These days it is far too easy to look at your bank statement and find that an unforeseen fee has shown up on your bank statement. Whether it is an overdraft fee, ATM usage fee, or simply a service change that your bank hid in the fine print, these are things you definitely want to avoid as much as possible. Here is a breakdown of the fees and some ways that you can potentially avoid them.

Service Charges

Some banks are certainly slicker than others at passing on service charges to their customers. However, some also make it more known when they implement such charges. So, whether it is obvious or not, you should always look at the fine print when opening a checking account. When opening an account in-person at a branch, be sure to blatantly ask the teller or bank employee helping you. They are obligated to tell you about any service charges if you ask.

ATM Fees

The best way to avoid ATM fees is to use machines owned or associated with your financial institution. Otherwise there is typically a fee per transaction that you incur on other ATMs. In some cases these fees can be a couple dollars, but in extreme cases they can add on a double digital amount. In an emergency this fee is bearable, but if you start to make it a habit it would save you a lot of money in the long run to find an ATM associated with your bank.

Overdraft and Insufficient Funds Fees

Another common fee related to checking accounts is that due to an overdraft or insufficient funds. These fees are common because of the large volume of transactions that typically occur on someone’s checking account statement. A great way to avoid such fees is to opt out of your bank’s overdraft protection, which although sounds enticing, can lead to frequent fees when you run out of funds. The downside to opting out of overdraft protection is that your bank will not cover any transaction you do not have sufficient funds for, and the transaction will subsequently be denied. The choice is obviously up to you, however, having a transaction declined is far less costly than incurring a $40 fee every time your checking account has an overdraft.

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