For example, if your minimum payment is $20, your late payment fee cannot be more than $20.
  • More than one fee for a single event or transaction. For example, you cannot be charged more than one fee for a single late payment.
  • Inactivity fees, such as fees for not using your card.

According to the new rules on rate increases, if your credit card provider raises your Annual Percentage Rate (APR), it must tell you why. It must re-evaluate that rate increase every six months and it must reduce your rate within 45 days after completing the evaluation, if appropriate.