The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Find The Account That’s Best For YOU

On August 24th, 2009, posted in: Uncategorized by

“I know a guy, who knows a guy, who’s got a guy, who has a guy, who says the best place to go for your checking account is_____________.” When you hear this sort of introduction to an important financial service, first put your toe in the water, then a foot, etc., etc. In other words, be very cautious and be a wise consumer before making a decision. Don’t jump in head first…do your homework.

You might go get a burger and a beer from the “guy who knows a guy” recommendation, but choosing the place for your checking account requires a little more consideration.
What’s right for your buddy may not be right for you. Do an honest assessment. Here, we’ll help.

Have you ever bounced a check? Do you think the prospects of doing it again are possible? Do you have trouble keeping records? Is your filing system a cluttered wallet or purse? Maybe a shoebox? If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, don’t fool yourself. You will not effectively balance your checking account and, as a result, you’re getting ready to pay some big-time fees. Seriously…find an institution with low returned check fees, minimal overdraft protection fees, and low negative balance fees.

Also, lots of financial institutions have a menu full of checking accounts (at least three or four). One of them more than likely will have an account with no fees attached when you have a minimum balance of…oh…let’s say $250. And check this out – they’ll pay you some miniscule amount of interest to boot. Yeehaw!!! (By the way, when it says no fees, it doesn’t usually mean returned check, overdraft or negative balance fees.) We’re talking no per-check fees, free box of checks, no transfer fees, no extra cost for a statement copy or check copy (up to a maximum per month), etc., etc. – you get the idea.

Again, it’s gut check time. Let’s be honest…can you keep $250 out of reach? Do you have enough cash flow not to need the $250 EVER? If you answered “no,” don’t pretend. You need a no minimum balance account. The free stuff does you no good. You’ll drop below that $250 minimum faster than you can say “uh-oh, I screwed up.” And trust me, the “below balance fee” will more than make up for any savings you may have received from that free box of checks.

These are just two areas that need your attention. You say…“not me; I’m a good money manager.” Great, then tell your kids and grandkids. Believe me, they need it. No kidding…young people are shy of the skills to keep their money in their own pocket versus giving it to a financial institution in the name of fees.

Know how young people make their decisions? They know a guy, who has a guy, who knows a guy, who has a great checking account with _______________? Really. Do your homework and find what’s best for you (and your kids and grandkids.)

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