Banks to charge new fees for regular use

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Steven Anderson --Bank of America is one of several banks that will be charging fees for debit card use

There is no doubt that America faces significant economic challenges.

In addition to the periodical stock plummets and the backlash of Wall Street protesters, some of the largest bank chains in America are introducing new fees to be added soon.

According to Forbes.com and confirmed with a Wells Fargo representative, Wells Fargo will begin charging a $3 dollar monthly fee for debit card use in Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.

In Spring 2012, Bank of America will begin charging a $5 dollar monthly fee for debit card use.

Other banks across the nation also announced new fees to come out in the next year.

Most banks already charge fees for checking and savings accounts and with the recent push toward debit card fees, it poses the question of whether it is really worth it or not to have a bank account.

Jordan Vega, a senior at California Baptist University, has mixed feelings when looking at the forthcoming bank fees.

“I would seriously have to weigh the pros and cons of whether it would be worth it to me…I have already switched banks from Wells Fargo to Bank of America because Wells Fargo was nickel and diming me.”

Vega went on to explain how he is currently happy with Bank of America because he has free student checking there.

However, he said that if the fees start piling up after he graduates, then he will most likely switch to a bank with less fees.

One thing to consider is the reason behind adding new fees.

In an official release from Lisa Westermann, assistant vice president of public relations at Well Fargo, explained some of the reasons behind adding new fees from Wells Fargo’s point of view.

“The $3 fee (for debit card use) still does not cover the cost of providing debit cards, including administration and fraud protection/losses. We regularly review our pricing and take into account the needs of our customers, industry trends, the market competition, and our cost of doing business. Our goal is to set a fair price that is consistent with the value of each product or service.”

Banks are typically a safe place to store money. Most banks are FDIC insured, which means that if it runs out of physical bills, money is insured for up to $250,000.

If you receive a pay check you will want a bank account to avoid paying fees to cash your check.

Lastly, having a bank account improves the chances of getting a personal loan, student loan, mortgage. When you already have a bank account and are in good standing, banks will be more willing to lend you money.

Be sure to check for any closing fees before storming angrily into a bank, requesting to switch to another.

Banks such a NationsBank and First Union have started charging a ten dollar fee to process the account when a customer closes their account.

This fee can be avoided most of the time if the account has been open for longer than 6 months.

There is a way to avoid a majority of the fees. Most banks waive their monthly account fees if you have a daily minimum balance of $1500 dollars or a surplus of $500 in direct deposits per month. The dollar amount will differ slightly among banks, but the majority of them have similar qualifications.

Start searching for the right bank. There are several resources provided below.

FindABetterBank.com is a great resource to find a bank. Money-rates.com and Bankrate.com are two banking and investment sites for those looking to take their fiscal endeavors to the next level.

If unsure, ask questions. Many banks have student discounts, free online checking, and other free features.

Those unhappy with a bank should research any and all fees before cancelling the account.

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