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Over-Limit Fee


An over-limit fee is a charge that a credit card company applies when a cardholder spends more than their established credit limit. It’s a penalty imposed to deter customers from overspending the approved line of credit. The fee varies between different card issuers and may not be applied by some, following regulations established by the Credit CARD Act of 2009.


The phonetic transcription of “Over-Limit Fee” is: /ˈoʊvər ˈlɪmɪt fi:/

Key Takeaways

1. Definition: An Over-Limit fee is a charge that a credit card company imposes on a cardholder who exceeds their allocated credit limit. This fee is levied when the cardholder makes a purchase that leads to the bursting of their spending limit.

2. Fee Amount: The amount charged as an Over-Limit fee varies from one bank to another. However, it is typically in the range of $25 to $35. It is crucial for cardholders to be aware of this fee and strive to spend within their credit limit to avoid it.

3. Tackling Over-Limit Fee: The best way to avoid an Over-Limit fee is by keeping track of your purchases and ensuring they’re within your credit limit. Most banks provide online tools to help in monitoring spending. Alternatively, you can request for a lower credit limit or set up automatic alerts for when your balance approaches the limit. It’s important to note that according to regulations brought forth by the Credit CARD Act of 2009, banks must obtain cardholder consent to charge Over-Limit fees.


Over-Limit Fee is a crucial term in business/finance because it directly relates to the management of credit and the costs associated with exceeding established credit limits. It is a fee charged when your balance goes over your credit limit (also known as over the limit). Understanding this term can help individuals better manage their finances. Incurring an Over-Limit Fee can both cost the consumer significantly in penalties and potentially lower their credit score, which could affect their ability to secure loans or other forms of credit in the future. Therefore, understanding and avoiding Over-Limit Fees is an essential aspect of sound financial management.


An Over-Limit Fee is a charge that credit card companies levy on their customers for spending over their specified credit limit. Credit limit is the maximum amount that a credit card holder is allowed to charge on their credit card. When a credit card holder exceeds this limit, they are charged an Over-Limit Fee. The purpose of an Over-Limit Fee is to financially discourage consumers from overspending and becoming overly indebted. It serves to prompt users to regularly track their spending habits and maintain their expenditures within their credit limit.The existence of an Over-Limit Fee can also serve as a protective measure for credit card companies, as it safeguards them from customers defaulting on payments. On one hand, it acts as a deterrent, discouraging customers from overspending and thereby reducing the risk of non-payment. On the other hand, in the event where the customer does overspend and fail to meet payments, the Over-Limit Fee serves as a kind of compensation for the financial risk taken by the credit company. So, it’s an important financial control tool for both credit users and issuers.


1. Credit Cards: Over-limit fees are a common occurrence in the credit card industry. For example, if a person’s credit card limit is $5,000 and they spend $5,200, the credit card company may charge an over-limit fee. This usually happens when the customer has opted into allowing transactions that exceed their credit limit instead of having such transactions declined.2. Bank Overdrafts: Over-limit fees can also apply to bank accounts. For instance, if a customer has a checking account and makes a purchase that exceeds their current balance, the bank might cover the cost but then charge the customer an over-limit fee, often referred to as an overdraft fee. 3. Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC): Similarly, if someone has a HELOC with a maximum limit of $100,000 and they draw out $100,300, they could be charged an over-limit fee by the lender. This kind of fee is often assessed to discourage borrowers from exceeding their established credit limit and to compensate the lender for the additional risk.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Over-Limit Fee?

An Over-Limit Fee is a charge that banks or credit card companies apply when a customer’s transactions exceed their credit limit.

How does the Over-Limit Fee work?

Whenever you make a transaction that goes over your allotted credit limit, your bank or credit card company may charge you an Over-Limit Fee, although this depends on whether you have opted-in for the ability to go over your limit.

How much is the Over-Limit Fee usually charged?

The Over-Limit Fee can vary depending on the financial institution, but in general, it could range between $25 to $35 per occurrence.

Is Over-Limit Fee a one-time charge?

No, not necessarily. If your balance continues to exceed your credit limit over multiple billing cycles, you could be charged an Over-Limit Fee each time your due date passes with your balance still above the limit.

How can I avoid Over-Limit Fees?

The best way to avoid Over-Limit Fees is by monitoring your credit card balance carefully and ensuring you stay under your credit limit. You can also opt-out of the ability for transactions to send you over your limit, in which case transactions that would send you over your limit will be denied.

Can an Over-Limit Fee affect my credit score?

While the fee itself doesn’t affect your credit score, the resulting high credit utilization could have a negative impact on your credit score.

Do all banks or credit card companies charge an Over-Limit Fee?

Not all financial institutions charge an Over-Limit Fee. It’s important to read your credit agreement to know if your bank or credit card company charges this fee.

Can I dispute an Over-Limit Fee?

Yes, customers can usually dispute an Over-Limit Fee by contacting their credit card company’s customer service, but successful disputes are not guaranteed. It may depend on circumstances such as unauthorized charges that caused your balance to exceed the limit.

Related Finance Terms

  • Credit Limit: The maximum amount of credit that a financial institution extends to a client.
  • Interest Rate: The proportion of a loan that is charged as interest to the borrower, typically expressed as an annual percentage of the loan outstanding.
  • Late Payment Fee: A charge that applies when the borrower does not make the required payments on time.
  • Minimum Payment: The smallest amount of a credit card bill that a consumer can pay, to remain in good standing with the credit card company.
  • Balance Transfer Fee: A fee charged by a credit card company to transfer the balance from one account to another.

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