In this day and age, we need banks as much as we need grocery stores. Sure, you could start your own vegetable garden but how sustainable and easy would that be? Basically, without banks and loans and credit scores, you can’t really move your finances around.
While we rely on them, banks like to keep things to themselves. Some of these secrets could cost you a lot of money and headaches, so keep them in mind when shopping for a new account. If you’re ever felt like your monetary situation is strange and getting out of hand, this might be why.
They Rely on You Being Lazy
When you walk through the door, banks generally assume you haven’t shopped around for a better deal. They won’t ever tell you what their competitors have to offer. Unless you go out of your way, visiting different branches, you’ll never know if a better offer is just around the corner.
Sadly, it doesn’t end there. You probably won’t be informed of any new offers. So if you’re interested, you’re going to have to step up your game and start looking for them yourself.
Bankers Are Not Financial Brokers
As mentioned earlier, bankers won’t tell you what benefits other accounts from other banks have. For a fee, financial brokers will do all the work for you. Getting you an amazing offer is in their best interest and they will not get any additional money no matter what option they present or you chose.
While bank employees might see bonuses for every sale, brokers have to rely on good services to keep you as a customer.
Rates Are Subject to Change
They’ll lure you in with sublime initial rates but will fail to notice or will just gloss over how they’ll likely change over time. Stay on top of your account! Check-in as often as you can, doubly so if you’re in a precarious financial situation. The last thing you’ll need is a sharp change from your bank, so stay vigilant.
Your Account Isn’t worth a Lot
When’s the last time you wanted to open an account without being offered a ton of extras? Travel insurance, mobile coverage, breakdown coverage just to name a few… Banks will try to lure you in with all these extra advantages that you’ll probably never use. The thing is, you’ll still be paying for them whether you do or don’t.
Unless you’re looking for all these benefits, opening a new account shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.
They Don’t Want You to Pay Your Debts Early
Banks make money the longer you stay with them, the longer they charge you interest or any types of fees. As a bonus note, they also make money every time you swipe!
Of course, they don’t really want you to pay your debts too fast. They probably won’t outright say it, but you’ll probably be charged a penalty or fee for not staying on schedule. If you’re worried this might happen to you, call ahead and ask what the situation on your account is before it’s too late.
Even Bank Managers Can’t Guarantee Approvals
When you’re applying for a new loan, no matter how much you sweet-talk the bank manager or the loan officer, you can’t win. That’s because your application is reviewed by a computer. All your data will be spit out the other end with a verdict, whether you like it or not.
In these cases, you’re better off looking elsewhere and settling with what works best for you. Bank workers would probably like to help you, but their hands might be tied.
They Can Waive Some Fees
No banker worth his or her salt will admit to this from the get-go. If you’re eyeing a certain fee you think you should do without, as you rightfully should, just asking can be a step in the right direction.
Banks would much rather cut down some fees here and there than lose you as a customer. Making sure you’re happy even for a short while can all but guarantee you’ll be using their service in the future and at the end of the day, they’ll still make a lot of money off you. Next time, don’t be afraid to ask!
You Can Negotiate Your Mortgage Rates
It’s the same idea as before. Losing your business is not good, so banks are more likely to allow negotiations. They’ll play it off as though their current offer is the best unless you speak up, but don’t let this tactic fool you.
Having a financial broker in your corner will, again, help you in this department. They’re required to look for the best deal if you’re willing yo pay them for it.
Your Mortgage Rates Won’t Stay the Same
The central bank will set up rates, that much is true. But lenders are free to change them up as they see fit. That’s why you might see advertisements with the rates staying the same, but don’t fall for them. Check-in with your lender and make sure you’re on the same page, ask why changes are made.
But most importantly of all, read the small print! We know it’s tedious, but that’s where you’ll find the most valuable information pertaining to your deal.
Overdraft Fees Are Designed to Trap You
Alright, so, sometimes it feels like overdraft fees are just around the corner, ready to pounce. But that’s because they are. Banks use a lot of different tactics to make sure you fall into overdraft.
For example, they might reorganize some of your purchases highest to lowest. They might sit on a check for longer than necessary even though they’ll claim they’re just making sure everything is on the up and up.
Worse! Watch out for when you deposit money on the same day you have to make payments as the bank is likely to go through the payments first!
Banks Love Old Credit Cards
Basically, the longer your banking history, the better. Banks want to see how reliable you are with money. Old credit cards will give them exactly what they’re looking for, so use this to your advantage going forward.
Your Vacation Is about to Cost a Fortune
First off, currency exchange rates in banks are some of the worst. You’re better off going out of your way to look for an exchange agency instead. But you won’t see banks advertising this.
Second of all, using your card abroad might cost an arm and a leg. Not to mention the fact that in some countries, even as little as using a foreign ATM will cost you a fee depending on your transaction.
So these are some of the things banks won’t tell you, but it’s incredibly important to know. You don’t want to be surprised by fees on top of fees and we want you to be aware of your options and rights as a customer.
Next time you visit a bank, keep these in mind to save yourself some time and confusion. But what about you? Do you have any secrets you’ve discovered that you’d like to share?