Common Financial Fees


You’re working hard to build up your financial accounts by filling them with the money you’ve earned. When you look at your monthly statements, sometimes you might notice some of that cash being deducted to pay a variety of fees. Learn more about some of the most common ones, and research to see which ones apply to you.

 

Paper statement fee

Kevin Mercadante of My Bank Tracker cautions that if you’re still receiving paper bank statements every month, you’re probably being charged for that. “The cost of printing, preparing and paying postage on many thousands of bank statements each month is a major expense. Virtually all banks today are operating online, enabling customers to pull up statements on the banking platform … In an attempt to phase out paper statements, banks are now charging fees for each statement mailed.” How do you avoid this charge? Simply enroll in digital statements instead of paper statements. You can print off the statements on your own printer if you still prefer a hard copy.

 

ATM fee

If you withdraw money from an ATM your bank is not affiliated with, you will be charged a fee. ValuePenguin explains that “When you use an ATM that isn’t operated by your own bank to make withdrawals, deposits or even simple balance inquiries, you can run into a bundle of extra fees.” The total amount charged can vary but is usually between $2-3, combining costs charged by the bank of the ATM you’re using and your own bank for going out-of-network. You may be able to avoid this fee, though, if you have ATM fee reimbursement on your bank account.

 

Minimum balance or monthly maintenance fees

ValuePenguin identifies that “Banks charge monthly checking account maintenance fees … to account holders who don’t meet minimum balance or monthly deposit requirements.” Practically every bank requires you to have at least a certain amount of money in your checking account, and if you go below that amount at any point, you’re charged a fee. If you don’t deposit enough into that account often enough, you’re also charged a fee.

Both of these fees can be avoided by monitoring how much money you have in your checking account and how much you’re depositing on a regular basis. Check the requirements of your checking account to ensure you’re within its parameters.

 

Inactivity Fee

Make sure you’re not letting your bank account sit for months without any money going into or out of it. Neglecting a bank account can cost you, as you’ll be charged for inactivity. After a certain period of time, you’ll be charged a hefty escheat fee before the account is closed and the balance transferred to the state treasury, warns Susannah Snider of U.S. News & World Report.

 

Excess transaction fee

Be careful if you rely on your savings account too much to avoid taking money out of your checking account. You can also be charged a fee for withdrawing from your savings or money market account too often. According to Better Money Habits, the fee will increase per additional transaction, but they can be avoided if you don’t use your savings account for everyday withdrawals and bill payments.

 

Overdraft or returned item fees

If you try to take out more money from your account than you have in it, you’ll be charged one of these fees. Better Money Habits explains that “Overdraft coverage or protection allows purchases to go through — for a fee — even if you don’t have enough funds in your checking account,” whereas if you don’t have overdraft coverage and a check bounces, you’ll receive a returned item fee. The best way to avoid these is making sure your account balance isn’t less than the amount you’re trying to remove.

 

Account closure fee

It’s never a good idea to open a bank account and quickly close it right afterward. If you don’t keep a new bank account open for at least six months, expect to pay a fee for doing so, warns Snider. Banks want your loyalty, not your quick enrollment to take advantage of a sign-up bonus.

If you maintain your account regularly, monitor its balance and follow these guidelines, you shouldn’t have to worry about many of these fees.

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