How To Lower Your Bank Fees

lower bank fees

How To Lower Your Bank Fees

I don’t know a single banking customer that has ever said “I love bank fees!” so I’m guessing you don’t like them either. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to lower your bank fees—or completely avoid them. Here are just a few to get you started!

Know What Fees Exist So You Can Avoid Or Lower Them

The first thing you need to do in order to lower your bank fees is learn what fees you can be charged. Simply ask a teller for a schedule of fees or look on the bank’s website to find this information. Once you know the fees that you can be charged, you can begin to fight them.

Banks charge many different types of fees such as overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, ATM fees, transaction fees, and maintenance fees, just to name a few. The more you know about how these fees are triggered and how much they are the better off you’ll be. With this knowledge, you can likely avoid the majority of banking fees altogether.

Meet Stated Minimums For Fee-Free Banking

Some banks offer completely fee free banking with no minimum balances at all. However, many bigger banks do charge fees for different types of accounts if you don’t keep a minimum balance in the accounts. The easiest way to avoid this fee is to simply keep the minimum balance in your account at all times.

If you don’t want to or can’t maintain the minimum balance, you have a couple of options. First, ask the bank if there are any fee free bank accounts you could switch to. If that doesn’t work, consider switching to another bank that does offer fee free accounts with no minimum balance requirements.

Accidentally Incur A Fee? Ask For It To Be Waived!

Even the most diligent people will make a mistake and incur a bank fee at some time in their lives. The sad thing is, most people will just pay the fee and move on with their lives.

Overdraft fees often exceed $29 per overdraft and I wouldn’t want to just lose $29 from a simple mistake. Instead of giving the bank your money with no resistance, call and ask for the fee to be waived. If you’ve been a good customer, chances are they’ll waive the fee with no questions asked.

Find A Bank With Fewer Fees

If your bank has many crazy fees, you probably should consider switching to a bank with fewer and less crazy fees. Unfortunately, switching banks can be a major pain, but if you’re paying money to store your money every month you need to take action.

There are banks out there that don’t nickel and dime you with fees. In fact, some banks have a great reputation for having low to no fees on many of their accounts. Many online banks have lower fee structures due to reduced overhead, so make sure to check them out when looking for your new bank.

Consider A Credit Union

Of course, banks aren’t your only option. You should check out credit unions as well! Credit unions are owned by their members and don’t aim to turn a profit. Instead, they aim to simply cover their costs and pay dividends to their shareholders which are their members. Due to this arrangement, credit unions may offer you fewer fees and better interest rates than many of the banks out there today.

As with any fee situation, those who pay the least in fees are the educated consumers. Educate yourself about the potential fees you can be charged and do everything in your power to make sure you never get charged a pointless fee. If your current arrangement is fee crazy, switch to a better arrangement for you and lower your bank fees!

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Lance Cothern
Lance Cothern loves everything personal finance and has his own blog exploring his thoughts on the subject at MoneyManifesto.com. Together with his wife, they've paid of over $80,000 in student loans on their way to financial success! In addition to his blog, you can connect with him on TwitterFacebookPinterest or Google+.