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 50ยข 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...

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