How Credit Cards Soak You
After getting socked with a late fee and finance charge on my Kohl's account in May, I called to plead my case. How could a $45.08 pair of sneakers result in a $70.58 charge? O.K., I was two days late. Still, the $25 late fee and 50Â¢ finance charge came to a whopping annualized penalty rate of more than 21,000%. A local loan shark would have cut me a better deal. The Kohl's rep's response: "It's perfectly legal, and everybody does it."
Turns out she was right, and so began my education in just how much my credit cards were costing me. Without getting too personal, let's just say my inattention has had a price. Yours might too--especially if, like me, you have been carrying around the same cards for years and have not bothered to check the fine print lately.