3 Bank Fees You Should Never Have to Pay

by Jason Unger

Banks love to charge you fees for almost anything they can. If there’s an opportunity to nickel and dime you, be aware: they’ll try it.

But you don’t need to pay them. There are easy ways to avoid some of the fees that banks love to charge.

Overdraft Fees

Overdraft fees have become a hugh profit area for banks, as they offer “protection” for times when your checking account may dip below zero.

In fact, overdraft fees have become so despised that the Federal Reserve has fielded more than 1,600 complaints on its Web site, according to MarketWatch.

Even though the Fed is looking to change the controversial policy of automatically opting-in bankers for overdraft fees, you shouldn’t count on it.

To avoid any overdraft fees, always have a financial cushion. That extra $500-$1000 in your checking account will prevent the perfect storm of all your automated transactions happening at the same time and overdrafting your checking account.

If you’d like to be notified when your main checking account falls beneath a certain balance, set up email notification or text alerts in Yodlee.

Late Fees

This one’s a no brainer.

By automating your finances, your bills will be paid on time every month. You don’t have to worry about writing the check, putting it in the mail, and hoping the post office doesn’t lose it.

Late fees are a money mistake you can’t afford to make. There’s no reason you should be paying them when the technology to avoid them is available to everyone.

Checking/Savings Account Fees

You should never pay to have a checking or a savings account with a bank.

While you may run into some requirements to avoid fees — signing up for direct deposit or maintaining a minimum balance — there are plenty of fee-less accounts available.

ING Direct, which offers both checking and savings accounts, doesn’t charge any fees.

Remember, when you fund your accounts, you’re loaning the bank money. Don’t let them charge you to take your money.

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