Are banks misleading you about overdraft protection?
So you're in line at a store ready to make a purchase and you pull out your ATM card and use it.
There's no problem until you get your bank statement and find you've been charged $30.
That's because you didn't have enough money in your account for the purchase. So the bank covered the charge anyway by giving you overdraft protection.
Banks made millions of dollars this way.
But last year, new government rules forced banks to only give you the expensive protection if you "opt in" for it.
That means when you don't have money in your account, you can't make a purchase.
Some experts say that could cost banks a lot of money because they couldn't charge $30 or more dollars per transaction.
Now, a new study by the Center for Responsible Lending says some banks are misleading people into opting for the service anyway.
The center points to bank marketing campaigns like this one: "Your debit card may not work the same anymore even if you just made a deposit."
The study found 60 percent of consumers they surveyed, who opted in for the protection said they did so to avoid a fee if their debit card was declined.
Truth is, that wouldn't cost you anything anyway.
So, If your bank offers you overdraft protection, read everything thoroughly before signing up.
While it may be a little embarrassing being turned down for a purchase, you could save a lot of money if you don't opt in.
Let me know about any issues you have with banks.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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