Twenty Secrets Banks Don't Want You To Know - EDU

Twenty Secrets Banks Don't Want You To Know

Whether you're spending money or saving it, banks have plenty of sneaky tricks which they employ to milk you for the most cash they possibly can. Here are 20 to watch out for.

You won’t always get the rate advertised

Lenders are not always required to offer the rate advertised to all successful applicants. They may only have to offer that rate to a certain percentage of those who have been approved, with the rest offered a more expensive deal.

Your bank account isn’t worth the money you’re paying for it

Some bank accounts offer a range of added extras, like free travel insurance, in exchange for a monthly fee. But unless you use ALL of the extras on offer, the account is probably not worth the money you’re paying.

When you swipe, they cash in

When you spend using your debit or credit card, the retailer is charged a fee for processing the transaction. Most of that fee goes back to your bank – so even if you are spending your own money, the bank is still better off as a result.

No debt history is not a good thing

When working out if they want to lend to you, a bank will look at your financial history. If you’ve never used credit in the past – a loan or credit card, for example – they don’t know how good you’ll be as a borrower. So no history may be worse than a less-than-perfect one.

They can re-order your purchases

Some banks will re-order your purchases in a day, from the highest amount to the lowest. That means that if you fall into your overdraft, and your bank charges a fee for each transaction made while overdrawn, you will end up paying more fees.

Running deposits last

Say you pay money into your account on the same day that you have a bunch of payments due to come out. Banks may run those payments first, meaning you fall into your overdraft and have to pay overdraft fees, before running your deposit, which will bring you back into the black.
They might sit on your check

It can take many days to get your check to clear into your bank account, with banks able to delay the process for a number of reasons under the guise of ensuring everything is above board. This delay can easily see you fall into the red and have to pay yet more overdraft fees.

You don’t need that insurance

When you take out some form of credit, the bank will often try to sell you some insurance to cover your payments in case something happens to you. However, the small print of these insurance policies may mean that it won’t actually cover ALL of the debt if you can’t. You’re better off making other plans.

Paying your debt off early will cost you more

With loans and mortgages, you’d think that paying off your debt ahead of schedule would be a good thing. But many lenders will slap you with an additional charge for doing so.

Closing an unused credit card could hurt you

Banks look at your ‘credit utilization’ rate when considering any applications for further loans. They want to see how much of the credit at your disposal you are using. If it's too high, you may look desperate. Closing an old card could push that rate up, denting your chances.

Your mortgage bill could go up, even when rates don’t

Some variable mortgages are not actually tied to the central bank rate. So your lender could put up rates, even if base rate hasn’t moved.

Watch out for mortgage fees

Never mind the interest rate, banks really cash in on the many fees that come with your mortgage, from ‘administration’ fees to exit charges. Be sure to read the small print so you know exactly what additional fees you may have to pay.

There’s no such thing as free banking

Even if your account doesn’t charge a monthly fee, it still isn’t really free. Whether it’s fees for dropping into your overdraft or the non-existent interest paid on your credit balance, we are all paying for our accounts whether directly or indirectly.

Banks rely on your laziness

The best deals are saved for new customers. Banks are relying on your apathy towards regularly shopping around and switching accounts, meaning you miss out on the best deals.

Your old debt might be your most valuable

The longer your credit history, the better as banks want to know that you have experience handling debt. So closing your oldest credit card might not be a good idea.

Your money might cost you money

In some countries, you will have to pay a fee if you withdraw money from an ATM that’s not run by your bank

Using your card abroad could cost you a fortune

Many banks will hit you with all sorts of fees and charges if you use your card overseas. You’re usually better off changing up your spending money well in advance.

Savings rates won’t last forever

Banks are known for teasing you in with a great initial rate for your savings, only to slash it sharply later on. Be sure to keep on top of exactly what return you’re getting. If it drops, move.

Don’t change your vacation money up at the bank!

When sorting out your vacation spending money, banks often offer some of the worst exchange rates. Instead use a specialist currency exchange firm.

They want you to make a mistake

Banks don’t offer interest-free credit cards out of the goodness of their hearts. They are betting that you will make a mess of your repayments, and end up with debt still to pay off when the 0% deal comes to an end. So don’t slip up!

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