10 Things Your Bank Won't Tell You
Dealing with your bank can be a frustrating experience. Unfortunately, you need someplace to stash your money. You also will have a hard time getting a loan without a bank to facilitate one. When dealing with your bank, here are 10 things that they will not tell you. Some of these items may surprise you.
1. Customer Service Isn't A Priority
Most banks have cut back on customer service staff since the start of the financial crisis. Part of this has been due to budget cuts at most major banks. It is hard to handle customer complaints when there isn't anyone on duty to do so. The limited number of large banks remaining is another cause for the problem. Decreased competition creates less of a need to add value to the product.
2. We Can Raise Your Rates Whenever We Want
Check your credit card statement sometime. See if it hasn't changed without you even realizing it. Something as simple as one missed payment can cause your interest rate to jump to as high as 30 percent.
3. Transactions Are Handled At Our Discretion
Larger payments will always be handled first. Therefore, your mortgage payment may go through before that $50 dollar purchase at Sears no matter when they happened. This can lead to significant overdraft fees if you aren't careful.
4. Fees Are Our Lifeblood
Banks make billions of dollars each year thanks to overdraft and other fees. Late payment fees, minimum balance fees and checking fees make up the majority of non-overdraft charges. It has been estimated that the 10 largest banks in America were generating over 50 percent of their income from fees in 2009.
5. Younger People Are Who We Target
Students are going to be targeted more than any other age group. This is because they will spend more money than other age groups. Having some sort of financial freedom for the first time can be addicting. Banks will naturally capitalize on this.
6. Don't Think About Taking Us To Court
Banks have subtly provided themselves with protection against lawsuits. Your only option is to go to arbitration in most cases. These rules apply to most auto, home and credit card loans. Carefully read over any loan before you agree to its terms and conditions.
7. Avoid The ATM Machine Overseas
You may think the ATM fees in America are quite bad. However, you may pay double that when you withdraw money in a foreign country. Think about bringing a credit card or cash when you travel outside the country.
8. Transparency Is Not Our Policy
Banks are notorious for throwing a bunch of confusing language into their agreements. You might want to bring a lawyer with you just to open a savings account. This can lead to further issues should you have problems with your account down the road.
9. Good Luck Getting A Decent Interest Rate For Your Money
Interest rates on savings accounts are ridiculously low. Most people will be lucky to see even 1 percent interest on their savings. CD's and other savings products yield low rates as well. You are almost better off just keeping your money under the mattress.
10. You Would Be Better Off At A Credit Union
Think about putting your money in smaller institution such as a credit union. They offer better rates on most loan products. Your savings will also draw more interest than you would get from a bank. Credit unions are exclusive to the community you live in. This provides them more incentive to treat customers better.
You may think you are getting a good deal from your bank. However, you are probably being squeezed left and right. Poor customer service, high fees and low interest rates put a damper on your financial well-being. The banks would be telling you these things if they were being honest with you. Unfortunately, they are only looking to do what serves them well.
Another thing about Internet banking is that you should always keep security in mind. When you need to access your bank account using public WIFI, it's recommended that you use a VPN to ensure higher security. Make sure to use top VPN services for this purpose.