Posts made in June, 2015

Choosing A Checking Account With The Right Features

A good checking account can help you streamline your spending and make personal transactions easier. Each account has its own features and perks, and here are some of the most useful checking account options. 

Monthly Fees

The monthly fee for checking accounts isn’t always a bad thing. Some premium checking accounts offer you advanced features like overdraft protection and free transfers, which can save you money if you frequently need use these features. Some banks will waive the monthly fee if you keep a minimum amount in the checking account. 

Minimum Balance Requirements

Checking accounts vary greatly in the amount that’s required to waive a monthly service fee. For more full-featured accounts, the minimum balance could be several thousand dollars. For a smaller account, there may be a $500 minimum or no minimum at all. Note that you’re allowed to go below this minimum in the account, but you may have to pay extra service fees. 

ATM Fees

Some personal checking accounts will waive ATM fees for premium account holders. This can come in handy if you travel a lot. Some banks even reimburse international ATM fees. 

Transaction Fees

It’s important to read the fine details of your account. Some banks will charge per transaction, such as a small fee for cashing checks or sending funds. You can often avoid these fees by choosing a premium account. 

Online Access

If you are an on-the-go checking account user, take a tour of the bank’s mobile site and online presence before signing up for an account. Some checking accounts offer great mobile features, such as smartphone apps that allow you to deposit checks on the fly. 

Link to Savings Account

One helpful checking account feature is a link to the personal savings account. Some banks will allow you to use the savings account as overdraft protection. 

Choosing the Best Account

Each checking account will probably have a combination of these benefits, but may lack some of the others. So which account is the best? It will all depend on your spending habits and the amount of cash flow that you expect to have. Before you sit down with the bank, identify the top 3-5 traits that your ideal spending account would have, and make sure that the policy covers your bases. As long as you are open in communicating with your customer service representatives, most banks will be able to help you find an account that has the features that you need. 

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4 Myths About Payday Loans

When you are in need of emergency cash, a payday loan can be the solution to your problem. Unfortunately, some people shy away from payday loans because of false rumors about what happens when you get a loan. To help you make a sound decision, here are some of the most common falsehoods and the truth about payday loans.

1. Payday Loans Are Expensive

Some people falsely believe that if they take out a payday loan, they could end up paying back exorbitant amounts before the debt is satisfied. This is not true. Payday loans are considered to be short-term, small loans that usually do not extend beyond a couple of weeks to a month. Once the loan is paid back, no other fees are taken from the lender and he or she is usually free to borrow again.

2. Payday Loans Have Hidden Fees

Payday lenders are subject to the same laws and regulations as other lenders. The lenders are required to fully disclose all of the possible fees you could face prior to you signing the agreement. Payday lenders are also required to provide the fees in an easy-to-understand format so that there are no questions regarding what is owed. If you do not agree to the fees, you have the right to not sign the agreement. Some lenders even offer you the option to cancel the agreement within 24 hours of signing it.

3. Payday Loans Will Impact Your Credit Score

An earmark of payday lenders is that they do not perform credit checks before approving the loan. In most cases, simply being employed and providing proof of residence is enough to secure a loan. The only time a loan could possibly impact your credit score is if you do not pay it back. Just as with normal lenders, payday lenders have the option of reporting non-payment to a credit reporting bureau. As long as the loan is paid, there is nothing to report.

4. Lenders Only Loan Funds to People Who Cannot Afford It

Payday lenders are in business to earn money, just like other lenders. By only loaning money to people who cannot afford to pay it back, the lenders would place themselves in a bad position financially. Lenders have markers that must be met by potential customers before a loan can be approved. How much a person earns and the frequency with which he or she is paid is considered before a loan is approved.

The best way to separate the truth from fiction when it comes to payday lenders is to contact one and discuss your concerns. The lender can then help you get started on your own loan so that you can get back on your feet. 

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