Consumer Reports says banks are either quietly adding new account fees or increasing some that already exist.
If you have financed at least a portion of your car loan through your bank, you should watch for changes. Since federal regulations have limited the amount banks can earn from credit cards, overdrafts, and debit-card merchant fees, most banks are looking for new sources of revenue.
So if you will get a letter from your bank soon, don’t be surprised if it brings news of higher fees, fewer rewards, or tougher account requirements. With a better economy, you will also see rates go up.
Stay on top of your bank’s or lender’s fee practices. You don’t want them to sneak new charges by you. Read all communications, even if it looks like another promotion. If fees are going up, you should start by talking to your bank or lender. If you are a longtime customer, you might have a possibility to negotiate. At least, ask for other options. Maybe your bank has offerings with lower fees or restrictions you can accept.
Otherwise, checkout local banks, credit unions, and online banks. You might find that they have better rates and lower fees. Switching to a new bank or credit union is not as hard as most people seem to think. Just make sure you know procedures you must follow with your current bank.