Things Your Bank Doesn't Want You To Know

By: Jennifer McClelland

1. The banks are in truth in endurance mode, but they will by no means admit it.
I lately switched banks. Each single bank I walked into told me they were in satisfactory shape. Wow. In an market that caused some people to commit suicide, every bank in Maryland was in good shape? Wonderful! I did a modest research and I found out that all but one were untruthful through their window bars. I started in the midst of Wachovia. The account administration representative told me that Wachovia was in grand shape and in front of the game. (I researched that privilege and found out they had only just obtained a bank in the west coast that came with millions of dollars worth of sub prime mortgages and were now in negotiations with Wells Fargo previous to collapsing.)
I walked into First Mariner Bank, home to Maryland, and found one banker who was bored stiff out of her mind playing pin-the-tail-on-my-text-messages, so I walked right back out. When I walked into Provident Bank, also native here, there were boxes on desks and I was told they were bought by M&T Bank, also a native bank and supporter of the Baltimore Ravens. The courtesy Ravens stadium bedspread they give you for starting a checking and savings account is folded up in my filing cabinet at home. I was so overwhelmed there I switched my corporation accounts over too.
2. This is simply the introduction of overblown fees.
If you are anything like me, you have gotten more notices than ever from your bank, frequently included in your statement envelope, concerning "changes to your bank account." Those changes are fees, my friends. The fee you pay for an overdraft is likely at least $35. If you are part of the majority of bank clientele, you are flirting with $40. It is possible that your free account has been altered to "basic", which in secret comes with fees. Your savings account fee for a low balance has changed from $3 to $5, or, like my last bank, from $11 to $15. (Now you see why I decided to leave.)
3. Interest rates change constantly.
If you are anything like the majority of consumers, the interest rate on your savings account has gone down, and any variable rate loan you are paying has adjusted you into distress. Whether or not you have done anything incorrect, you can have impeccible credit and one day get a note that your APR has gone from, say, 12% to 27% and your only decision is to cancel the card and pay it off at the old rate. (President Obama has begun to rally against unfairly changing rates.)
4. If you're not a student, your bank doesn't care.
University campuses are a gold pit for banks. Several students have the choice of getting student IDs that double as debit cards, courtesy of bank that is in fact hoping a few plastic spenders will have a few overdraft fees. Do you spend sensibly? Was your previous overdraft 22 years back when they called it "bouncing a check?" Your bank hates you. You make them a top figure of 3% of the capital you put in your savings account and zilch on your checking account as they cannot invest it and have to leave it available to cover checks. You aren't even worth the free checks anymore.
5. In debt? The courts will not help you.
Have you ever signed an "settlement contract?" I signed one a couple of years back when I took out a tiny loan. What it does it mean? Well, it means you cannot sue, for any reason. If they raise your rates, charge you early, or do anything, you must see their arbitration mediator that is in their pocket. Even identity theft victims find themselves subject to arbitration agreements that make their situation three times worse than a stolen identity. You can locate a lawyer, but you will be summary to comic relief that lightened his day.

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