The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report showing that credit card issuers collectively charged $12 billion in late fees in 2020. The report makes several findings, including:
- Many of the major issuers charge the maximum late fee allowed under the immunity provisions set by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 2010.
- Subprime cards and private label cards are particularly susceptible to late fee charges.
- Late fee volume fell when stimulus check arrived in 2020 and 2021, particularly for household with lower credit scores.
- Low-income areas, those with high shares of Black Americans, and lower economic mobility all bear more of the late fee burden.