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Are you thinking about opening a checking account that has a complicated-sounding minimum balance? Did your checking account's terms just change? Let's clarify the different kinds of minimum balance requirements banks and credit unions put on checking accounts. Read more...
Second Chance checking accounts are designed for people who are not allowed to open normal checking accounts due to past banking behavior or bad credit. The reasons you may be disallowed vary, but once you build a bad history, you're reported agencies or networks like Chexsystem. When you request to open an account, banks and credit unions check these databases to see if you have a bad record. Read more...
Checking accounts come in all shapes and sizes, but banks and credit unions know that seniors and students use their accounts in distinct ways. Many offer student and senior checking accounts to appeal to these consumers, offering features that appeal to these groups like an "oops" for overdrafting (for students) and free checking printing (for seniors). Read more...
How ATM Withdrawal Fees Get Accessed
Many banks advertise 'unlimited withdrawals from our ATMs' with their checking accounts but advertised or not, most (if not all) banks offer this service. But when you withdrawal from ATMs that aren't your bank's, you may receive two charges:
The first fee is displayed on the monitor of the ATM you use. The second fee is part of your account. If you use ATMs frequently, you want to find a checking account that offers low 'non-bank' ATM fees. This can be a $0.50-$3 charge from the bank ON TOP of the ATM's charge, which normally run from $1-$2, but may be much higher.
The Difference Between PIN or Signature Debit Purchases
When shopping with your debit card, you may have the choice to pay 'credit or debit.' A debit purchase requires you to give your PIN, and the cost of your purchase is charged to your account immediately. When you pay credit, you sign for the purchase, and the cost applies to your account within a few days.
The possible delay of a signature-based purchase could cause difficulties in two different ways. First, you'll have both an 'actual balance' and an 'available balance' until the transaction clears which can make things confusing. Second, some businesses (like gas stations) will put holds on a certain amount in your account when you make signature-based purchases -- maybe $100. That means when you're only buying $30 of gas, you cannot access the remaining $70 until the payment has cleared. And, if you're unaware of this hold, you may accidentally overdraft your account when you make a purchase before the hold clears.
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All deposit accounts in FindABetterBank are insured by the FDIC or NCUA.