Banking http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/800/all en-US 4 Things You Need to Know About the Federal Reserve http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-federal-reserve <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-federal-reserve" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000073573727.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The mention of the Federal Reserve brings to many Americans the image of a super powerful organization in charge of keeping the economy operating smoothly. And to a certain extent that isn't too far from reality: The Fed develops and implements economic and monetary policies that affect not only U.S. citizens, but also individuals around the world.</p> <p>Let's take a closer at what is the Fed, what it does, and how those actions impact people everyday.</p> <h2>What Is the Fed?</h2> <p>Created by the U.S. Congress on December 23, 1913, the Federal Reserve System became the first formal organization to study and implement monetary policy. In other words, it is the central bank of the United States.</p> <p>Currently there are <a href="https://www.federalreserveeducation.org/about-the-fed/structure-and-functions/districts/">12 regional Federal Reserve Banks</a> located throughout the nation in major cities, including Boston, Dallas, and San Francisco. Each one of these locations serves a district formed by entire or portions of several U.S. states and territories. For example, the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank serves the Eighth Federal Reserve District, which consists of Arkansas and portions of six other states: Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.</p> <h2>Who Makes Up the Fed?</h2> <p>While the most well-known figure of the Fed is the chairman of the Board, currently <a href="https://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/bios/board/yellen.htm">Janet L. Yellen</a>, the Fed is headed by a Board of Governors. Each one of the seven members of the Board of Governors is appointed by the president and serves for a 14-year term. The board is led by a chairman and a vice chairman, both also appointed by the President but approved by the Senate for four-year terms.</p> <p>Some interesting facts about the Fed's chairmen:</p> <ul> <li>While Alan Greenspan is often thought to be the longest-serving chairman, that title goes to William M. Martin with 18 years and 9 months, from 1951 to 1970. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-pearls-of-financial-wisdom-from-alan-greenspan?ref=seealso">3 Pearls of Financial Wisdom From Alan Greenspan</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The current vice chairman, <a href="https://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/bios/board/fischer.htm">Stanley Fischer</a>, is the author of many classic economic textbooks, which you may have used (or are currently using) in college.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>On February 3, 2014, Janet Yellen became the first female chair of the board of governors. She was also the first female vice chairman during her 2010&ndash;2014 appointment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The only former Fed chairman on social media is Ben Bernanke, who you can follow at <a href="http://twitter.com/benbernanke">@benbernanke</a> on Twitter.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>While a chairman is appointed for four years, some resign before their full term. For example, Roy Young resigned in the middle of his last four-year term.</li> </ul> <p>The Fed chairman has less unilateral power than the title might suggest. The chair counts as just one vote among the total seven votes of the board. Additionally, the chairman doesn't automatically become the chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which is the Fed's monetary policymaking body formed by the seven members of the board and five Reserve Bank presidents on a rotating basis. The FOMC controls the federal funds rate, the primary lever of U.S. monetary policy. The Fed chair also only counts as one vote in the FOMC.</p> <h2>What Does the Fed Do and How Does It Affect You?</h2> <p>All of the responsibilities of the Fed fall under four general areas and they all have an effect on your financial activities.</p> <h3>1. Influence money and credit conditions in the U.S. economy in pursuit of full employment and stable prices.</h3> <p>By setting the target federal funds rate, the Fed establishes a benchmark for many short-term interest rates and, consequently, influences credit conditions throughout the economy. Through open market operations (the purchase and sale of U.S. government securities), setting the discount rate (usually lower than the federal funds rate and used for short-term loans from a Federal Reserve Bank to a regular bank), and minimum reserve requirements that banks must adhere to, the Fed aims to maintain its announced target federal funds rate.</p> <p>The Fed's monetary policy affects the supply of reserves in the U.S. banking system, indirectly affecting longer term interest rates, such as mortgages, and ultimately aiming to achieve full employment and low inflation.</p> <p><strong>How It Affects You</strong>: For good reason, economists keep a close eye on the target federal funds rate. It affects all forms of credit. For example, the interest rate on 30-year mortgage loans are highly correlated to the yield of a the U.S. Treasury 10-year bond, which depends on the Fed's target rate. Another example is that banks set the interest rates on their loans and deposit accounts based on the federal funds and discount rates. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-important-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-housing-market-in-2016?ref=seealso">6 Important Things You Need to Know About the Housing Market in 2016</a>)</p> <h3>2. Supervise and regulate banks and other important financial institutions to ensure the safety of the nation's banking and financial system.</h3> <p>The Fed shares banking supervisory authority with other agencies, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in the U.S. Treasury Department. All nationally chartered banks have to be members of the Federal Reserve System and are subject to on-site examinations and off-site monitoring by their assigned Federal Reserve Bank. An example of an examination is the stress test, which requires financial institutions to have enough deposits on hand to withstand potentially large losses.</p> <p><strong>How It Affects You:</strong> The Fed establishes minimum requirements for banks to have cash on hand so that you can actually withdraw your money. If there were no minimum requirements, an unscrupulous bank could hold all deposits hostage by lending them all out. At the same time, it prevents banks from closing shop for the day for not having enough cash after a very large withdrawal.</p> <h3>3. Maintain the stability of the financial system by containing systemic risk.</h3> <p>No matter how much you diversify your portfolio, you can never get rid of systemic risk &mdash; the risk of collapse on the entire financial system. The Fed seeks to minimize that systemic risk as much as possible.</p> <p>The Fed can act as a &quot;lender of last resort&quot; to provide liquidity to the banking system during emergency situations. For example, on the day after 9/11 the Reserve Banks provided loans directly to depository institutions to restore confidence in the U.S. financial system and allow those institutions to meet their short-term obligations.</p> <p>Under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the Fed has authority to subject systemically important nonbank financial institutions, such as bank holding companies with over $50 billion in assets, to heightened supervisory standards.</p> <p><strong>How It Affects You:</strong> You're willing to put your money in banks and invest in the stock market because you trust that the financial system is here to stay. The Fed plays a key role in maintaining that trust by by enabling banks to make payments even in the event of emergencies and regulating activities of key financial institutions.</p> <h3>4. Provide certain financial services to the U.S. government and other major official institutions and operate the nation's payment systems.</h3> <p>The Fed distributes all bills printed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C., and Fort Worth, Texas, and all coins produced by the U.S. Mints in Philadelphia and Denver to its 12 Federal Reserve Banks. In turn, these 12 banks distribute all bills and coins to depository institutions throughout the U.S. to meet public demand.</p> <p>The Fed's Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) processes about three fourths of the <a href="http://www.frbsf.org/education/teacher-resources/what-is-the-fed/payment-services">nation's electronic transactions</a>, which include direct payroll deposits, Social Security benefit payments, and tax refunds. Additionally, the Federal Reserve Banks handle a wide variety of financial transactions for U.S. agencies, including processing of food stamps and handling of postal money orders.</p> <p><strong>How It Affects You</strong>: The Fed makes sure that your payroll deposit and tax refund arrives in a timely manner to your checking account. The Federal Reserve Banks virtually touch almost any payment that you send out or any deposit that you receive through a bank.</p> <p><em>What do you think is the most important role of the Fed? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-federal-reserve">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fed-raised-rates-then-something-weird-happened">The Fed Raised Rates — Then Something Weird Happened</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-much-the-feds-interest-rate-hike-might-cost-you">This Is How Much the Fed&#039;s Interest Rate Hike Might Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-the-fed-is-keeping-rates-low-and-what-it-means-for-you">3 Reasons the Fed Is Keeping Rates Low (And What It Means for You)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-bailbondsman-approach-part-deux-fiscal-stimulus-no-gonna-workie">The Bailbondsman Approach Part Deux: Fiscal Stimulus No Gonna Workie</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps">How to Rebuild Your Credit in 8 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking alan greenspan americans Ben Bernanke credit federal reserve janet yellen stanley fischer the fed u.s. economy Wed, 25 May 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Damian Davila 1717155 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Live Bank-Free http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-live-bank-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-live-bank-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wallet_cash_000090076819.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to live bank-free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bounced checks. Confusing marketing. Unexplained fees. These issues and more contributed to a 5% increase in the number of <a href="http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201604_cfpb_consumer-response-annual-report-2015.pdf">complaints filed against banks</a> last year by checking and savings account holders. Alas, many consider the woes of banking a necessary evil. But others are reacting by taking their money matters into their own hands. Case in point: One in 12 Americans doesn't have a bank account, a trend that experts say is <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/12/pf/fdic-bank-accounts/">on the rise</a>. How do they do it?</p> <h2>1. Use a Prepaid Debit Card to Make Everyday Purchases</h2> <p>It's detached from any bank account, you can conveniently add or withdraw money from it at the ATM, and you can use it to make purchases, online and in person, wherever traditional debit cards are accepted. Perhaps now you see why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-prepaid-debit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=banking">prepaid debit cards</a> have become so popular, particularly among Americans without banking accounts. Use your prepaid card like you would any debit card. It's ideal for everyday purchases. And in some cases, employers can deposit your wages to a prepaid card account.</p> <p>Bonus: Since you can only spend up to the amount of money that's on the card, there's no risk of getting hit with an overdraft fee. You simply can't spend more than you've got loaded onto the card.</p> <h2>2. Pay Your Bills With Non-Bank Money Orders</h2> <p>When the prepaid debit card fails you, money orders offer the next best &mdash; and secure &mdash; means of bill payment. A money order lets you send money just like a personal check and typically costs less than a dollar per transaction. And, like a check, this prepaid payment method can be tracked and canceled if stolen. You can also receive funds via money order. And since it's prepaid, there's no need to have a checking account to use one.</p> <h2>3. Avoid Money Wiring Services</h2> <p>Simply put, it's expensive. The average fee for an incoming domestic wire at the 10 largest credit unions is almost $5, compared to $15 at banks &mdash; while outgoing domestic wire transfers cost more than $17, compared to about $26 at banks.</p> <h2>4. Sign Up for PayPal to Facilitate Peer-to-Peer Payments</h2> <p>Popular among those who have ditched the bank, PayPal allows its users to make quick and easy payments to businesses, colleagues, and friends through its online account system. PayPal also lets registered users opt for &quot;bill me later,&quot; an option that delays payment &mdash; much like a credit card.</p> <h2>5. Get a Fire-Proof Safe</h2> <p>While you can load all of your funds onto prepaid debit cards, chances are that you're going to have some extra cash you'll want to stow away. Without a bank to keep watch over your hard-earned cash, you'll be smart to invest in a fire-proof safe. Install your safe in a secure location within your home. That means somewhere out of plain sight. Share the lock combination only with those who absolutely need to know it. And don't advertise how much money you keep inside of it.</p> <p><em>Are you bank-free? How do you manage it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-live-bank-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-its-time-to-find-a-new-bank">5 Signs It&#039;s Time to Find a New Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-annoying-bank-fees-and-how-to-avoid-them">12 Annoying Bank Fees and How to Avoid Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-are-your-bank-accounts">Financial IQ Test: How Healthy Are Your Bank Accounts?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-still-write-paper-checks">Why I Still Write Paper Checks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-bank-vaults-are-much-more-interesting-than-you-thought">10 Reasons Why Bank Vaults Are Much More Interesting Than You Thought</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking atms bank accounts bank-free money orders paypal prepaid debit cards safes wire transfers Thu, 19 May 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1712217 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons You Should Still Go to the Bank http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-you-should-still-go-to-the-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-you-should-still-go-to-the-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_professional_000051525584.jpg" alt="Woman finding reasons to still go to the bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did your bank close your local branch? It wouldn't be surprising. According to a report from SNL Financial, banks closed 1,614 U.S. branches in 2015. JPMorgan Chase &amp; Co. led the way, closing 195 branches, while PNC closed 94 and Bank of America Corp. 88 last year.</p> <p>The reasons are obvious: Most customers rarely need to enter a bank branch. Employees' paychecks are often direct-deposited to their banks. Customers today make deposits through their smartphones. And they pay their bills online.</p> <p>But that doesn't mean there aren't times when actually visiting a bank in person makes sense. When should you tuck away your smartphone and step into your local branch?</p> <h2>1. You're Applying for a Mortgage</h2> <p>Sure, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-credit-mistakes-that-could-hurt-your-mortgage-application" target="_blank">apply for a mortgage</a> online with many financial institutions. And you don't have to even take out a mortgage with your local branch. But if you like your bank, you might want to at least talk to a loan officer at your local branch about a mortgage.</p> <p>A mortgage is a big financial commitment. Sometimes you want to talk to a financial professional in person for advice and recommendations. Again, you don't have to turn to your local bank for this advice; you can work with any mortgage lender licensed to do business in your state. But your bank might offer competitive rates and lower closing costs. You won't know until you contact them.</p> <h2>2. You're Ready to Buy a Car</h2> <p>It's good financial sense to have financing in place before you shop for a new car. You might still take the financing offered by your auto dealer, but coming into the dealership pre-approved for an auto loan provides you with a back-up if you don't like your dealer's terms. It might also save you money; dealers might lower your interest rate to persuade you to take out a loan with them instead of with a different financial institution.</p> <p>Your bank certainly offers auto loans. If the rate it is offering is a good one, it might make sense to visit your local branch to talk through your auto-financing options.</p> <h2>3. You Need a Money Order</h2> <p>It's true that you can get a money order from several outlets, including credit unions, the U.S. Post Office, and many retailers. But you can also get them from your local bank branch. And if your branch is conveniently located, charges reasonable fees and is likely to be less crowded, why not get a money order from there?</p> <h2>4. You Need a Notary</h2> <p>Finding a notary is hardly a challenging task these days: Your local public library might even have one on staff. The odds are high, too, that your local bank branch offers a notary service. Most won't even charge to have a notary sign your documents. Again, if your bank is located a short drive from your home and is likely to offer quick service, visiting your branch for the services of a notary public could save you time.</p> <h2>5. You Need a Specific Type of Change</h2> <p>Maybe you're holding a yard sale and you need tons of singles. A good place to get change in specific denominations? Your local bank. Banks are happy to turn your large bills into smaller ones. And your teller won't flinch no matter how specific you get with how many $1s, $5s and $10s you need.</p> <h2>6. You're Ready to Empty That Coffee Can of Pennies</h2> <p>Got a jug stuffed with pennies, dimes, and nickels at home? Your bank will be happy to convert that change to dollars. Yes, you can go to your nearest Coinstar machine to do the same thing. But Coinstar charges a fee. Your local bank branch, if you are a customer, might not.</p> <p><em>Do you still pay regular visits to your bank?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-you-should-still-go-to-the-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-ways-to-count-and-cash-in-your-change">Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-options-if-youre-underwater-on-your-mortgage">6 Options if You&#039;re Underwater on Your Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/behind-the-times-i-learn-about-keep-the-change">Behind the Times - I learn about Keep the Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-change-count">Making Change Count</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-consider-an-adjustable-rate-mortgage">Why You Should Consider an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking car loans change coins going to the bank money order mortgages notary Fri, 06 May 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 1703946 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Free Debt Management Tools http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-debt-management-tools <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-free-debt-management-tools" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_using_smartphone_000040508552.jpg" alt="Woman using free debt management tools" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The average American looks at his or her phone <a href="http://time.com/4147614/smartphone-usage-us-2015/">46 times every day</a>.</p> <p>That number is even higher among U.S. Millennials: individuals in the 18&ndash;24 age bracket and the 25&ndash;34 age bracket check their mobile devices 74 and 50 times per day, respectively. With all this time spent on their smartphones, Americans can leverage their devices to improve their personal finances at no extra cost. Additionally, there are some key tools that allow you to corroborate the data that you gather from those apps.</p> <p>Here are six free smartphone apps or tools to track debt management.</p> <h2>1. ReadyForZero</h2> <p>Since 2011, ReadyForZero has helped individuals to track their debts and pay down those debts. Available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/readyforzero-pay-off-debt/id524834938?mt=8&amp;uo=4">Apple</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.readyforzero">Android</a> devices, this app enables you to link all of your debts, including student loans, credit cards, and mortgages, to create a personalized payoff plan and track your progress. Once you have connected all of your accounts, you'll be able to keep tabs on how much you have paid off and how much you still have remaining.</p> <p>The nicest feature about ReadyForZero is the immediate gratification of tracking your daily and monthly progress, including the interest that you save over time. ReadyForZero partners with TransUnion to provide you with free access to your&nbsp;<a href="http://thescore.vantagescore.com/article/98">VantageScore&reg; 3.0</a> credit score.</p> <h2>2. Mint: Money Manager, Budget, and Personal Finance</h2> <p>On top of helping you track your debts, the Mint app enables you to gather all of your financial information into one place. Besides your debt accounts, you can connect your bank and investment accounts to get a full snapshot of your financial standing at all times.</p> <p>The main draw of Mint is its budget feature, which allows you to create monthly budgets and track how much you have left for each category, such as gas, groceries, and education. If you provide your social security number, the app allows you to track your credit score with Equifax. The app is available for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Intuit-Mint-com-Personal-Finance/dp/B004T2P7MQ">Amazon</a>, <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mint-personal-finance/id300238550?mt=8">Apple</a> (designed for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch), and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mint&amp;hl=en">Android</a> devices.</p> <h2>3. Prosper Daily</h2> <p>Formerly known as BillGuard, the Prosper Daily app is an alternative to Mint. Besides tracking your spending and credit, Prosper Daily focuses on protecting your credit cards against fraud and unfair charges. For example, the app can use location-based technology to alert you when your credit or debit card is used at a store or AMT when you're not there. If you provide your social security number, the app allows you to track your credit score with TransUnion. Prosper Daily is available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/app/id602710567?mt=8">Apple</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.billguard.android&amp;hl=en">Android</a> devices.</p> <h2>4. AnnualCreditReport.com</h2> <p>No matter what app you use to track your debt and credit score, you should corroborate that data against your official credit report once a year. Through <a href="http://www.annualcreditreport.com/">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>, you can request your free credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). This report allows you to verify that you only have accounts and loans that you recognize on file.</p> <p>Since your credit report may affect your mortgage rates, credit card approvals, credit scores, and apartment requests, you should be on the lookout for potential inconsistencies, such as accounts that you didn't open, addresses of employers that you didn't work for, or information that should no longer be on your credit report, such as an over 10-year old bankruptcy.</p> <p>If you find an error, you can dispute it by reporting it to the credit reporting bureaus online, by mail, or by phone.</p> <p>Keep copies of your initial dispute letter and supporting documents, and communications with the credit reporting bureaus.</p> <h2>5. Compound Interest Calculator</h2> <p>When you're trying to pay down debt faster, you want to maximize how much interest you're gaining so that you can make additional payments towards your debts whenever possible. This <a href="http://www.thecalculatorsite.com/finance/calculators/compoundinterestcalculator.php">compound interest calculator</a> allows you to work out the compound interest on your savings and investments, including a breakdown of monthly interest gains and the option to list regular monthly deposits or withdrawals.</p> <h2>6. Check Deposit App From Your Bank</h2> <p>Many Americans opt to have their bi-weekly or monthly salary checks directly deposited to their checking or saving accounts. However, every now and then you may receive an additional paper check, such as a dividend payout from an investment account, a lucky windfall from your aunty for your birthday, or a check from a class action.</p> <p>In those instances, you could skip the trip to the bank by using the mobile deposit app from your bank to deposit checks in your account. For example, my credit union allows me to make deposits directly into my checking, saving, or money market accounts using a &quot;check snap&quot; mobile deposit account. Such an app is useful to save time making deposits and helps boost monthly payments to your financial obligations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-good-reasons-to-choose-a-credit-union-instead-of-a-bank?ref=seealso">9 Good Reasons to Choose a Credit Union Instead of a Bank</a>)</p> <p>Make sure to check applicable rules, such as signing the back of your check and writing a disclaimer that check is for mobile deposit only, technical requirements, and processing times.</p> <p><em>What are other free apps or software to track debt management?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-debt-management-tools">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-millennial-money-apps-everyone-should-use">The 5 Millennial Money Apps Everyone Should Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">15 Modern Life Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-for-business-owners-on-the-go">5 Apps for Business Owners on the Go</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Technology apps calculators debt tracking mobile deposit money management smartphones websites Tue, 26 Apr 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Damian Davila 1696223 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Make Sure You Never Pay an ATM Fee http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-make-sure-you-never-pay-an-atm-fee <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-make-sure-you-never-pay-an-atm-fee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_atm_transaction_000076345273.jpg" alt="Man finding ways to never pay an atm fee" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That little fee tacked onto your withdrawal when you use an automatic teller machine outside your bank network is not only annoying &mdash; it's a terrible financial move. Just a few dollars might seem insignificant at the time, but what you may not think about is that ATM fees can make up an obscenely high percentage of the money you're withdrawing. For instance, if you are taking out $50 and you pay a $2.50 fee to the bank whose machine you are using, plus a $2 fee to your own bank, you just paid an additional 9% to access your own money. You wouldn't take out a mortgage at that rate, so don't pay that rate for your own cash!</p> <p>My husband used to be a serial out-of-network ATM user. I formulated this list of tips to help him avoid the insidious habit.</p> <h2>1. Fill Up at 50%</h2> <p>Just like driving mountain roads with the empty tank light blazing, walking around town with an empty wallet is tempting fate. Set an optimal amount of cash to carry at all times &mdash; say, $50 &mdash; and when your wallet dips below $25, plan a stop at your bank's ATM to refill.</p> <p>If you tend to spend cash just because it's in your wallet, be craftier about your emergency reserve. Keep it in your car glove compartment, zipped into an inside pocket of your jacket, or in some other out-of-sight place. And if you don't like stopping at the bank when your backup runs out, keep a <em>backup </em>backup, like a drawer at home with $100 for replenishing.</p> <h2>2. Carry a Checkbook</h2> <p>Sure, it's super dorky to have to ask an establishment if they'll take a check. But it's better than paying high rates to access your own money. Stash a checkbook in your bag or the glove compartment.</p> <h2>3. Get Cash Back Instead</h2> <p>This is my favorite move in a cash emergency: I stop in a drugstore or grocery store, make a purchase, pay with my debit card, and ask for cash back, which is usually provided with no fee. I try to pick up something I needed anyway &mdash; say, envelopes. But even if I just buy myself a small treat, like a candy bar, as long as it's under $2, I still come out ahead.</p> <h2>4. Check Your Bank's Online Location Finder</h2> <p>Just because you're in an unfamiliar area doesn't mean you have to go to the first ATM you see. If you use a large bank, and you need cash while traveling, a few clicks can let you know where the nearest in-network cash machine is.</p> <h2>5. Find Out if Your Bank Has Partners</h2> <p>One reason I have kept my checking account with Citi through several moves is that they have a deal with 7-Eleven, so that I can use the machines inside the stores without paying a fee.</p> <h2>6. Change Banks or Get an Additional Checking Account</h2> <p>If your current bank lacks ATMs near your work or home, maybe it's time for a switch. You could pick a bank that has ATMs convenient to you, or choose one of the institutions that reimburses you for other banks' fees so that you can use any ATM for free. A lot of online-only banks do this. But read the fine print: Many require you to maintain a minimum balance or meet other criteria in order to get the fees reimbursed.</p> <h2>7. Do Your Homework Before Traveling Abroad</h2> <p>If you thought a few dollars in out-of-network fees were bad, wait until you get back from a European vacation and read your bank statement. You will probably find an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-re-overpaying-for-on-your-vacation">international transaction fee</a> and possibly also a currency exchange fee tacked on &mdash; in addition to the normal fees from your bank and the bank that owns the ATM. Ouch.</p> <p>Before leaving on a trip, you can open a checking account with one of the rare banks that reimburses these foreign fees.</p> <h2>8. Don't Be Shy About Your Predicament</h2> <p>My husband is a lot better about avoiding ATM fees now, but when he pays one, it's often because he was meeting a friend at a cash-only establishment and was too embarrassed to make the friend wait while he solved his cash problem. I say, let friends know that you don't want to pay an ATM fee. Borrow the $10 you need from your friend and pay him back tomorrow, or PayPal or Venmo him the money on the spot, or just ask to switch to the restaurant next door that accepts credit cards. After all, if you raise your friend's ATM fee awareness, you'll be doing him a favor in the long run.</p> <p><em>What do you do to avoid ATM fees?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-make-sure-you-never-pay-an-atm-fee">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-bank-fees">Avoid Bank Fees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-dance-to-avoid-a-fee">Would You Dance to Avoid a Fee?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-paying-these-6-unfair-banking-fees">Are You Paying These 6 Unfair Banking Fees?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-bank-of-america-s-5-monthly-debit-card-fee-just-the-beginning">Is Bank of America’s $5 Monthly Debit Card Fee Just the Beginning?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-tools-for-the-unbanked">New Tools for the Unbanked</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking ATM cash checkbooks fees withdrawals Wed, 13 Apr 2016 09:00:18 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1687114 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Paper Checks Are Still Relevant http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-paper-checks-are-still-relevant <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-paper-checks-are-still-relevant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_writing_check_000013458678.jpg" alt="Woman learning why paper checks are still relevant" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>People are beginning to think of paper checks as nearing their death. But, could they possibly still have good uses?</p> <p>According to a GoBankingRates survey, 37.8% of respondents revealed that they don't write checks and only 16.1% said they write checks at least once a month. Paper checks are especially unpopular among younger generations. Nearly all Millennials polled responded that they &quot;never&quot; write checks &mdash; roughly 95.7%.</p> <p>However, here are five reasons why you want to hang on to a book of paper checks. They just might still be relevant.</p> <h2>1. Bridge Cash Payments</h2> <p>Some smaller retailers simply will not or have not adapted to modern payment methods, like PayPal and for cash payments. Of course, you can always keep your debit card handy, assuming the cash is in your account at the moment of purchase. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way with money, and you might need a day or two between transfer times. Paper checks are a great way to bridge cash payments during transfer times, although this is risky, and not a practice to make into a habit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mobile-payment-tools-you-should-start-using-today?ref=seealso">6 Mobile Payment Tools You Should Start Using Today</a>)</p> <h2>2. Making Housing Payments</h2> <p>Although many large commercial properties have adapted to innovative technology that allows tenants to make payments online, many smaller landlords have not. Furthermore, many don't have plans for accepting online payments and will only accept deposits and rent in the form of paper checks and/or money orders and cashier's checks.</p> <h2>3. Avoiding Fees</h2> <p>Money orders and cashier's checks are costly &mdash; averaging anywhere from a couple of bucks to $10 for a cashier's check. That's a waste of money, especially if you're in the at-least-once-a-month camp. Not to mention the waste of time it takes to run out to the bank and/or store to pick them up. Intelligent money starts with streamlining bill payments and savings processes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-online-tools-to-manage-your-money-in-under-10-minutes-a-week?ref=seealso">5 Online Tools to Manage Your Money in Under 10 Minutes a Week</a>)</p> <h2>4. Stopping Payments</h2> <p>When you need to make a stop payment on a check, it's as simple as contacting your bank and making the request. Some banks charge as much as a $25 to $35 fee for stop payments. However, there may be instances where you need to cancel a payment and it's just not an option with money orders and cashier's checks, where the payment must be made once it&rsquo;s properly presented at the issuing bank.</p> <h2>5. Keeping Better Records</h2> <p>Paper checks are linked directly to your bank account and records of them are kept on file. This isn't the case with money orders and cashier's checks, where you have to hang on to carbon copy receipts as proof of payments (those carbon copies get worn out and become illegible after a while). With today's sophisticated banking technology, you can easily download copies of checks written from your account as PDF files.</p> <p><em>Do you still use paper checks? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-paper-checks-are-still-relevant">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-make-sure-you-never-pay-an-atm-fee">8 Ways to Make Sure You Never Pay an ATM Fee</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-federal-reserve">4 Things You Need to Know About the Federal Reserve</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-prepaid-debit-cards">5 Best Prepaid Debit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-ways-to-count-and-cash-in-your-change">Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan">6 Times When It&#039;s Okay to Take a Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking checkbooks checks no fees paper trail payment methods records Wed, 30 Mar 2016 09:30:30 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1678009 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Investment Accounts All 30-Somethings Should Have http://www.wisebread.com/7-investment-accounts-all-30-somethings-should-have <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-investment-accounts-all-30-somethings-should-have" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_tablet_000065136353.jpg" alt="30-something learning which investment accounts she should have" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're in your 30s now. If you're finally looking to get settled in your financial life, you may want to consider ways to build wealth over the long term. But that checking account alone isn't gonna cut it. It's time to examine the options out there for someone in their 30s who finally has a little bit of money to invest.</p> <p>Here are seven essential investment accounts all 30-somethings should have.</p> <h2>1. 401K, If Available to You</h2> <p>If you're employed full-time, your company may offer a retirement plan that gives you access to a number of mutual funds and other investments, plus the great tax advantages that come with it. Under a 401K, 403B, or similar plan, contributions are deducted from your pre-tax income, and most employers will match a certain percentage of what you put in. Now that fewer employers are offering pensions, the 401K has become the primary vehicle for saving for retirement. Pumping cash into this account while you're still relatively young gives your investments plenty of time to rise in value and give you a sizable nest egg. Even better, your investment is tax-deferred until you begin making withdrawals.</p> <h2>2. Traditional IRA</h2> <p>You don't necessarily need a traditional Individual Retirement Account if you have a 401K with an employer match. But if you have 401K from an old employer, it might make sense to roll it into an IRA, because you have a much broader choice of investments to choose from &mdash; many with lower fees. With an IRA, you can invest in practically anything, including individual stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and even commodities. Traditional IRAs are also great for people who are self-employed or otherwise don't have access to a 401K. Like a 401K, your contributions are deducted from your taxable income. You can open an IRA at most discount brokers such as Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and E*TRADE.</p> <h2>3. Roth IRA</h2> <p>This account is a little bit like a 401K in reverse. The tax advantage is on the back end, when you can withdraw money upon retirement without paying tax on the earnings. That's because contributions to a Roth IRA come from earnings after tax, unlike 401Ks, which draw on pre-tax income. Under a Roth IRA, you can contribute up to $5,500 annually, and you can withdraw contributions (but not your gains) before retirement age without paying a penalty.</p> <h2>4. Taxable Brokerage Account</h2> <p>While your main focus should be investing in tax-advantaged accounts that are designed for retirement, it's good to have some investments available in this type of account due to the flexibility. You don't need to wait until retirement age to access funds in this account, for one thing. That means you can use it to boost your income now, through the sale of stock or the gain of dividends. If you hold on to investments in a taxable account for a long time (generally over a year), you'll pay only the long-term capital gains tax (mostly likely 15%) when you sell.</p> <h2>5. 529 College Savings Plan (If You Have Kids)</h2> <p>College is pricey, so nearly every state enables people to save for college by investing money for education in a tax-advantaged way. A 529 plan is similar to a Roth IRA, in that investments will grow tax-free until they're withdrawn, as long as they are spent on higher education. In many states, you also get a tax break from the contributions. It's possible to open a 529 for your child as soon as they have a social security number. Even if you don't have kids yet, you can designate a beneficiary now &mdash; such as a niece or nephew &mdash; and change it to your own child later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h2>6. High-Interest Savings Account</h2> <p>Everyone knows you need a basic bank account, but if you want to boost your savings, it's helpful to have a savings account with a higher-than-average interest rate. These days, interest rates are extremely low, but you can still find returns of above 1% in money market accounts and online banks such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review">Capital One 360</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-checking-accounts?ref=seealso">Best Online Checking Accounts</a>)</p> <h2>7. Peer-to-Peer Lending Account</h2> <p>In addition to making it easier to invest in stocks, the Internet age has also made it possible for individuals to invest in other people's debt. There are thousands of people who have hopped onto sites such as LendingClub and Prosper and report consistently solid returns. These sites generally work in the same way as banks, except that those in need of money are borrowing from individuals, who are seeking to make money on the interest. In most cases, people can invest based on the risk level of each borrower; those who aren't as creditworthy promise a potentially higher return &mdash; but more risk &mdash; to the investor. Popular personal finance blogger Mr. Money Moustache has reported more than an 11% annualized return since 2012, and many others report similar gains. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-with-peer-to-peer-lending-service-prosper?ref=seealso">How to Make Money with Prosper</a>)</p> <p><em>How many of these accounts do you have?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-investment-accounts-all-30-somethings-should-have">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-8-rules-of-investing-you-need-to-know">The Only 8 Rules of Investing You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-moves-you-will-always-regret">9 Financial Moves You Will Always Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-down-debt-first-or-invest">Should You Pay Down Debt First or Invest?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-investing-tips-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self">11 Investing Tips You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-steps-to-starting-a-retirement-plan-in-your-30s">8 Steps to Starting a Retirement Plan in Your 30s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Investment 30s 401k IRAs lending mutual funds retirement Roth savings accounts stocks Thu, 03 Mar 2016 10:30:34 +0000 Tim Lemke 1665768 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Millennial Money Apps Everyone Should Use http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-millennial-money-apps-everyone-should-use <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-millennial-money-apps-everyone-should-use" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000077673573_Large.jpg" alt="millennial using a money app" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The more we become surgically attached to our phones, the more we need apps to help us along. According to a recent study, <a href="http://www.millennialdisruptionindex.com/">68% of Millennials</a> say that in five years, the way they access their money will be completely different, and 70% say that the way they pay for things will be totally different. So it's no wonder there are so many money apps out there, making it easy to do banking, investing, and budgeting on the go.</p> <p>Most of us money savvy Gen Y-ers have heard of Mint before, which is a great app that helps you budget and track your spending. But there are a number of other apps out there that can help us invest, save, and yes, even spend, easily. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money?ref=seealso">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. Acorns</h2> <p>If you want to invest in stocks, but don't know where to start, try out <a href="https://www.acorns.com/">Acorns</a>. This app invests your spare change. In other words, if you spend $1.75 on a soda, the extra $0.25 goes into Acorns. Once you've reached $5 in spare change, a team of financial advisers (including Nobel Prize-winning economist Harry Markowitz) start investing for you. You can choose how aggressive you want your portfolio to be depending on how comfortable you feel. The app does cost $1 per month if your balance is under $5,000 and .25% per year if you're over $5,000. If you're age 24 or under, it's free. Make sure to do some research before you start investing (especially for a stock market newbie), but this app is well worth your time and investment.</p> <h2>2. Stash</h2> <p><a href="https://www.stashinvest.com/">Stash</a> is similar to Acorns, but with Stash, you get to choose how you want to invest. It also lets you know how risky your investment might be. You're not all alone in the process either &mdash; Stash provides support and guidance as you go. If you're new to the stock market, this is a good place to start, but make sure you do your homework on any company you invest in. The first three months of using the app are free, and then after that it has the same fees as Acorns.</p> <h2>3. Digit</h2> <p><a href="https://digit.co/">Digit</a> is a tidy little app that saves money for you. After the app checks out your payment history and spending habits, it starts to calculate ways for you start saving money. Every two to three days, Digit takes out between $5 and $50 and puts it into a savings account. The app helps you save without you even realizing it. And if you need your money, you simply text the app and it sends it to you. There are no fees and no minimums for this app, and they have a <a href="https://digit.co/about/faq#no-overdraft-guarantee">no-overdraft guarantee</a>. You can also pause savings at any point if you need to keep your money in your checking account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more?ref=seealso">Can a Robot Called Digit Help You Save More?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Venmo and Square Cash</h2> <p><a href="https://venmo.com/">Venmo</a> is the fun way to send money with no fees. Set up much like a social media app, you can send money to friends for all kinds of things, and post emojis and jokes in public. While it sounds weird, it's the hippest way for Millennials to send money back and forth.</p> <p>The less &quot;fun&quot; version is <a href="https://cash.me/">Square Cash</a>, which I use on a regular basis to pay utilities to my roommate. Both apps are free, but do have a small fee for credit cards. Just make sure you never send any money to someone you don't know well. Both apps are good if you have a friend who owes you money for something. You don't have to awkwardly and consistently remind them in person &mdash; you can just request the money through the app.</p> <h2>5. Wally</h2> <p>Like Mint, <a href="http://wally.me/">Wally</a> helps you budget your money. The app shows your budgets in easy to understand charts and gives you an accurate look at your spending. The downside is that you have to upload each purchase, but it makes you more accountable. This is especially helpful on work-related travel. The app doesn't link to your credit card or bank account unless you want it to, so you don't have to worry about sharing your personal information. Wally is especially helpful for me so I can write off coffees and lunches and I don't have to keep the receipts! Try out Wally and see if it makes your life easier.</p> <p><em>Which money apps are you using? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-millennial-money-apps-everyone-should-use">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-debt-management-tools">6 Free Debt Management Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-for-the-tech-challenged-traveler">7 Apps for the Tech-Challenged Traveler</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-places-to-keep-your-money-safe-and-growing">12 Places to Keep Your Money Safe — And Growing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling">8 Ways to Save on Smartphone Costs While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apple-watch-apps-thatll-save-you-money">8 Apple Watch Apps That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Technology apps banking investing millennials money apps smartphone Wed, 17 Feb 2016 10:30:24 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1658140 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Signs It's Time to Find a New Bank http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-its-time-to-find-a-new-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-signs-its-time-to-find-a-new-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_frowning_smartphone_000047173988.jpg" alt="Woman learning signs it&#039;s time to find a new bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No one likes switching to a new bank. After all, it takes effort to close one account and create another. But if your bank is nickel-and-diming you with fees, or if it's closing so many locations that banking is becoming inconvenient, it might be time to make the switch.</p> <p>&quot;To me, it's all about convenience when it comes to switching banks,&quot; said Wade Barnes, senior vice president and director of retail banking with Baltimore-based 1st Mariner Bank. &quot;Maybe just 10 years ago, we'd be talking about how many brick-and-mortar locations a bank has near you. Now, it's more about online banking and having connectivity to your bank 24 hours a day. But you want your banking relationship to be an easy, convenient one. If it's not, then you might consider making a move.&quot;</p> <p>Here are five signs that it's time to find a new bank.</p> <h2>1. Maintenance Fees</h2> <p>Some banks will charge your checking account a monthly fee if you don't make a certain number of payments or withdrawals per month. That fee might only be $10. But if you don't use your checking account often, you could pay $100 or more each year in fees.</p> <p>The better choice? Find a bank that doesn't charge such a fee. You want your free checking account to be <em>really</em> free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates">Banks Still Offering Free Checking</a>)</p> <h2>2. ATM Fees</h2> <p>Using an out-of-network ATM can add up, with the fees charged by these cash machines coming in at $2, $3, or more. You can avoid these fees by only withdrawing cash from ATMs affiliated with your bank. But if you do take out money from an out-of-network ATM, your bank should refund you this fee.</p> <p>Many banks reimburse customers for all the out-of-network ATM withdrawals they make, basically making all ATMs free. If your bank doesn't offer this service, it's time to make a move.</p> <h2>3. Paper Statement Fees</h2> <p>Most banks will provide your banking statements online. It's a great way to reduce paper. But maybe you're old-fashioned, and you want your bank to send you a paper statement each month. That's fine. Just make sure that your bank doesn't charge you for this service.</p> <p>Many banks, in an effort to persuade consumers to receive their statements online, are charging customers $1 or $2 every time they send them a paper statement. If you insist on a paper statement, there's no reason to pay this fee. Find a bank that doesn't charge you for this service.</p> <h2>4. Inconvenience</h2> <p>Maybe your bank was just bought up by another financial institution. That's usually fine, unless the new bank institutes changes that make being a customer there less convenient for you.</p> <p>Maybe your newly acquired bank is closing all the brick-and-mortar branches near you. That can be a hassle, even if you do most of your banking online. Maybe the bank is reconfiguring its ATMs, making it so you can only withdraw cash from them but can't make deposits into them. Or maybe your bank decides to reduce some of the services it offers online.</p> <p>Banking shouldn't be a hassle. If your bank is becoming one, you need to start looking for a replacement.</p> <h2>5. Bad Customer Service</h2> <p>What if you have questions about your mortgage loan, but your bank's home loan experts are never available to speak with you by phone? What if you call your bank and the phone just rings forever, with no one picking up? Maybe your bank doesn't hire enough tellers, and every time you need to see one, you have to wait in line 20 minutes?</p> <p>These are all examples of the bad customer service some banks provide. If you're not satisfied with the service your bank is providing you, you're ready to move on to a new financial institution.</p> <p><em>Have you switched banks recently? Tell us why in the comments section below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-its-time-to-find-a-new-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-you">8 Ways Your Savings Account May Be Costing You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-live-bank-free">5 Ways to Live Bank-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-make-sure-you-never-pay-an-atm-fee">8 Ways to Make Sure You Never Pay an ATM Fee</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-savings-accounts-which-is-right-for-you">The Types of Savings Accounts: Which Is Right For You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking atms customer service fees mobile banking savings accounts statements Wed, 02 Dec 2015 14:00:28 +0000 Dan Rafter 1617391 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Reasons the Fed Is Keeping Rates Low (And What It Means for You) http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-the-fed-is-keeping-rates-low-and-what-it-means-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-reasons-the-fed-is-keeping-rates-low-and-what-it-means-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cash_wad_000075381955.jpg" alt="Learning why the Fed is still keeping rates low " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Federal Reserve has been keeping the benchmark short-term interest rate at record lows since the financial crisis in 2008. The near-zero rates are about to bust, economists say, but not until the economy shows certain signs of recovery that are so far yet-to-be-seen. Read on for our roundup of reasons why the first interest rate hike in nine years is yet to come &mdash; and what it means for you.</p> <h2>1. We Still Need the Stimulus</h2> <p>The Fed was so confident in the nation's job gains and overall economic growth at the start of 2015, that Fed Chair Janet Yellen's <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/10/fed-chair-janet-yellen-interest-rate-hike-to-come-later-this-year.html">eagerness to raise interest rates</a> was almost palpable. But the state of the U.S. economy has since gone stagnant. While the Fed still envisions sizable growth in the near future &mdash; the kind that could spawn higher rates &mdash; the results just aren't coming in yet. The economy still needs the amount of stimulus the central bank is providing.</p> <p>For folks on Main Street, that stimulus is important. Cheaper borrowing means consumers can spend more easily, even when times are tough. For businesses, it means conditions are ripe to expand and hire new workers. But when rates finally do begin to rise, borrowing will become more expensive, which in some cases could limit job growth.</p> <p>&quot;Based on my outlook, I expect that it will be appropriate at some point later this year to take the first step to raise the federal funds rate and thus begin normalizing monetary policy,&quot; Yellen said in July. &quot;I want to emphasize that the course of the economy and inflation remains highly uncertain, and unanticipated developments could delay or accelerate this first step.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Full Employment Remains Elusive</h2> <p>We're inching closer to full employment, but we're not quite there yet. What the Fed is waiting for, generally speaking, is for the unemployment rate to drop below 5%. Right now it's hovering about a tenth of a percentage point above that. When it drops, the labor market will strengthen, which will lead to price increases and wage growth. Those factors, and others, will eventually push inflation higher, creating <a href="http://www.wsj.com/video/feds-dudley-discusses-jobless-rate-and-full-employment/58AC9E47-16E1-4BFD-BAEA-D3B0EB02E012.html?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wsj%2Fvideo%2Fnews+(WSJ.com+Video+-+News)">prime conditions for a rate increase</a>.</p> <p>Full employment is achieved when all eligible workers who want to find a job are able to do so.</p> <p>&quot;Key measures of hourly labor compensation rose at an annual rate of only around 2% through most of the recovery,&quot; Yellen said. &quot;More recently, however, some tentative hints of a pickup in the pace of wage gains may indicate that the objective of full employment is coming closer into view.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Domestic Spending Is Dropping</h2> <p>Domestic spending is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy, especially now as the nation moves toward recovery. But right now <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/27/news/economy/spending-obama/">domestic spending is dropping</a>, and that weighs heavily on economic growth. Low domestic spending can be good because it helps cut the deficit. But it also means that everyday Americans can easily feel the pinch. Transportation subsidies, funding for Head Start, and money for national parks are examples of some of the first things to drop. All told, spending on domestic programs has been on the decline since 2010, and is on track to reach the lowest level in more than 50 years by 2023.</p> <p>The deficit hit a high point in 2009 at nearly 10% of the overall size of the economy. It has been in decline every year since. When the deficit does start to rise again, however, it will be due in part to the expected rise in interest rates.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to take advantage of historic low interest rates?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-the-fed-is-keeping-rates-low-and-what-it-means-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-pick-the-bank-thats-right-for-you">7 Ways to Pick the Bank That&#039;s Right for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fed-raised-rates-then-something-weird-happened">The Fed Raised Rates — Then Something Weird Happened</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-federal-reserve">4 Things You Need to Know About the Federal Reserve</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-cool-things-bonds-tell-you-about-the-economy">7 Cool Things Bonds Tell You About the Economy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan">6 Times When It&#039;s Okay to Take a Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Economy employment federal reserve interest rates loans low rates stimulus Tue, 20 Oct 2015 17:17:01 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1591946 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Countries Where Banks Pay Crazy Interest Rates http://www.wisebread.com/10-countries-where-banks-pay-crazy-interest-rates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-countries-where-banks-pay-crazy-interest-rates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000074065601.jpg" alt="Countries where banks pay crazy interest rates" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone in America has been waiting to find out when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, which have been down at historic lows for some time.</p> <p>Think interest rates in the U.S. are shockingly low? Well, there are other nations with rates that are even more off the wall. Some have rates below zero. Some have rates above 25%. (Imagine that &mdash; 25% returns just for parking your cash in the bank!)</p> <p>Here's a look at the countries with the wackiest <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates">interest rates</a> &mdash; and if you can figure out a way to get a 25% interest rate on your bank deposits, please let me know!</p> <h2>The High End</h2> <p>Savers in these countries ought to be happy &mdash; or should they?</p> <h3>1. Belarus</h3> <p>Interest rates in this former Soviet republic have always been some of the highest in Europe, but rates really shot up last year when the government jacked them up to fend off a devaluing of the nation's ruble. The benchmark rate in Belarus is a whopping 25%.</p> <h3>2. Ghana</h3> <p>In an effort to fend off inflation, this West African nation rose its benchmark interest rate to just under 25%, one of the highest rates on the continent. Ghana's currency, the cedi, has been plunging in value as the nation has struggled with debt, according to Bloomberg News.</p> <h3>3. Malawi</h3> <p>On the other side of Africa, Malawi also reports a benchmark interest rate of about 25%. In fact, that's been the average rate since 2001, when rates hit as high as 75%. The mortgage finance rate from the National Bank of Malawi is 32%.</p> <h3>4. Argentina</h3> <p>This country has the highest rates in South America, with a benchmark of just under 24%. Rates have been creeping up for years as the country has faced major economic problems, but they are still much lower than in 2002, when rates topped 90%.</p> <h3>5. Ukraine</h3> <p>Interest rates in Ukraine are so wacky that they now stand at 22% even after two rate cuts. Ukraine has battled a devaluing of its currency, the hyrvnia, that once forced interest rates to above 30%, then the highest in the world.</p> <h2>The Low End</h2> <p>In some cases, savers <em>pay </em>banks to hang onto their money.</p> <h3>6. Switzerland</h3> <p>Rates in Switzerland are so low that it may actually cost you money to &quot;save&quot; there. With a rate of -0.75%, the Swiss must pay to lend. This unusual move was made to cause some inflation (in an overly low inflation environment) and prevent the Swiss franc from becoming too overvalued.</p> <h3>7. Denmark</h3> <p>The Danish central bank started off 2015 by slashing interest rates several times, to the point where they are now also at -0.75%. Many Danish citizens now have to <em>pay</em> interest on any bank deposits. This move to crazy-low rates comes as a response to a sagging European economy.</p> <h3>8. Sweden</h3> <p>While not quite as low as Switzerland and Denmark, Sweden is another European nation with a benchmark rate below zero. The Swedes made the move to lower rates to -0.35% in July, citing deflation concerns and the impact of problems with the Greek economy. With borrowing so cheap, now the Swedes have to battle fears of a possible housing bubble.</p> <h3>9. Japan</h3> <p>Japan's central bank has been trying all kinds of things to get the country's economy moving and fend off deflation, and interest rates now stand at... nothing. That's right, interest rates are zero in Japan, and have been near or below 1% for about 20 years.</p> <h3>10. Bulgaria</h3> <p>It's better than zero, but not by much. The benchmark rate from the Bulgarian National Bank is a mere 0.01%. The head of the bank resigned in June following the bankruptcy of one of the nation's largest commercial banks.</p> <p><em>What's worse, high interest rates or rates at zero or below?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-countries-where-banks-pay-crazy-interest-rates">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-three-interest-rates">The Three Interest Rates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-to-start-your-business-without-banks-or-saving">Money to start your business--without banks or saving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan">6 Times When It&#039;s Okay to Take a Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-places-to-keep-your-money-safe-and-growing">12 Places to Keep Your Money Safe — And Growing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking borrowing deposits finance interest rates international saving Thu, 15 Oct 2015 13:00:23 +0000 Tim Lemke 1586506 at http://www.wisebread.com Score $240 a Year Doing This One Thing http://www.wisebread.com/score-240-a-year-doing-this-one-thing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/score-240-a-year-doing-this-one-thing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_cash_000023736258.jpg" alt="Learning how to score $240 a year doing one thing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Zzzzzz. Oh, excuse me. I just made $240 in my sleep. What did I do &mdash; and what do <em>you </em>have to do? Here's the deal and my official disclaimer:</p> <p>Deal: Open up an account with Santander Bank and they will pay you $20 a month ($240 a year).</p> <p>Disclaimer: I am NOT an employee or a paid shill for Santander Bank. Just a frugalista who likes a good deal.</p> <h2>Get Your $20 a Month Bonus</h2> <h3>1. Open an extra20 Account</h3> <p>Santander Bank has a lot of account options, so be sure that you choose the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.santanderbank.com/us/personal/banking/checking/extra20-checking">extra20 account</a> to be eligible for the $20 monthly bonus. You'll be opening a checking account with just the necessary $25 deposit, and you get the bonus by enrolling in their direct deposit and BillPay options each month.</p> <h3>2. Use Their Automatic Direct Deposit and BillPay Feature Each Month</h3> <p>This is the core of the program &mdash; the reason you'll be earning your $20 bonus each month. You will receive $10 when you receive employer direct deposits totaling $1500 or more a month, and an additional $10 a month when you pay two monthly bills using their BillPay &mdash; for a total of $20 in passive income every month, or $240 a year. What counts as a direct deposit? From their website:</p> <p>&quot;Direct deposits include deposits made by the customer's employer or a federal or state government agency or retirement benefits administrator and generally payments made by corporations or other organizations. Direct deposits do not include deposits to an account that are made by an individual using online banking or an Internet payment provider such as PayPal.&quot;</p> <h3>3. Link an extra20 Savings Account to Your Checking Account</h3> <p>This actually happens automatically when you open your extra20 checking account because this is where Santander will deposit your bonus each month. The good news is that the amount to open and maintain it is low. All you need to open an extra20 savings account is $10 dollars.</p> <h2>Is It a Good Deal?</h2> <p>Personally, I think it's an awesome deal because my husband and I can fulfill the requirements without stressing about it, but everyone needs to examine their own situation to decide. If you can do it, I say go for it because where else can you basically get what amounts to $240 in interest a year from a bank? Not only that, while there is only one account allowed per person, there can be more than one account per household. That could mean $480 a year. Or if one person doesn't meet the deposit requirement, move it the other way. Open a joint account and have direct deposits going in from two people to get the bonus. It'll take a little bit of effort to set everything up initially, but either way, after that it's easy money.</p> <h2>Can It Really Be That Simple?</h2> <p>One person's simple can be another person's complicated, so having gone through the process, what I can say is that I found it to be straightforward. As long as you understand the bonus requirements, can follow directions (and keep all of the paperwork), and follow through on the requirements, you shouldn't have any problems. Here are some things to keep in mind.</p> <h3>1. You Can Open the Account Online or at a Physical Branch</h3> <p>I've opened accounts online before, but because I wasn't familiar with this bank, I appreciated being able to walk into a local branch and talk with someone about this deal. They have physical locations in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.</p> <h3>2. Know Your Fees and Penalties</h3> <p>There is a $10 monthly fee which is waived as long as you direct deposit the minimum $1500 a month. There is no ATM fee as long as you use a Santander machine within the 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Non Santander ATM usage will cost you $3 per transaction. If you close your account within the first 90 days you will be charged a $25 early termination fee.</p> <h3>3. Know What Level of Customer Service You Want and Need</h3> <p>I've read some comments about poor <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-customer-service-battles-you-just-cant-win">customer service</a>, but no more or less than the other big banks. If you need or want a lot of attention, maybe this isn't the ideal bank for you. For me it's fine as it is not my primary financial institution and it's easy to move money between the two, but each person has to decide.</p> <h3>4. It's Not a Limited Time Offer</h3> <p>Though I'm just getting around to it, this offer has been available for a few years and is not one of those limited time deals. This made me feel more comfortable finally pulling the trigger and going for it.</p> <p>So there you have it, one easy way to make $240 a year in your sleep.</p> <p><strong>Disclosure</strong>: This is an honest review and recommendation. Neither I nor Wise Bread was paid for this placement &mdash; the link provided to Santander Bank is not an affiliate link.</p> <p><em>Have you signed up for an account? If so, are you glad you did? Let me know about your experience in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kim-owens">Kim Owens</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/score-240-a-year-doing-this-one-thing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-you">8 Ways Your Savings Account May Be Costing You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/behind-the-times-i-learn-about-keep-the-change">Behind the Times - I learn about Keep the Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-a-good-interest-rate-in-a-low-rate-environment">How to Earn a Good Interest Rate in a Low-Rate Environment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-savings-accounts-which-is-right-for-you">The Types of Savings Accounts: Which Is Right For You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Extra Income bonuses direct deposit incentives interest santander bank savings accounts Wed, 14 Oct 2015 11:00:40 +0000 Kim Owens 1586507 at http://www.wisebread.com 10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000037497774.jpg" alt="Woman finding smart ways to get a small business loan" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money is the lifeline of any small business.</p> <p>And using financing to maintain healthy cash flow can be essential for a sustainable operation. Still, when it comes to seeking financing, some business owners may not know where to begin. There are now more options than ever for the hopeful entrepreneur looking to get a bit of a boost to jump start a business. Here is a breakdown of some of the ways you can get financing for your business.</p> <h2>1. Business Loan</h2> <p>With over half of small businesses using them, <a href="https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2014_Finance_FAQ.pdf">traditional bank loans</a> are still the most popular source of financing among small businesses. However, not every organization is able to secure one. According to a nationwide review of 10,000 loan applicants across 700 different industries, 82% of loan applications from small businesses are <a href="https://www.ondeck.com/company/in-the-news/press-releases/ondeck-main-street-pulse-report/">turned down by a bank</a>.</p> <p>There are two basic steps to increase your chances of landing a business loan.</p> <p>First, you need to build and maintain a strong business credit score. Don't confuse your personal credit score with your business credit score. Two thirds of U.S. small business owners haven't <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323893504578559420352637566">checked their business credit report</a> within the past two years. Before you apply for a business loan, find out your current business credit score, update any missing or incorrect information, and take steps toward improving it.</p> <p>Second, you need to establish a solid business plan, which not only details how you plan to operate your business, but also provides projections of revenues and expenses for the next five years. The more that you can back up your claims and projections with factual information, the better your chance of landing a business loan.</p> <h2>2. SBA Loan Programs</h2> <p>The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers <a href="http://www.sba.gov/loanprograms">several loan programs</a> for very specific purposes.</p> <h3>General Small Business Loans: 7(a)</h3> <p>This is the SBA's most common loan program, which is available to most small businesses that operate for profit in the U.S. and aren't delinquent on any existing debt obligations to the federal government. You can find more details about <a href="https://www.sba.gov/content/7a-loan-program-eligibility">7(a) loan program eligibility</a> at the SBA website.</p> <h3>Microloan Programs</h3> <p>With an interest rate ranging between 8% and 13% and maximum repayment term of up to six years, the SBA Microloan program provides loans of up to $50,000 to help small businesses in securing working capital, purchasing inventory or supplies, acquiring furniture or fixtures, or investing in machinery or equipment. The <a href="https://www.sba.gov/content/microloan-program">average microloan</a> is about $13,000.</p> <h3>Real Estate and Equipment Loans: CDC/504</h3> <p>A <a href="https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/sba-loan-programs/real-estate-and-eq">CDC/504 loan</a> can be used for:</p> <ul> <li>purchasing land, including existing buildings;</li> <li>making substantial real estate improvements;</li> <li>renovating or modernizing facilities; and</li> <li>purchasing long-term machinery and equipment.</li> </ul> <h3>Disaster Loans</h3> <p>Most businesses whose real estate, property, machinery and equipment, inventory, or other business assets were destroyed in a declared disaster, may be eligible to a low-interest <a href="https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/disaster-loans">disaster loan</a>. The SBA monies can be used to replace or repair the destroyed business assets.</p> <h2>3. Asset-Backed Loan</h2> <p>Trying to hire extra help during a busy season or taking advantage of a great opportunity to bulk up inventory for cheap can put your small biz in a cash crunch. One way to secure that much-needed capital is to use your accounts receivable or assets as collateral for a loan.</p> <p>Before you run to the bank with a list of all your business assets, you should realize that lenders are only interested in specific high-quality assets:</p> <ul> <li>accounts receivable under 60 to 90 days, depending on lender;</li> <li>heavy equipment;</li> <li>qualifying vehicles (e.g. trucks); and</li> <li>business inventory.</li> </ul> <p>To hedge the loans that they issue, banks generally <a href="http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/52726">appraise eligible receivables</a> and finished inventory at 70% to 80% and 50%, respectively, of their market value. The reason is that if you were to default on your loan or miss several payments, then the bank would liquidate the assets as quick as possible at a lower price. If the sale doesn't cover your remaining loan balance, you're still liable for it.</p> <p>By keeping in mind the lower asset valuations, associated loan fees, and applicable rules, asset-backed lending can be a useful source of financing for small businesses. This is why asset-based credit line commitments at the end of 2014 were <a href="http://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/CFA/72a44465-ed9d-4059-8a2b-308d81a7fe37/UploadedImages/2014%20Annual%20Asset-Based%20Lending%20and%20Factoring%20Survey.pdf">nearly $216 billion</a>, a 6.8% increase over 2013.</p> <h2>4. Kabbage</h2> <p>One of the main challenges of getting a loan for your small business from traditional lenders is that they base the majority of their decisions on a credit score. Even though small biz owners may lack the business credit score traditional lenders are looking for, they can still demonstrate a healthy cashflow through business data from connected sites, such as a QuickBooks, Square, Amazon, PayPal, or Etsy accounts.</p> <p>Leveraging this second type of business data, <a href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22986010&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Kabbage</a> helps small businesses get the funding they need to grow. Through a fully automated, online platform, owners of small businesses can link their latest business data, allowing Kabbage to review the overall health of their business &mdash; not just a credit score &mdash; to approve and provide loans between $2,000 and $100,000 in minutes.</p> <p>Kabbage loans aren&rsquo;t for everybody. These are very short term loans that are payable within six months, requiring payment of one sixth of the total loan plus a monthly fee per month. Fees range between 1% and 12% of your loan for the first two months and 1% for each of the remaining four months. However, you can pay back your loan early without penalty and lower your financing costs.</p> <h2>5. Lending Club</h2> <p>The underlying idea of peer to peer (P2P) lending is to circumvent traditional lenders, such as banks, by crowdfunding funds from a large group of individuals. When one small business owner receives a P2P loan, his peers fund small portions of that loan and receive principal plus interest when the borrower repays the loan. In simple words: a peer lends to another peer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peer-to-peer-lending-prosper-marketplace-or-lending-club?ref=seealso">Prosper or Lending Club?</a>)</p> <p>Founded in 2007, <a href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.227343&amp;fot=1074&amp;foc=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Lending Club</a> has issued over $11.17 billion in P2P loans since 2007. In 2012, Lending Club issued a total of <a href="http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2014/201410/201410pap.pdf">1,386 small business loans</a> with an average loan amount of $16,268 and an average interest rate of 13.39%. Collateral is not needed for loans under 100k and no appraisals or business plans required. You must own at least 20% of the business and have fair credit. Their loans start at 5.99% fixed and you can choose from 1-5 year terms. There is a one-time origination fee that ranges from 0.99-5.99%.</p> <h2>6. Prosper</h2> <p>The pioneer of P2P lending in the U.S., <a href="http://prosper.evyy.net/c/27771/27127/994" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Prosper</a> uses a credit score-based model for evaluating its P2P loans. more than 2.2 million members and over $4 billion in funded loans. Small business owners can apply for P2P loans between $2,000 and $35,000 and individual lenders invest as little as $25 in each loan listing they select. A small business loan through Prosper can have an APR ranging between 5.99% and 36.00%. Unlike Lending Club which prefers businesses to have been operating for at least two years with 75k in annual sales, Prosper encourages budding entrepreneurs to apply.</p> <h2>7. CircleBackLending</h2> <p>CircleBackLending is also a P2P operator but uses institutional investors. Small business owners can borrow between $3,000 to $35,000 at CircleBackLending. Their unsecured loans are fixed-rate with interest rates starting at 5.96% for those with good credit.</p> <!--<a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26228790&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1">CircleBackLending</a>--><!--<a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26228790&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1">CircleBackLending</a>--></p> <h2>8. PersonalLoans.com</h2> <p>Here you can find three types of personal loans: peer-to-peer loans, personal installment loans, and bank personal loans. However, due to applicable laws and regulations that vary by state, some of those loans may not available for you. Each type of loan at <a href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26230639&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">PersonalLoans.com</a> has specific requirements. For example, the minimum requirements to qualify for a bank personal loan ranging from $1,000 to $35,000 are a credit score of 580, monthly income of $3,000, proof of employment or self-employment.</p> <h2>9. OneMain Financial</h2> <p>Depending on your state of residence, you can borrow between $300 and $15,000 through <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-11042456-1411396647000?sid=davila-1539545" target="_top">OneMain Financial</a>. An important advantage of using this lender is that you can cancel your personal loan for any reason and return the money within 14 days without any early payment fees or other types of penalties.</p> <h2>10. Avant</h2> <p>Formerly known as Avant Credit, this issuer of personal loans can be an option for small business owners looking to start or build back up their credit history. While you don't need a FICO score to apply for a loan with <a href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26134024&amp;fot=1285&amp;foc=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Avant</a>, all of your payments will be reported to the major credit bureaus, which helps to improve your credit score as long as you're making timely payments.</p> <h2>11. Small Business Credit Cards</h2> <p>By choosing the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=internal">right small business credit card</a>, you can avoid a cash crunch and meet your financing needs to secure future income. Choose the card that offers the best bonuses for your purchases as well as additional benefits like travel perks if you travel frequently.</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-your-business-rewards-american-express-simplycash-business-credit-card">SimplyCash&reg; Plus Business Credit Card from American Express</a> offers 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores, and the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-business-rewards-capital-one-spark-miles-for-business-credit-card-review" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business</a> offers 2x miles per dollar spent on every purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-get-a-business-credit-card-over-a-consumer-card?ref=seealso">The Difference Between Business and Consumer Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Responsible use of a small business credit card can also help you to separate your business and personal finances.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>No matter the source of your financing, you should only seek a loan if you're experiencing a cash flow gap. This means that you need the money to meet the operating expenses for a guaranteed source of revenue. For example, you need the capital to buy a piece of equipment for an order that is double your actual capacity, or to hire additional employees during the Christmas season rush.</p> <p>There are several financing options available, so don't jump at the first loan offer that you receive, and always shop around for better rates.</p> <p><em>What are other ways to get a loan for your small business?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cant-get-a-bank-loan-8-other-ways-to-finance-your-business">Can&#039;t Get A Bank Loan? 8 Other Ways To Finance Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prepare-for-a-home-purchase-in-2010">How to Prepare for a Home Purchase in 2010</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-credit-score-suffering-without-your-knowledge">Is your credit score suffering without your knowledge?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-borrow-money-for-these-5-buys">Never Borrow Money for These 5 Buys</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Credit Cards Entrepreneurship borrowing money credit score financing loans small business Fri, 28 Aug 2015 13:00:20 +0000 Damian Davila 1539545 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Your Savings Account May Be Costing You http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_stressed_bills_000039190056.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways her savings account is costing her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A savings account is an essential tool of money management. It'll enable you to save for emergencies and financial goals, and you might even get a little bit of interest income along the way. But not all savings accounts are the same. Some are extra-stingy on interest. Some have high fees. And some are just terrible all around.</p> <p>Here's a look at some ways your savings account may actually be making your financial situation worse, and how to find the best savings account for you.</p> <h2>1. Terrible Interest Rates</h2> <p>No bank has high rates these days. But some are offering practically no interest at all. Don't hesitate to shop around for higher rates; it's still possible to get rates higher than 1%, especially on the Internet. Online savings accounts such as Discover Bank&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review?ref=internal">CapitalOne360</a> offer some of the best rates around, so look there first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-savings-accounts?ref=seealso">5 Best Online Savings Accounts</a>)</p> <h2>2. Fees</h2> <p>Many banks charge fees for a wide range of things, from low balances and overdrafts, to frequent deposits or withdrawals. You might even get dinged if you want a paper statement, or want to use an ATM from another bank. If your bank seems to be bleeding you dry with fees, find a different place to put your money. Many online savings accounts offer no fees or minimums.</p> <h2>3. You're Putting Too Much Into It</h2> <p>Let's be clear: There's nothing wrong with saving. We love saving! But if you are placing virtually every dollar of surplus cash in a normal savings account, you're hurting your future self financially. That's because it's also important to put as much money as you can retirement accounts, such as your 401(k) or Roth IRA. Putting some money in stocks and other investments will lead to higher returns and more cash in the long run, and these accounts have great tax advantages. Even taxable brokerage accounts are fine if you're investing in things that generate a higher return than your savings account.</p> <h2>4. A Lack of Sub-Accounts</h2> <p>A savings account is good, but when it's just a pile of money without a designated purpose, it's not as effective as it could be in helping you reach your goals. If you have the ability to open sub-accounts for specific purposes, such as a new car, home repairs, or vacation, you'll find that it's much easier to be disciplined. If you have an account labeled &quot;new car fund,&quot; for example, you'll be less tempted to dip into that account until absolutely necessary. Many online savings accounts offer sub-accounts free of charge, so take advantage of them if you can.</p> <h2>5. The Online Security Stinks</h2> <p>It seems like every day, we're hearing about a company suffering from a major data breach, potentially placing customers' personal and financial information at risk. Credit card users are often the most vulnerable, but be aware if your bank has also had issues protecting the information of account holders. Be sure you're comfortable with the security measures in place to prevent criminals from logging in to your accounts. Loyalty to a bank isn't going to mean much if you spend thousands of dollars getting a case of identity theft resolved.</p> <h2>6. Poor Access to Good CDs</h2> <p>CDs offer terms of varying lengths; the longer the term, the better the rate. But not all banks allow you to easily move cash from a savings account to CDs. And many that do offer them don't have a great selection. When researching a savings account, also research the CD offerings from the same bank.</p> <h2>7. A Dearth of Online and Mobile Services</h2> <p>In this day and age, you need a bank that allows you to save and manage your money in the same way you live your life. This means having access to online banking and mobile apps that let you check balances, pay bills, and move money around when necessary. It means mobile check cashing. It may even mean the ability to make payments to other people from your account, when necessary. If you are still relying on visits to physical banks and monthly paper statements, you're wasting time and money.</p> <h2>8. It's Not Even Your Account</h2> <p>Imagine having an account in which a bank takes your money and places it in its own savings account. Imagine having to ask the bank to transfer money back to you when you need it. Seems absurd, right? But that's exactly what happens if you sign on with the online banking service known as Digit. The service is designed to move money from your checking account to savings when money is available, theoretically encouraging people to save. But the customer doesn't actually own the savings account, and worst of all, Digit offers absolutely no interest to customers, but it makes money by generating interest on your savings. Get it? Me neither. Stay away from banks and services like this one.</p> <p><em>How is your savings account holding you back?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-savings-accounts-which-is-right-for-you">The Types of Savings Accounts: Which Is Right For You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-its-time-to-find-a-new-bank">5 Signs It&#039;s Time to Find a New Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account">4 Things to Consider Before You Open an Online Savings Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/score-240-a-year-doing-this-one-thing">Score $240 a Year Doing This One Thing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank">6 Reasons to Love Your Bank</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking CDs fees interest online banking savings accounts Mon, 17 Aug 2015 09:00:17 +0000 Tim Lemke 1523215 at http://www.wisebread.com Chase Total Checking and Savings: Easy Everyday Banking http://www.wisebread.com/chase-total-checking-and-savings-easy-everyday-banking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/chase-total-checking-and-savings-easy-everyday-banking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000037506278_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="man using smartphone" title="man using smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Years ago, when you wanted to open a checking or savings account at a bank, you'd head over to a bank in your neighborhood. These days, setting up a new account no longer requires a live person to walk you through it. There are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-checking-accounts?ref=internal">banks exclusively online</a> to prove it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates?ref=seealso">Banks Still Offering Free Checking and Great Interest Rates</a>)</p> <p>If you're shopping for a bank to open a checking or savings account at, you're probably wondering which bank is best: local credit union, exclusive online bank, or one that provides both online and brick and mortar services. While online exclusive banks may offer slightly lower fees or higher APYs, a large, traditional bank can provide valuable resources and services along with integrated online and mobile options that make banking a breeze.</p> <p>Take, for example, Chase Total Checking&reg;. Their motto is &ldquo;Simple and Accessible&rdquo; &mdash; and with 15,500 Chase ATMs and 5,400 branches across the nation, it won&rsquo;t be too difficult to find a location to get cash or deposit checks in person. And you can get even more out of your banking if you open a Chase Savings<sup>SM</sup> account too. And they're offering new customers up to a $250 bonus! See details below.</p> <h2>How to Open an Account</h2> <p>To open a Chase Total Checking&reg; account, you need to deposit a minimum of $25. There is a $12 monthly service fee, which you can get around by doing one of the following:</p> <ul> <li>Make direct deposits to your account totaling $500 or more.</li> <li>Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance.</li> <li>Maintain an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in qualifying linked deposits or investments.</li> </ul> <p>The minimum deposit for a savings account is also $25. The monthly fee is $5, which is waived if you do one of the following:</p> <ul> <li>Maintain a $300 minimum daily balance.</li> <li>Have at least one repeating automatic transfer of at least $25 from your personal Chase checking account.</li> <li>Link your savings account to a Chase Premier Plus Checking, Chase Premier Platinum Checking, or Chase Private Client Checking account.</li> <li>Be younger than 18 years old.</li> </ul> <h2>Sign-up Offers</h2> <p>Chase is offering $150 for their new customers who open a Chase Total Checking&reg; account and set up direct deposit. If you open a new Chase Savings<sup>SM</sup> account (even if you already do some of your banking with Chase), you can get $100 by depositing $10,000 in new money within 10 business days and keeping a $10,000 balance for 90 days. This means that you can receive $250 if you qualify for both offers! But be sure to jump on them soon &mdash; these offers expire October 14, 2015.<a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26126800&amp;fot=1253&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow"><strong><br /> </strong></a></p> <h2>Online and Mobile Banking</h2> <p>If you prefer to do your banking from the comfort of your living room &mdash; or really, anywhere with Internet connection &mdash; Chase offers online and mobile banking. Some of their services include:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Chase QuickDeposit:</strong> Take a picture of your check and deposit it with the Chase Mobile App. Easy!<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Chase QuickPay:</strong> Send money to another person, no cash or checks necessary. Just enter the recipient&rsquo;s email address or mobile number and Chase will send them an email with instructions on how to accept the payment. They don't have to be a Chase customer, but they do have to create a Chase user account.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Online Bill Pay:</strong>&nbsp;Your bill payments will be sent on the date you specify. If your payment is ever delayed, Chase will refund 100% of any late fees (provided they got the payment request before the cutoff time and the payee information was correct).</li> </ul> <h2>Automatic Savings</h2> <p>You can set up a repeating automatic transfer from your Chase checking to your savings account...and forget about it! Actually, don't, because it's important to monitor your money. But there's no denying that Chase's Automatic Transfer Program takes most of the effort out of saving, and it's an easy way to get the monthly fee on your savings account waived &mdash; just set the transfer amount to at least $25 a month.</p> <h2>Account Alerts</h2> <p>Need to keep a close eye on your account? (I mean, who doesn&rsquo;t?) Chase will text or email you if your account is low on funds, there is a large transaction, or other account activity. It&rsquo;s easy to personalize what account alerts you receive and how you receive them.</p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p>$250 is an attractive sign-up offer! Plus, between the online/mobile banking offerings and account alerts, it&rsquo;s easy to stay on top of your finances wherever you are. And you'll likely never worry about having to hunt down a Chase ATM or branch, if you need to access your money quickly or get a banker's help.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p>You might forget about the minimum balance or requirements for waiving the monthly fee and get hit with it. That's one of the disadvantages of having an account that &quot;waives&quot; your fee rather than provides it for free. <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10124087-1437509025000?sid=review-chase_total">Capital One 360</a> offers a free interest bearing checking account, and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-11035571-1443704483000?sid=review-chase_total">Discover offers a savings account</a> with a whopping 0.95% APY for all balances.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Are Chase Total Checking&reg; and Savings<sup>SM</sup> Right for You?</h2> <p>If you're looking for a solid bank with both a physical presense as well as plenty of online and mobile conveniences, Chase is a great option. Along with their basic banking offerings, Chase has a good reputation for their other consumer products like credit cards. Having a lot of your financial accounts under one company can be incredibly convenient.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-total-checking-and-savings-easy-everyday-banking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-savings-accounts">5 Best Online Savings Accounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-appraisal-facts-that-could-save-you-big-money">5 Appraisal Facts That Could Save You Big Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mortgage-application-declined-here-s-how-to-respond">Mortgage Application Declined? Here’s How to Respond</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-checking-accounts">5 Best Online Checking Accounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-good-reasons-to-choose-a-credit-union-instead-of-a-bank">9 Good Reasons to Choose a Credit Union Instead of a Bank</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking bank reviews chase checking account credit cards savings account Tue, 28 Jul 2015 23:01:36 +0000 Amy Lu 1500568 at http://www.wisebread.com