Seeking to combat the narrative that all fees are junk fees, the Consumer Bankers Association has released the results of a nationwide survey that reveals that 57% of consumers think that late fees assessed for not paying their credit card bills on time are legitimate and should not be considered junk fees.
More than three-quarters of those who were surveyed agreed with the statement that paying debts on time is a personal responsibility that everyone accepts when they get a credit card and that “it’s not fair to expect that I shouldn’t be penalized.”
In case people were thinking that consumers think all fees are legitimate, only 18% of consumers thought that a fee to select a seat on an airplane or check luggage were fair, only 16% don’t have a problem paying hotel resort fees, and only 12% like paying service or convenience fees when buying tickets online.
“As we all work to support hardworking families and small businesses struggling with economic headwinds, this survey confirms credit card late fees are not considered junk – they’re part of a financial framework millions of consumers rely on,” said Lindsey Johnson, the president and chief executive of the Consumer Bankers Association. “In fact, Americans overwhelmingly believe credit card late fees are legitimate, as opposed to fees charged in other sectors of the economy, value the service credit card issuers provide, and accept the responsibility of being a credit cardholder and paying on time.”
Nearly half of the consumers who were surveyed selected “I pay a late fee and nothing else happens until my next payment is due” when asked “which of the following actions do you believe happens if you pay your credit card bill 30+ days late?”
- 33% selected “my interest rate goes up to a temporary penalty rate”
- 31% chose “my credit score can go down by as many as 100 points”
- 26% chose “I lose access to special offers, like introductory low or 0% interest rates”
- 46% mistakenly believed “My credit score can go down a little, by 10 or fewer points”