Historically low interest rates could cost you

March 02, 2012 / by / 0 Comment

Bank of America.

Interest rates have been at historical lows for years now and it has gotten the banks fishing for new ways to attach fees on what used to be free.

Traditionally, banks make their money off of the interest rate spread when they lend money; they borrow money cheaply and lend it to you at a higher rate and the difference is interest income.  But with interest rates dwindling at rock bottom, the spread is next to nothing these days, which leaves the banks looking for more ways to make up where they are lacking.

Unfortunately, the plan is to charge the consumer left and right for everyday services.

Last fall, most of the big banks caught a lot of grief after trying to impose fees for simply using your debit cards. But now, there are new fees on the rise.

Bank of America is the front runner in experimenting with a new set of monthly fees.  In some states, customers are seeing monthly fees of $6 to $9 for the “Essentials” deposit account.  Other account options range from $9 to $25 per month.  The only way these fees are avoided is if you maintain the required minimum balance, use a BofA credit card, or have a BofA mortgage.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has come out with a checking account complaint form. Hopefully there is as much backlash on these new proposed fees as it was on the $5 per month checking fees from last fall.

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