What to Do About Bank Fee Hikes

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

U.S. banks stand to collect $38.5 billion from increasingly strict overdraft fees this year, and credit card users are seeing their cards' interest rates rocket higher for no apparent reason. As financial institutions try to increase their revenues using fine print and fees, financial guru Gary Belsky talks us through what you can and can't do in response.

Comments [6]

MK Ultra

What do you about bank fee hikes? The same thing we do with rising gas prices, rising food prices, rising insurance prices, rising taxes, rising cost of living, lowering wages, less benefits: SUCK IT UP!

We are not the sheeple for nothing. And we haven't pretended to put those critters in power for nothing. This is the payback!

Aug. 12 2009 08:04 AM

I listened to your financial "guru", and he really needs to listen to what is going on out there before giving bad advice. We have EXCELLENT credit, almost at the top of the scale for years. Our interest rate on our one card has remained steady for years. Now, because of the rules changes coming, it is going up 5% to about 15%. I called, and was told several times that if this isn't done, then the issuing company will go out of business. Isn't that comnforting! I as also told it has nothing to do with good credit, etc. etc. IN THE PAST YOU COULD affect rates by a simple call or two, but now? NO! Believe me, we are being scammed. Best thing to do? Use credit in small amounts and pay it off monthly. The advice given this morning is outdated, and simply wrong for what is going on. We tried, over and over..no one cares!

Aug. 11 2009 12:49 PM
Gordon Sollars

First, it is absurd to claim that only a wealthy few can manage to spend less than they earn - although a person who has learned to live within her means might well be called "wealthy".

Second, it is a real, legal contract; those are the terms you agreed to when you got your credit card. Not surprisingly, you would like better terms. Those who think they can make any money offering better terms to borrowers are free to do so - that is, they are "free" if they meet all the legal requirements for doing so.

Aug. 11 2009 11:31 AM

Well, are there actually any rules??

I do carry a balance on my BOA card but I have never come close to the limit and I have never been late on a payment on this card or any other. I've had this card at least 10 years.

And, yet, I've had TWO interest rate increases in the last 6 months. Two. Why? It seems to me that there is no real contract at all if it can be changed at the whim of the bank and the individual's only recourse is to close the account.

I'm not in a position to pay the card off and close the account at this moment but I am extremely motivated now to pay it off as quickly as I can and will close the account as soon as I do that. So, in the short term they may gain some interest dollars but in the long term they have solidified my resolve to have no balance at all. They lose a customer.

Thanks for the opportunity to vent!

Aug. 11 2009 11:09 AM

If you're one of the wealthy and are able to do that, well...goody for you. Most of us are not!

Aug. 11 2009 08:26 AM
Gordon Sollars

I tuned into WNYC this morning just in time to hear you whine about credit card fees and interest rates. I use my credit cards to get interest-free loans that I pay back each month. If you haven't figured out how to do this, you are spending more than you earn. Some aspects of personal finance are complicated, but this is not one of them.

Aug. 11 2009 07:44 AM

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