Advice on Battling Bank Fees

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ROSELAND– Many consumers will not have to include banking fees on their monthly expenditure list. However, consider this alarming statistic: 2 percent of banking customers account for 40 percent of all banking fee revenue.

“Consequently, for this select population, these fees can add up to significant ­­– and often debilitating – monthly charges,” stresses Noah Rosenfarb, CPA, ABV, PFS, CDFA, managing director of Freedom Divorce Advisors in Short Hills and a member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA).

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According to Rosenfarb, these are the most common fees charged to banking customers:

  • Monthly account/minimum balance fees: Assessed based upon your actual account balance versus how much you are required to keep in your account at any given time
  • Overdraft protection fees: Assessed when the bank processes a payment on your behalf because you don’t have sufficient funds in your account to do so
  • ATM fees: Assessed when you use your ATM card to withdraw money at another bank

Are these fees negotiable or, better yet, avoidable? “The best way to prevent these charges is by designing or selecting an account that will fit your needs and lifestyle,” says Rosenfarb. After determining what you will be using your account for the most, research several different local or online banks and compare their fee structures on the aspects that matter the most to you. “By doing this,” Rosenfarb advises, “you should be able to avoid the majority of these fees.”

To listen to a free podcast on this and other helpful financial topics, check out the NJSCPA’s award-winning podcast series at moneymattersnj.com/podcasts.


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