It seems that all I’ve been hearing lately is about checking account fees on the rise. According to bankrate.com, only 39 percent of banks offered a checking account with no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee. That is down from 45 percent in 2011 and a whopping 75 percent in 2009.
Many checking accounts now have a monthly maintenance fee if an account does not hold a certain minimum balance. Bankrate.com reported the average minimum balance required to avoid a maintenance fee is $723.02, and is growing. The average monthly fee charged is $5.48 and can get as high as $14.75 when minimum balance requirements aren’t met.
This can be very frustrating for many people, especially young adults like me. For example, many students may not have a large sum of money saved up in their checking account. With excessive maintenance, ATM, and overdraft fees, this can be a waste of money.
A “free” checking account is something that is not as available as in years past, but there are ways to avoid checking accounts with fees by choosing a credit union!
I have found that here at Connex Credit Union, they have accounts that go against the industry averages! With Unbank Checking there is no monthly maintenance fee and no minimum balance required! On top of that, if I use my debit card, have direct deposit, online banking, and e-Statements I will receive a high APY and return on my money!
Another great option for students and young adults would be the Young Adult Checking that is offered to anyone 18-25. There is no minimum balance requirement, no monthly maintenance fee, and 2 overdraft fee rebate coupons per year.
It seems that there is hope in finding free checking accounts!
-Lauren Dufour, VP of Unbanking