Easy Tips to Avoid Paying Banking Fees

They say what goes up, must come down. But, does that really hold true? When it comes to banking fees, it seems that they only move in one direction: up.

From overdrafts to account maintenance and beyond, it’s becoming increasingly more expensive for consumers to perform even the most basic banking functions. In most cases, you will know what you’re paying for but then there are those times when fees may come up as ugly surprises.

Tom Feltner, director of financial services for the Consumer Federation of America, stated that “low upfront, transparent monthly fees are much clearer than those accounts that are advertised as free but have highly variable back-end fees like ATM fees and overdrafts.”

So, what are some ways that you could combat potential rises in fees? Here are a few tips:

Can Student Loans Help My Credit Score?

What does Tesla’s new Model 3 have in common with a bachelor’s degree? The price tag on Elon Musk’s new car for the masses, $35,000, is almost exactly the same as the average amount of student loan debt recent graduates are saddled with.

It seems unfair to be penalized for taking out loans to challenge yourself academically and obtain skills that you need in order to start your career path. After all, to secure a better job for the future, you may have needed some financial help to get there. According to the CFPB, student loan debt is now the second-largest class of consumer debt behind mortgages, with more than 41 million Americans collectively owing more than $1.2 trillion in student loans.

So, is there a silver lining to all this debt? While the numbers are scary, student loans actually help you build your credit history and strengthen your credit score, especially for those recent graduates still avoiding credit cards. The key is to pay off the loans in a routine manner and demonstrate to lenders that you are responsible.

The growth of student loans over the past decade

Since paying off student loans may initially be the first and only way to boost your credit score, here are some things to keep in mind as you explore your options further.

Your Credit Score Is More Important Than Your GPA

What do the following questions have to do with a credit score? White picket fence with a well manicured lawn or high-rise skyscraper with amazing city views? Sleek two-seater sports car or a four door sedan?

Most people will need to borrow some money at some point in order to purchase a home or a car. One of the important ways a lender decides to give you a loan is by looking at your credit score. A good credit score can save you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a loan. But a good credit score also takes years to build, so the sooner you familiarize yourself with it how it works and start taking steps to build your score, the better.

“Young people today are confronting ever-more sophisticated financial products and services than their parents did. Young workers have to decide about taking on debt, what to spend their money on, how to save and invest…” states Olivia S. Mitchell, executive director of the Pension Research Council.

As a student, you knew one three-digit number pretty well: your GPA. As an independent adult, the three-digit credit score will be important to shaping your financial future. Let’s take a closer look to understand it better.

How a Financial Plan Helps You Plan for the Future

What is a Financial Plan?

Planning for the future is hard since so much can change; however, putting down the foundation of a financial plan now can help you prepare for whatever the future brings. Think of it as a personal money roadmap so that your future self can do all the things you think you’ll want to do. A plan can also help reduce the concerns that we all feel about our future.

The Simple Idea Behind Debitize: A Definitive Answer to Credit vs. Debit

If you listen to personal finance experts, you might hear conflicting advice when it comes to using credit cards or debit cards. Dave Ramsey thinks credit cards are evil, and the cause of all financial pain. Countless others will espouse the value of rewards or warn you never to use debit cards online or at gas stations because of the security risks.

We created Debitize to finally answer the question whether you should use debit or credit. In our first few blog posts, we touched on how to improve your credit, and why credit cards are good for you – but we haven’t yet explained to our blog readers what exactly Debitize is, and why we started it.  So let’s take a closer look at the actual differences between credit and debit:

Best Ways to Build Credit If You Have a Thin Credit File

One of the biggest ironies of credit-building is that you need credit to build credit.

According to a report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), more than 26 million Americans are “credit invisible” and 19 million more are “unscorable.”

FICO Credit Score 101: Credit Inquiries

This post is the last of our series on understanding your FICO credit score, where we delve into detail to explain each component of your credit score calculation. In the first four parts of this series, we explained how payment history, amounts owed, the length of your credit history, and your credit mix all impact the calculation of your FICO credit score. In this final post, you’ll learn about the effects of applying for new credit, and the difference between hard and soft credit inquiries.