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What Your Bank Won’t Tell You

How well do you know your bank? We trust them with all of our money and rely on them for everything from paying bills to our life savings. For all the trust we place in them, most of our banks aren’t exactly up front with us about many things. Perhaps more importantly, they don’t always, and some may even say don’t usually, have our best interests in mind. Banks run a business, and like any other business their goal is to make money. Unfortunately, it’s often at our expense, literally. Here’s a look at a few things your bank probably won’t be telling you about anytime soon.

Bank Secrets

  • Some of the main problems that new college students face revolve around being responsible with their new-found freedom and money. Banks are well aware that many students are ill-prepared to deal with their own finances and are more than willing to take advantage of them. By cutting deals with universities, banks get their name around campus and eventually suck students in.
  • By now you know about the country’s faltering economy and slumping market, which has left banks looking for reliable of streams of income. In the banking world, one of the few types of revenue they can always rely on are fees and penalties. Despite the fact that ATM fees have already doubled in the past decade, you can all but count on banks increasing fee costs and finding more reasons to charge you this year.
  • Today there are generally only a few major banks that the majority of people belong to, such as Bank of America, Chase, or Wells Fargo. They offer the convenience of always having one nearby and generally good service, but they also charge some of the highest fees. Big banks generate huge amounts of their revenue through fees and charges, while smaller banks typically have fewer or less expensive fees. They also pay out less interest, about 1.9% compared to the 4.4% of smaller banks.
  • Banks absolutely love when their customers travel overseas, not just because they’re likely to splurge and spend more money, but because they’re vulnerable to all kinds of different fees. Taking out cash from an ATM and a foreign transaction fee could cost you about 5% of what you withdraw. Even just using your credit card for a purchase often comes attached with a 1%-3% “currency conversion fee.”
  • We all love our online banking, it let’s us pay bills, transfer funds, and track out account balance up to the second. That’s what we’re told at least, but the truth is that account balance probably isn’t as accurate as we think. Withdraws or deposits may show up online before they’re actually available in your account and purchases made on your debit card may be reordered or reprioritized to your bank’s liking.
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