The objective of this research was to understand credit card users’ reactions to a recent proposal to limit credit card late fees to $8. Research was designed to assess:

  • Awareness of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposal
  • Levels of concern about potential effects of the proposal
  • Attitudes about credit card late fees
  • Opinions about the CFPB proposal
  • Tradeoff between fees and interest rates
  • Trusted sources of information on the subject of credit card late fees
  • Credit card usage behaviors


A nationally representative online survey was conducted of 1,301 consumers ages 18 and older.

  • The survey was fielded from February 27 to March 7, 2023
  • Respondents were drawn using non-probability quota sampling from a pre-recruited online panel
  • Data were weighted by gender, age, and region to be representative of Census distributions for the population 18 and older

Key Takeaways

A majority (52%) of all credit card users are concerned that lowering the limit on credit card late fees to $8 will result in credit card companies increasing fees and interest rates for all credit card users, including those who pay on time.

A majority (56%) say that, if the CFPB proposal would result in increased credit card costs for all cardholders, they would be against the proposal.

More than four out of five credit card users agree that late fees incentivize consumers to pay on time (85%) and that it’s fair to charge a late fee to people who don‘t pay their credit cards on time (82%).

71% of credit card holders agree that late fees are necessary so credit card companies can cover the risks and costs of late payments.

Given a choice between two options, most cardholders (64%) say they would prefer a credit card with a lower interest rate and higher late fees, while only 15% say they would prefer a card with a higher interest rate and lower late fees, and 20% have no opinion.

Download the survey findings