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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

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Can a debt collector increase the interest rate on a debt I owe?


A debt collector may not collect any interest or fee not authorized by the agreement or by law.

The interest rate or fees charged on your debt may be increased if your original loan or credit agreement permits it and no law prohibits the increase, or if state law expressly permits the interest or fee. Some state laws and some contracts allow interest to be charged and costs to be added. If you still have the contract, it may say what interest rate can be charged or how much it can increase. State law may also limit the amount of interest charged.   

The CFPB has prepared sample letters that a consumer could use to respond to a debt collector. These letters include tips on how to use them. The sample letters may help you to get information. You can use one of the sample letters to request information about why the interest rate was increased. Another sample letter is to stop or limit any further communication. Always keep a copy of your letter for your records.

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The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.