Hey, Stop Paying These 3 Silly Banking Fees Today!

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Banks have become almost as bad as airlines when it comes to charging fees for everything and anything.

You can avoid paying some of these fees if you are careful do a little planning.

  1. Overdraft fees – Overdraft fees are probably the most often charged fee by a bank.

When your checking account is low you need to be very careful. This is especially true if you have payments scheduled each month to be taken from your account. If you are writing a check you need to be sure you do not give out a check for more than the available balance in your account. Don’t think you have a few days between the time you give a merchant a check and the time it clears your bank. Those days are gone. Now most checks will clear your account within the same day you give the check to a merchant.

Many banks charge about $30 for every check returned for insufficient funds. If you are not careful these fees can accumulate as you continue to have checks issued on the balance you think is in your account, but because of the overdraft fee the actual balance is less. Then the second check can be returned for insufficient funds and now your account has paid out $60 in fees and this can continue on until there are sufficient funds in your account to pay all outstanding checks plus all fees.

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You can avoid overdraft fees a couple of different ways. If possible, keep a cushion of cash in the account to cover any checks you write. If you have automatic withdrawals deduct these amounts from your account balance early. Some banks will link your accounts if you have more than one account. Then if you overdraw your checking account they will take enough from another account to cover the outstanding amount of the check. Some banks do not charge a fee to transfer these funds while other banks do charge a small fee. You can get overdraft protection for your checking account. If you write a check for more than the balance in your account the overdraft protection will put money into your account. Of course, overdraft protection is actually a loan and the amount going into your account will probably be more than the amount of your overdraft. If you checking account is short by $10 the overdraft protection may put $50 into your account. You will need to pay a fee on this money you borrow.

  1. ATM fees – Many banks charge a fee if you use the ATM machine that does not belong to your home bank. You may be charged a fee from the bank where you take out the money. Then your own bank may charge you a second fee on that same withdrawal. You can avoid these fees if you use the ATM at your own bank branches. Many merchants will give you a limited amount of cash back when you use your debit card to make a purchase and there is no fee.
  2. Maintenance fees – Some banks will charge you a maintenance fee for handling your account. These fees can more than equal whatever interest you are earning on that account. You can avoid this fee by changing to a bank that does not charge a maintenance fee. Or, you can determine what is required at your bank to qualify for a waiver of the maintenance fee.

These are three of the fees you can avoid with a little bit of effort and planning. You can probably find a few other fees your bank is charging that you can avoid.