Big Bank Raises ATM Fees for Struggling Consumers in Some States

First food prices, then gas - now it looks like ATM fees are on the rise. But the good news is, you can choose not pay the higher price, say Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys.

Currently, using another bank's ATM means about a $2.50 charge from the competitor bank - and a fee of $1-$1.50 from your own bank. But Chase recently shared its plan to hike ATM fees for non-customers in Illinois to an unheard-of $5 per transaction. Rates in Texas, another state involved in the trial, will increase to $4. That means that, for a simple $20 withdrawal, you would be paying 20-25% interest - or 30% interest when you include the charge by your own bank.

Financial wisdom has long held that you can get more with cash than with credit, because you don't have to pay a premium - i.e. credit card interest - to use paper money. But if customers simply roll over and pay these crazy new rates, we could lose the freedom to save money with cash.

Banks are in business to make a profit, and they will keep charging if we keep paying. But we still have a choice here. Using another bank's ATM - heck, using any ATM - is a convenience. If you don't want to pay, all you have to do is go inside the bank to make your deposit or withdrawal. It's that simple. If your bank isn't close to home, make plans to do your banking when you'll be in the area - or consider switching to a bank that's in a more convenient location for you.

If you're a responsible credit user, you may want to consider using your card for more purchases - and paying it off at the end of each billing cycle so you don't get stuck paying interest. But use caution. There's always that chance that something will come up to prevent you from paying off your balance - and when you factor interest into the equation, debt can spiral out of control faster than you may think.

Ultimately, it's up to you to figure out how to best stretch your dollars. Making a budget can sometimes help make you aware of unnecessary fees and costs, so you can plug spending holes and come up with new ideas to save. Of course, illuminating your financial situation doesn't always help you fix it. If you find that you're stuck paying fees, penalties, and other costs because of growing debt and a shrinking bank account, bankruptcy may be your best solution. Wondering if filing for bankruptcy can eliminate your debts? Our Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys can identify the bankruptcy plan that best meets your needs. And we can do it for free when you sign up for a complimentary one-on-one debt analysis.

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