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Why Do Banks Charge Fees?

Home > Bank Fees | Checking Fees | Banks vs. Credit Unions
Why Do Banks Charge Fees? on 5/3/2017

Have you ever been hit with a “minimum balance” fee by your bank only to wonder why you have to pay to access your own money? Read on to find out why banks charge fees and what your options are!

Nobody likes paying fees. In fact, most people will do anything to avoid them. Yet, consumers paid over $6.4 billion in ATM and overdraft fees in 2016 alone!

Banks charge a variety of different fees, some of which include ATM fees, overdraft fees, and minimum balance fees. Many big banks will charge you ATM fees if you use an ATM that is not associated with the bank you use. Overdraft fees can be the bane of those who have set up auto-pay on their bills, and are unaware of how much money they have going out. Americans across the country feel the sting of minimum balance fees.

One study shows that nearly 7 out of 10 Americans have less than $1000 dollars in their savings account. For those that live paycheck to paycheck, those minimum balance fees add up.

There is one simple reason banks charge their customers a litany of fees: banks are a business, and all businesses need to make money. When you’re constantly being charged by hidden fees to use your own money, the business of living gets even more expensive!

All of those fees add up, which makes paying bills or adding a little extra to your savings even more difficult.

So, banks are charging you for your money. What other options do you have?

Since banks function as large corporate businesses, they have to maintain their overhead and turn a profit. Credit Unions have lower expenses and are not-for-profit. Because of this, credit unions tend to be more member-friendly.

This means credit unions like Palisades have less fees, lower rates on loans, and are generally geared more towards their members as opposed to profits. This allows us to pass on savings to our members. For instance, many credit unions offer free checking accounts with no minimum balance fees.

When you take a look at the numbers, the benefits of being a member at a credit union become even more apparent. According to the National Credit Union Association, as of June 27, 2014, the average interest rate on a 48-month new car loan was 2.64 percent at the credit union, compared with 4.78 percent at major banks.

Did we convince you? If you’re interested in making the switch to a credit union, Palisades Credit Union is here for you! Our free checking account options have tons of perks that can help you save money and you won’t have to worry about being charged for ATM fees!

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