Getting to the bottom of bank overdraft fees

Source: Michelle Singletary, The Washington Post

Bank overdraft fees drive me crazy. It’s just wasted money. Sure, overdraft protection is a good backup for the times you miscalculate, but sometimes the fees run into the hundreds of dollars a month and are the most burdensome on the people least able to afford them. Well, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau intends to do something about this. The bureau is investigating banks’ overdraft practices and their effect on consumers’ finances. If you have overdraft protection, your financial institution will cover the transaction so your check won’t bounce — but it will charge you a fee. The average overdraft fee ranged from $30 to $35 in 2011 and has increased 17 percent over the past five years, according to CFPB.

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