Banking Column

This column focuses on all matters banking from reviews of the best high yield savings accounts to whether your funds are adequately protected by FDIC insurance. The bank, and not your mattress, should be where you’re putting your savings and anytime we discuss banks, it’ll appear in this column.

Popular Resources in Banking:

- Best Online Banks
- High Yield Savings Account Rates
- Best CD Rates (12-18 months)
- Highest CD Rates (< 12 months)


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 Banking 
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How to Move from Unbanked to Banked

Blank CheckbookOne of the trends on the rise recently has been an increase in the number of consumers who are unbanked. There are several reasons that people join the ranks of the unbanked. No matter the reason, though, the truth is that being unbanked can have some serious drawbacks — and cost even more than bank fees.

If you are unbanked, it’s probably a good idea to consider joining the ranks of the banked again, if possible. You’ll likely save money, and you’ll have access to other services as well.

(click here to continue reading…)

 Banking 
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FDIC Insurance in ING Direct & Capital One Bank Merger

ING Direct just sent me one of the most confusing emails I’ve ever read. In it, they describe how the FDIC coverage would be changing on November 1st (assuming it is approved) and how FDIC coverage would be changing on May 1st.

Unless you have an account at ING Direct and Capital One Banking, you probably didn’t receive this email. I still have an account at Capital One from back when they had a Costco promotion and so they probably pulled my name from that list.

Here’s the confusing email:
(click here to continue reading…)

 Banking 
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Is Your Bank Raising Fees?

Bank fees on the riseAfter last year’s struggles over bank fees, things settled down a bit. Consumers fought back against debit card fees, and other fees. Many banks backed off.

However, the story doesn’t end. Now that some of the furor over bank fees has died down, some banks are now revisiting their fee increases. Many of the fees aren’t as obvious as attaching a monthly fee to your debit card, though. Most of them are increases on existing fees.

(click here to continue reading…)

 Banking 
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Will Multiple Savings Accounts Hurt Me?

Nope.

As a former high yield savings account addict, with over a dozen online bank accounts (my excuse was that I wanted to review them for Bargaineering!), I can confidently say that there is just one downside to having so many savings accounts – you had to keep track of them all.

I did it by drawing a financial network map to help me remember the various connections but after a couple years I decided that simplifying my finances was going to be better than constantly updating that map. So over the course of several months, I transferred out the funds and closed the accounts.

One of the factors that enabled me to have so many savings accounts were the favorable terms. Most online savings accounts have no account minimum or a minimum of $1. They don’t charge you for anything and so there’s really no downside to keeping it open. In fact, several of those accounts had $10 in it and closing them was as simple as transferring out the cash and calling the bank to let them know I was leaving.

Unlike applying for a lot of credit cards, there is no tangible impact to opening multiple bank accounts so open away!

 Banking 
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Is HSBC Direct Killing Their Online Savings Account?

Ok ok, that title is a little sensational. They’re not ending their online savings account, they’re implementing a fee that is guaranteed to get all account holders scrambling for the exits and closing their HSBC Direct accounts. Here’s an email that account holders recently received, courtesy of Fatwallet and with the pertinent fee bolded (I bolded it):
(click here to continue reading…)

 Banking, The Home 
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Victim of Foreclosure Abuse? Consider a Foreclosure Review

Foreclosure SignsMany homeowners found themselves facing foreclosure due to circumstances beyond their control — and even through mistakes made by lenders. Shady practices by various lenders have resulted in foreclosure abuse that has been coming to light. Earlier this year, a number of lenders reached a $26 billion settlement that requires them to take steps to redress some of the abuses that some homeowners have experienced.

That news made big waves while a smaller program was mostly overlooked. This other program allows homeowners to sign up for an Independent Foreclosure Review. That review, conducted according to guidelines set forth by the Federal Reserve and the Comptroller of the Currency, could result in up to $125,000 for homeowners who have suffered from foreclosure abuses.

(click here to continue reading…)

 Banking 
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Is Cash on the Way Out?

CashPeople still say that “cash is king.” However, the actually paper money representing cash might not be king anymore. Indeed, cash is probably on the way out. According to CNN Money, 43% of adults go a week at a time without making any payments with cash. I know that I’m guilty. While I always have a few bucks in my wallet, I’m far more likely to swipe a debit card or a credit card.

With fewer and fewer people actually pulling out the paper money to make payments, there is talk of the demise of cash. After all, plastic is just way more convenient. And the way things are going, carrying a debit or credit card might soon be a thing of the past as well.
(click here to continue reading…)

 Banking 
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Capital One Ending Costco Savings Account

A little over two years ago, I saw that Costco and Capital One had a partnership in which you could earn a reasonably good interest rate on a high yield savings account. The kicker was that you’d get bonus for opening an account plus a 10% quarterly bonus on the interest you earned, which made it competitive.

Then Capital One bought ING Direct and I figured it was only a matter of time before Capital One’s Direct Banking (their name for their online banking services) would be merged with ING Direct. It turns out that would take about one year because I received the following email this morning:
(click here to continue reading…)

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