Wednesday, January 19, 2011 9:55:00 AM
NEW YORK - "Is your bank jacking up its fees on your checking account?" CBS MoneyWatch contributor Jane Bryant Quinn asks in her article "4 Ways to Beat the New High Bank Fees". If so, turn to credit unions, she advises.
Bankers are using the pro-consumer legislation passed last year as an excuse to charge higher fees, according to Quinn. All these new laws did, says Quinn, was smoke bankers out. "Instead of fees that slam you by surprise, you now face costs you can see upfront," she says.
How do consumers beat these new high fees? Quinn lists joining a credit union as one of four places to look for lower-cost bank accounts - joined by online banks, community banks, and prepaid debit cards.
She points out that despite popular belief, everyone is eligible to join at least one credit union. And they should do so, because "in general, they charge lower fees on credit cards, auto loans, and checking accounts, and pay higher interest rates on savings - not the top rate, but above average."
In addition to lower fees, credit unions are known for their customer service, more so than banks. "You can find someone to talk to about your finances and even appeal a decision," Quinn points out.
For those interested in joining a credit union, Quinn points readers in the direction of findacreditunion.com to see which credit union(s) they are eligible to join.
The article can be found in its entirety at http://moneywatch.bnet.com/investing/blog/make-money/4-ways-to-beat-the-new-high-bank-fees/782/.