You may have gotten dinged in the past by an overdraft protection fee from your bank. According to the FDIC, a lot of us overdraw our checking accounts, and have to pay the penalty. It can add up in a hurry; the dreaded overdraft fee. Amanda Austin said, “Well I've only done it once, but it ended up being a couple of different transactions so it added up to about $95 or something.” According to a new FDIC study, it costs a customer any where from ten dollars to forty dollars if they spend more money than they have in their account. On average banks charge about $27 when you overdraft. Evelyn Bryant hates overdraft fees, “I think they are $35 for insufficient fund fees. And I just think that's too high.” According to the study nearly $2 billion in charges came from overdraft fees. The most common locations were the cash register and your ATM. But financial experts say these fees can be easily avoided. Financial planner Ross Marino said, “Before you go to the ATM, I would know two things, what is my balance today, and what bills are going to come out tomorrow.” According to the study, senior citizens keep the best track of their money with just over 10 percent of accounts getting overdraft fees. But young adults seem to struggle balancing their checkbooks with nearly half of the accounts getting charged. It helps to know your banks policies to avoid the fees, but that all starts when you first get the account. But Marino believes the survey will prevent these fees from rising, “I would expect in the future to see these fees challenged, disclosed more freely, and also come down.” Marino says you should always be careful when looking at your available balance because it might not take into account checks you've just written or big withdrawals scheduled for payments.
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