Contributed By: Jon Freeman

No one likes having to pay fees on a checking account. You may not be able to eliminate all of the fees charged by a bank or credit union, but following these six steps can help reduce the fees you pay:


1. Keep track of your balance to avoid spending more than you have available or going below your minimum balance requirement.
For example:
1) Check your balance at the ATM before you withdraw cash.
2) Ask if your bank or credit union offers low-balance warnings via email or text message.
3) Ask your bank or credit union when the money you deposit will be available for your use.
4) Monitor your account online or with a mobile app.
5) Ask your bank how it processes debits to your account. Debits are not always processed in the order in which they occur.

2. Find out if fees can be waived.
Many financial institutions waive monthly service fees if you maintain a minimum balance or sign up for direct deposit.

3. Watch out for overdraft fees.
Overdrafts occur when you spend or withdraw more money than is available in your checking account. Many banks and credit unions will charge an overdraft fee of around $30 to $35 dollars.

4. Use your financial institution’s ATMs.
Many banks or credit unions offer ATM locator maps on their websites and mobile apps.

5. See of there is a low fee checking account for you.
Many banks will have special accounts for students or seniors that may have lower fees than other accounts. Some banks have a basic checking account with a low minimum balance requirement.

6. Open and review all of your mail from your bank or credit union.
Review account statements every month to make sure they are correct and report errors immediately. You must also be notified when your minimum balance requirement, fees, or other account terms change.


To get more information about managing your money feel free to visit the Gwinnett Library’s Personal Finance GCPL Guide.