This week and last we asked you about your job and you responded with a flurry of calls. Takeaway listeners told us stories about loving and hating their jobs, having to relocate to find work, taking second and third jobs, and having to cut their own pay as small business owners. The economy may be improving, but many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet.
Many banks charge a fee if a minimum balance isn't maintained in a checking account. Frequently this is calculated in terms of an "average daily balance", a running total of where an account holder stands every day in maintaining that minimum average. But no bank provides a way for account holders to track it themselves, nor provide the metric they use. And, as The New York Times has noted, banks frequently don't calculate the average until the end of the month.
Remember the $5 monthly fee Bank of America planned to roll out for all its debit card customers? In a complete reversal, the bank now — one month later — says it's dropping plans to introduce that fee. It’s a big victory for the 200,000 customers who signed a petition on Change.org calling for Bank of America to drop this fee.
This year the price of college reached a record high. According to figures from an annual College Board report, the average cost of per year of tuition is up more 8.3 percent for public 4 year colleges and up 4.5 percent for private schools. The average college student now finishes school with between $22,000 and $28,000 of debt. In total, Americans currently owe nearly a trillion dollars in student loans — that's more than they owe on credit cards. President Obama addressed the issue of student debt in a speech in Denver on Wednesday, announcing a new program to lower monthly student loan payments.
On Wednesday, President Obama announced his plan for lowering the burden of student loan debt for people saddled with paying for the high cost of their education. The Takeaway asked listeners to tell us their stories about how they’re dealing with student loan debt. Ron Lieber, personal finance reporter for The New York Times, attempts to answer their queries.
In the aftershocks of the financial crisis and with billions of dollars flying in stimulus, TARP, and other tools, have you been left wondering where your bailout is? Takeaway contributor, Beth Kobliner has gotten that question a lot: she's the author of “Get a Financial Life.”
Buyer beware: your bank may be trying to protect its revenue stream in the face of increased government scrutiny by adding unnecessary fees to financial instruments like your debit card. A report in today's New York Times says banks are beginning to aggressively market products like automatic overdraft protection fees. Without these fees, banks stand to lose some $20 billion annually.