smart spending

It pays to get ahead of late fees

Don't make the same mistake twice
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Don't make the same mistake twice

Chronic procrastinators pay a higher price in the long run.

"The Fed approved a cap for late fees on credit cards, but the rule lets issuers charge a higher late fee of up to $35 if customers make more than one late payment," says Frank. "Credit card issuers can also change your annual percentage rate, or APR, to whatever they want on new charges and balances in the future. If you go 60 days late, they can change your APR on your total balance and you'll simply have to accept the consequences."

In addition, multiple late payments may prompt electric companies and cooperatives to demand additional substantial deposits and fees, without which they can disconnect your service.


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