Well, at Least You Can Trust
Your Bank…or Can You?
In tough financial times, it’s good to know that there are trusted financial institutions you can rely on. Unfortunately, your bank may not be one of them.
It should come as no great surprise that many banks have lost, literally, billions of dollars over the past few years. And, apparently, they feel that you should be the one to pay for it. Case in point:
- In the old days, if you overdrew your checking account, the bank would start bouncing checks. This could be very embarrassing, as it leads to suppliers and employees wanting to know why your check wouldn’t clear.
- Today, banks are far more likely to cover such checks, even when funds are not available. The catch? You are going to pay for this “service” — and pay dearly.
If you don’t know exactly what your bank charges in overdraft fees, you need to find out. The charges for an overdraft of just a few pennies can add up to several hundred dollars in less than a week.
You’re not worried, though…right? You check your account balances on line or at the ATM every day. And your bank wouldn’t lie to you…would they? Guess again.
Banks have some fairly creative ways of making sure you get dinged. Just because your online or ATM statement shows available funds, doesn’t mean they are really there. Transactions that are “in process” don’t count; only deposits that are actually posted to your account do.
Fortunately, the Internet contains several good articles about how to protect yourself from outrageous overdraft charges, such as this one at WikiHow.com. The best thing you can do is to make certain your overdraft protection is based on an actual line of credit and not a set of outrageous fees.
By the way, did you know that a recent report which identified the top corporations that put you at risk of customer ID theft named three of the nation’s largest banks?