Friday, December 28, 2007

Things about Banking

Just a couple of things about my bank I hate. And maybe your bank is different. It probably is, but I am with a nationwide bank I hate. If I didn't have a mortgage with them, I'd be using a credit union. As it is, we're stuck and I hate them.

1. They charge outrageous fees for everything. Nothing is free. Everything has a minimum, limit, or restriction.

2. They hold everything. Every deposit needs 24-48 hours. Every transfer into and out of takes 72 hours. If I deposit $5 into an ATM it's "on hold." If we get paid it's held for 24 hours. So I never pay bills until the Monday after it's deposited.

3. My bills though they supposedly are paid "electronically" they take 3 days to deliver. I have to pay everything 1-2 weeks ahead of time in case it gets lost. How it gets lost? I have no idea, but it can. Plus even though the payment is lost, I still have to cover the withdrawn funds.

So my bank is horrible. I have a lot of headaches, constantly following up with our bills being paid, our checks clearing, pretty much everything needs to be constantly monitored.

I've had large holds on many debits. I don't know if it's because of bank policy or the company debiting the amount. But in general I have to leave a buffer of $1k in my checking at any given time. I also buffer and extra $5k in my savings account in case payments get lost and I have to pay them a second time before I get the "lost" payment credited back to me. And this supposedly is a huge bank.

Well their customer service is awful. And their services in general are awful. But I am not going to change because I wanted to simplify my life by having all my accounts in one place. Hopefully next time I move, we can use a better bank.

How's your bank?


Anonymous said...

Our bank is great, although almost every kind of checking/savings account has some kind of minimum balance requirement. What I don't understand is why you need to maintain your accounts there just because your mortgage is held by the bank. We've never had that be the case. Even if you have your payment come directly out of your account, it doesn't have to be an account at that bank.


Anonymous said...

Can't you pay your mortgage from a checking account at another bank by sending them a check (as a last resort ... they should be able to do an EFT from another bank)? I would be switching banks based on what you're describing.

I switched banks in 2003 to one that I love for the most part. My previous bank was a large national one that could care less about me. After around 3 unidentifiable (they couldn't even tell me where or what they were for when I called) $10 deductions that I had to argue with them a half an hour or more about each and each time them saying I could have used an ATM (the local atms at the time only did amounts in increments of $20) I researched many banks and switched.

I now have a bank that is a moderate size with several locations in town and a fair number on the Eastern Coast. The other thing I looked for in a bank was one that had a secure online banking that didn't require my social security code as the clear text portion of the username and password (which was another problem I had with the national bank ... they wouldn't change this in 2003 when I complained about the security aspects of this. I've heard they've fixed this with the increase in identity theft.)

My personal checking doesn't have a minimum. My business checking doesn't have a minimum. My statements back to 2003 are available as pdf files online. I can do online banking easily. And just the other day I set up a savings account online that didn't have a minimum balance to avoid monthly maintenance fees as well. The restrictions on it were fair (it's a savings account not a checking account so the limit of 6 withdrawels per month should be more than enough... I'm trying to save here not spend) and it comes with an ATM card in case I need quick access to the funds.

The only minor thing that irks me at times is making a deposit after 4pm ... it seems to take 3 days to deposit and I might as well wait until the next day to go to the bank (deposits made before 4pm show up that night around 3am EST.) Otherwise no big problems, no unidentifiable amounts that the bank tries to slip in because they don't think I check my statement (people, check your statements!!!! balance your books ... not all banks are honest or mistake proof!)

Living Almost Large said...

I honestly will say it's laziness. When we moved and got our mortgage it seemed simpler to get everything in one place on one statement. And I still like that aspect of it.

Maybe I should research it, but I guarantee my DH will be unhappy. He won't want to change his paperwork for the direct deposit.

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

My bank in Canada (President's Choice Financial) is fantastic because the whole idea of the bank is to be low-cost, and not have any real overhead.. therefore, EVERYTHING is done on the telephone, online, or sometimes (rarely) in person at one of their very rare locations...

But I find it works great for me, and the customer service is outstanding. They thank me every time I call for being a long-time customer.

FrugalWannabe said...

We use a credit union and so far it's been great. When there are fees they're much smaller than at conventional banks, but for the most part, we've been able to avoid them.

johnstonteam said...

I use a large national bank and have none of the problems you've experienced. I'm not a huge fan of banks in general. But:
1) My direct deposits are available as soon as they hit the account. Depending on the amount of an actual paper deposit, unless in cash, I may have a portion of the proceeds placed on hold.
2) My debit card has a rewards program. While not as lucrative as some credit card rewards, it nets 40 or 50 bucks a year.
3) My electronic checking is free.
4) My paper checks are free as long as I don't get designer checks. I only write a few a month and I'm not going to spend $$ to write a check on Mickey Mouse or Wiley Coyete. I'm on what they call a silver plan. It's a seniors plan, but I don't qualify for it. I just asked if they would put me on it and they did.
5) I have mulitple accounts. One is a Christmas account, one contains my BEF and another I used to hold a large cash windfall I one time had until I could decide where to invest it. It just has a few dollars left in it to keep it open should I need to place move cash out of my main account. All are electronically linked and I can transfer and still have funds available from any of the accounts.

I do have a credit union account that has a less than $20.00 savings account and a VISA card I use when I travel in the event I have trouble with my debit card.

I also use ING for all my longer term liquid savings with their ~ 4% savings interst rate.

Living Almost Large said...

I've heard credit unions usually have lower fees and better banking rates.