By financen | February 15, 2022 - 4:06 pm - Posted in Banking


If you are feeling tight with your daily cash expenses, you know how painful it is when the bank charges you more money in fees due to non sufficient funds in your account. Your account may go $10 or $15 in the negative, but you might have to pay close to $100 just in fees due to the account been overdrawn and the bank paying on your behalf for the transactions. Here are some helpful tips on how to avoid such charges.

Keeping a ledger : Working with a balance that you get online or at the ATM is not just enough. The bank balance only shows the transactions that have been posted to your account on a particular day. There are certain transactions that are not posted instantly. Rather than forgetting about a particular transaction, it is important to write down everything as you go and keep a check on the running total. That ways, you are always aware about how much money is available in your account. Banks will often change the order of your transactions held in your account. Sometimes, they post from the largest to the smallest so you need to check with your bank about their banking procedures, but it is always a good idea to maintain a ledger with yourself so that you stay safe and stay aware about the balance availability in your account.

Asking about funds availability : Some banks will hold your money for a short period of time when you deposit a check. This will allow the bank to be sure that the check will clear. Keep in touch with your bank and ask them about when the funds will be available before you start spending to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Opt out of overdraft coverage : This feature is available with almost all banks and they have a different name for it. They want all their customers to use this feature. The fact of the matter is, as per the laws passed by the congress, it is illegal for banks to pay debit card transactions and charge you overdraft fees when they know that there is no money in your account at the time when you swiped your card, unless you give them any written permission. There are times when you want the transactions to go through, but in most cases, the bank should make you aware that there is not enough money in your account rather than charging a $100 fee, just because you spent $3 more than what you had in your account.

Overdrafts protection : Most banks will give you the option to open another account just to cover you, in case you are spending too much. The most common practice is to link your savings account or your credit card to your checking account. Just in case, if you over spend, your bank will immediately transfer the funds from the other account to cover your transactions. There is a fee for this service but it is certainly much less than spending in overdraft fees.

These are some important and helpful tips in avoiding overdraft fees. You should always check with your bank and know about their overdraft policies before opening your account with them.

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By financen | December 12, 2019 - 4:57 am - Posted in Banking

If a visitor were to tell you that you could be your own bank, what do you picture? Perhaps you envision building a new bank in your yard. Or, maybe you imagine pulling money from a newly acquired money tree in your garden.

When it comes to increasing your savings and investing in your future, high amounts of debt, or the need to purchase something substantial, like a new roof, can stand in the way. And turning to the bank for assistance is not always a viable option.

That’s where bank on yourself insurance companies come in. They offer a different solution to financial security. But what is it? Does it work? Find the answers below.

What exactly does the term bank on yourself mean?

Bank on yourself is a financial strategy that has recently been re-popularized by Pamela Yellen. Though her book is becoming a widely contested published work, she is not the first person to pitch it. This idea has a goal to use your assets to finance purchases, rather than a loan from a bank while growing your wealth in the process.

When you use a bank on yourself strategy, you use the cash value of your whole life insurance policy to make your large purchase. It is important to note, and something Pamela and her successors say as well, that the policy must be a participating whole life insurance policy. Not all companies and policies work in this scenario.

Your unusual whole life insurance policy will need to have a rider added that allows you to borrow the cash value, essentially becoming your own bank.

Why would people consider this?

This method for saving and growing wealth is appealing to many people because:

  1. You avoid finance charges that a bank would charge
  2. The loan is usually private between you and your insurance carrier, meaning it won’t appear on your credit report
  3. You typically have flexible options to paying back the amount, instead of a set payback schedule that banks require

Is it a good idea?

Though bank on yourself insurance companies pitch this method as a great option for everyone, it has its own caveats. It is built on the premise that insurance carriers pay out more dividends than they collect, which usually is not the case.

Another downside to this type of financing is that it can only be made with certain carriers, limiting your options.

So, what should I do to take control of my finances?

Working to take control of your financial future is an important goal. When you have no savings and high amounts of debt, it may seem like something like a bank on yourself loan is your best option.

However, there may be more options out there than you think.

Meeting with a financial planner or a financial consulting firm can help. They’ll meet with you and discuss your future goals. Then, they create a plan to help you achieve them, setting you up for financial security and increased wealth in the future. This alternative gives you the power to make the best choice for you.

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By financen | November 7, 2018 - 9:26 am - Posted in Banking


Nowadays, it is very important for a bank or credit union to offer their customers the facility of paying bills online and direct deposit. If the bank is not able to offer this facility to their customers, there are chances that they will move to another bank or credit union. Moreover, if the customer has input all the information about his vendors and paying bills without any hassles, he will not want to go through the trouble of doing it again with another bank.

In the recent times, almost all major banks like Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo have raised their fees for debit card usage. Many people complained against it including President Obama. And there were many other people who did not complain about anything. They just switched to another bank or credit union.

Kristen Christian, a famous art gallery owner in California, said she was very unhappy with the ridiculous fees and poor customer service of Bank of America so she created an event on Facebook called “Bank Transfer Day”. Days after she started this event, almost 80000 people signed up.

The credit union national association said that almost 65000 consumers nationwide moved to different credit unions, investing $4.5 billion in new savings account. It’s just an effort made by one single person in a social media website showing her unhappiness and that led 650000 people move to different bank, investing $4.5 billion.

 With the launch of SwitchAgent by Deluxe Corporation, consumers are now easily able to switch from one bank to another. There was another study that showed 66% of the account holders will consider switching primary financial institutions, but many accounts go dormant due to the laborious transition process. With the help of SwitchAgent, multiple billing vendors can be shifted, like mortgage payments, social security payments and utility bills can be moved to new accounts. This transition process will become a lot easier for both the financial institution and the consumer.

Recently, an ad campaign was introduced for hundreds of community banks and credit unions called “Scan and Switch”. This ad features a QR Code, when it is scanned with a smart phone, it will automatically take potential customers to the financial institutions’ web based switch kit.

Even congress is also getting involved. A bill was issued recently and the consumers will find it very easy to open and close bank accounts. This bill is called The Freedom and Mobility in Banking Act.

Though it has not been a good time for community banks and credit union to market about their products, services and lower fees, but with the new technology and laws, the customers find it easier to switch between different banks. And the banks need to offer more products and better customer service.

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By financen | May 5, 2018 - 12:00 pm - Posted in Banking

The idea of changing banks gets a bad rep. Too many individuals and firms believe that it is such a challenge to change and that it isn’t worth the hassle.

However, this isn’t the case.

Despite this prevailing myth, most of the time, changing banks can occur seamlessly and can actually bring you far more benefits than you initially imagine.

As your personal or business finances grow, your banking needs will also develop.

If you have grown disillusioned with your current provider, there is no reason to not shop around for a bank that can give you something more.

  • Here are five legitimate reasons to change banks this Spring.

1. You want fewer fees

Without a doubt, the main reason to change banks is so that you — the customer — can have access to superior banking for a lower price.

Unlike previously when banks would throw in lots of freebies and incentives, now you are most likely charged for everything. Fees for maintenance? Yes. Fees for overdrafts? Lots of them. Fees for bounced checks? You bet. And new fees are popping up all the time.

Even if you are not sure you want to change banks, you should always be on the lookout for better deals.

Keep your eyes wide and your ears open for banks that offer inexpensive checking accounts, unlimited monthly transactions, and a small business lending capacity (if applicable to your situation).

2. You want a more convenient app interface

While it may not be the first thing you think of, in 2018 it is crucial that a bank is staying up-to-date with enhancements in technology.

Working with a bank that prioritizes its users’ online and app experience makes things a lot easier and demonstrates their commitment to their customers.

Mobile banking services are the future, and you want to feel comfortable being able to manage your accounts from your devices. Not only will it be easier for you to check your accounts more frequently, but it also will help you stay on top of your day-to-day financial needs if you can do them from your smartphone.

3. You want greater proximity when on the go

There is no point working with a bank that is located far from where you reside. If you are a frequent traveler, you are going to require a bank that has many branches, and whose services can be utilized no matter where you go.

You will need a bank with a more extended ATM network, so your hard-earned cash isn’t merely going towards paying off ATM fees.

That being said, you don’t necessarily just want to look at the big, major banks, as a more local branch could not only offer a more personal service (see #4) but also may be partnered with a broader array of banks across the country and the world.

4. You want more personalized service

When dealing with your personal or business finances, you want to be concentrating on building a relationship with your bank manager. They can help you obtain necessary financing, apply for a personal or business credit card, and ensure you are protecting your assets.

Having a relationship with your bank manager means you can be assured that they will guide you, advise you, encourage you and support you in accomplishing your financial goals — whether they include getting a personal loan or setting up the best possible retirement plan.

If you don’t feel like you are getting the appropriate amount of personalized service with your current bank, it is certainly time to look elsewhere.

5. You just want to do some spring cleaning

We all have those recurring charges that we have been paying for so long that we forget to evaluate their necessity. Whether it is your video streaming account, an abundance of magazine subscriptions, or a gym membership, these small monthly fees add up to a large number of withdrawals from your account.

Just like spring cleaning your home, spring cleaning your bank account is an essential way to clear up your life.

By switching bank accounts, you will be forced to go through your recurring charges and make a new decision about whether they are bringing you enough value to make it worth signing up again.

Due to the significant changes transpiring in the global banking sector, there are more options than ever for you as a banking customer. Have you recently changed banks? What was your experience? If not, what is stopping you? Let us know in the comments below!

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By financen | March 20, 2018 - 6:25 pm - Posted in Banking, Career

Finance careers offer stability and enviable monetary compensation, as well as significant flexibility when it comes to moving ahead in banking or pivoting to take a leadership role in other sectors. There’s a wide range of roles available, and banking offers more opportunity than most to work your way up, rewarding those with initiative, hard work, and strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Here are five common careers in banking and finance to consider:

Investment banker

This is what many people think of when it comes to a career in the finance sector. The banking industry is broad, but the Wall Street stereotype tends to stick in most people’s minds, thanks to glamorous Hollywood depictions of hard-working graduates and fabulously wealthy leaders. Investment banking can be a challenging, yet rewarding career choice, and strides have been made to make it a more accessible and welcoming career for a wider variety of candidates. Investment banking hubs in New York, London, and other global-class cities makes it an exciting choice for those who love the big-city lifestyle, and it offers a strong opportunity for those who want to work their way up into management and leadership positions. This is a fast-paced, relatively demanding job and is a good choice for those who are ambitious and have a lot of drive, as well as a desire to keep learning. Experienced investment bankers are also well positioned to move away from the finance sector and take positions of leadership in other large companies.

Financial planning

Financial planning involves helping people identify and understand their goals, and then to come up with intelligent saving and investment plans to reach them. This is a good choice if you enjoy interacting with others, have good communication skills and attention to detail, and a strong affinity for research and problem solving. While some education and familiarity with professional conduct, finance, and reporting is helpful, it is possible to take the initiative and work your way up the ranks without a lot of formal training.

Bank teller

Bank teller jobs are an accessible form of entry level banking work that involves specialized service and sales roles. While attention to detail, consistency, and a pleasant, professional manner are required, formal education is usually not necessary for your first teller position. Banks usually offer a well-defined internal training and growth track, and will provide ongoing education and promotion opportunities if you want to move toward a supervisory or management role. A bank teller role could be a good choice if you want a job with less pressure that is still rewarding, or if you want to gain familiarity and experience in finance and earn some money for further education.

Banking paralegal

Banking paralegals are specialists that work in the legal departments of finance organizations. They perform research and reporting duties and have a specialist education. This is a great type of position for those who are very detail oriented and enjoy research. Those interested in learning more about how to become a paralegal will want to identify the sector they want to support as a paralegal and then sign up for a specific program like an associates degree that will teach them how to become a paralegal and qualify them to work in the field. This is not a learn-on-the-job type of role; formal education is generally required, since legal skills and specialist research skills are needed.


Various types of accountants and bookkeepers are employed in the banking industry. These are also specialized roles that require some formal education. Specific processes must be followed, and professional accountants and bookkeepers must have a shared understanding of fundamental accounting processes, as well as laws, regulations, and common practices specific to the sector they serve. A corporate accountant might need to understand regulations and tax law for multiple states or even different countries, while a bookkeeper for a small business or local clients only would require less training and experience. Depending on your goals, you might start small with some basic coursework, or get a full finance degree and get a job in banking or finance with a higher starting salary and more responsibility. These roles involve a lot of flexibility and opportunity. You might freelance part-time as a bookkeeper, or work as part of a team in a large company, with opportunities to gain more experience, continue your education, and move towards a position with more responsibility.

The banking industry offers a wide range of opportunities with good financial prospects. You can start small with some basic training and work your way up or go all out and put your ambition to work climbing the ranks.

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By financen | January 31, 2017 - 4:45 am - Posted in Banking

A large number of Americans are not interested to know how banks perform. I discussed with them the reasons behind the 2008-recession, and how it hit our banking sector. And they showed little interest.

Wannabe private banker?

If you aspire to become a private banker, know everything about banking; why the deposit interest rate in this country has always been abysmally low? What are the differences between a retail bank and an investment bank? Everything.

Acquiring knowledge of banking is not difficult because we live in a digital world, filled with multiple channels to gather info. But preparing for this career is. Making money may be easy, but private bankers deal with rigorous financial matters; the job can be very stressful at times.

Basic responsibilities

Who is a private banker? Someone with financial expertise and knowledge in banking, who works for individuals with high net worth, sort of a financial advisor, whose areas of operation are investment-centric. A private banker has clients, who are extremely wealthy, and whom he helps with investment, tax planning and wealth management advice.

Educational qualification

The minimum qualification is an undergraduate degree. A finance degree is not necessary but recommended. Unlike other finance professionals, private bankers don’t get to work as interns while they are still studying. It’s best if you could amass some experience by working in a bank or a financial institute because that’d increase your odds of qualifying for an internship.

Private bankingCertifications required

An aspiring private banker can choose from a range of certifications. Employers prefer a candidate with two or more certificates than another candidate, who has only one. The Chartered Financial Analyst or CFA is a certification, offered by the CFA Institute. It is widely recognized, but hard to obtain because the pursuer needs a minimum of four years of working experience as a banking professional.

The American Bankers Association (ABA) offers an initiation called The Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA). To qualify for this certification, you need to have at least three years of experience in wealth management. The Association of International Wealth Management, a non-profit organization, issues the Certified International Wealth Manager (CIWM) certification.

You need license

To start your career as a private banker, you need to get licensed. An aspirant can obtain the required licenses only from Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), an organization that monitors the activities of the US security firms. The licenses required by private bankers are series 6, 7 and 63.

  • Here’s a brief description of the licenses:

Series 6: To obtain this license, you need to crack an exam, which will last for more than 2 hours. The topics are investment, regulations and relevant moral codes. A sponsorship from a FINRA accredited firm is necessary. The holders of this license provide mutual fund related advice.

Series 7: It’s hardcore finance. If you hold this license, you could offer your clients stock market and bond market advice. You need to pass an exam to qualify for this license, which will last for six hours.

Series 63: The North American Securities Administrators Association or NASAA issues the series 63 license, not FINRA. This license is required by the individual states for professionals, who offer their clients advice on investment.

Having all three of these licenses increases your acceptance to a potential employer. So try to obtain as many licenses as you could. To charge your clients for hours, obtain a series 65 license (offered by NASAA). Here’s everything you need to know about this license.

Success depends on networking

That’s right. An extended network can fetch you excellent deals. On the other hand, if you limit your network, the odds of getting opportunities will reduce. Remember, you’ll be working for high-net-worth-individuals and maybe sometimes with ultra-high-net-worth-individuals.

Don’t get surprised if you meet a billionaire one day, whose face routinely appears on the cover page of a tabloid. Such people need private bankers. It’s an art to land a client among them. Try meeting them in informal settings because that’s when they are in a relaxing mood. Add subtlety when pursuing them, but don’t be pushy.


Not everything is rosy about the career that private bankers select. The investment decisions are not easy, more so because any such decision backfires, client would have to bear the brunt. Most investors prefer big returns, which is impossible without rigorous risk management initiatives. And managing risk is no child’s play, even for a seasoned private banker.

Moreover, as the market has become more volatile than before, investors on a row seem to prefer low-cost investment options, which preserve capital. Such options translates to lower fees for the banker.

Think again

As you have all the information now, take time and decide whether you want to be a private banker. If you don’t like taking risks, and prefer to unwind yourself after little stress, the job is not for you. So think twice, three times or maybe more than that, and only then go ahead.

Tina Roth is a personal finance blogger and author. Her passion for helping people to make solid financial decisions motivated her to start her own personal finance blog, where she writes about money management tips and frugality. She is also the community manager at the finance guest post community.

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By financen | June 3, 2016 - 5:42 pm - Posted in Banking, Bankruptcy, Job, Law

Toward the end of adolescence and continuing straight on through to “over the hill,” many Americans spend the majority of those years working. Assuming that the average person works 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year from the age of 20 until 65, that’s 90,360 hours at work. With all that time spent on the job, it’s no surprise that a large number of accidents and injuries occur in the workplace. While all employees deserve to return home at the end of their work day alive and uninjured, the reality is that not everyone does. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 4,600 workers died on the job in 2014 and more than three million others suffered serious, non-fatal injuries at work. These alarming numbers include multiple categories of workers with varying levels of healthcare coverage: employees and independent contractors, full-time and part-time, temporary and permanent.

While the Affordable Care Act has given more people access to health insurance, medical bills and related costs can leave injured workers in a tough spot. Co-pays, high deductibles, co-insurance, travel to and from healthcare facilities, lost wages and daycare costs are just a few of the expenses that can add up quickly. A well-known actuarial firm that has published a medical index for the last 15 years known as the MMI (Milliman Medical Index) calculates that the average healthcare cost for a family of four has more than tripled since its value of $8,414 in 2001 and now stands at $25,826. This rate of increase exceeds the growth in the consumer price index (CPI) for medical services as well as the average two percent annual increase in median household income between 2004 and 2014. Compared to employers, employees are now responsible for more of the healthcare costs than they were 15 years ago – they now pay 43 percent, up from 39 percent 15 years ago.

It’s not hard to see how getting hurt at work can be financially devastating. Over the past decade, the average amount that middle-income households spent on health care increased by 51 percent, which is nearly double the growth in their incomes (30 percent) and three times the rate of growth in their spending for all other products and services. It’s no wonder then that unpaid medical bills are the number one cause of personal bankruptcy filings (62 percent), surpassing both credit card and mortgage debt. Job loss is another reason that people are unable to pay off their debts. Spending more than you make is easy to do when you have no income. Losing a job also means losing health insurance if you are the plan subscriber, and the high cost of COBRA insurance can be hard to sustain for long. Imagine, then, the economic difficulties experienced by someone who has the all-too-common experience of being injured at work and then losing that job, whether due to layoff, termination, or resignation.bankruptcy

Bleak financial scenarios are one very important reason to take steps to protect yourself if you have a jobsite-induced injury or illness. Whether it was an acute traumatic injury (like falling from a ladder) or a cumulative-trauma injury (such as carpal-tunnel syndrome), there are a few basic things you should do to protect yourself.

Report it. Tell your manager, supervisor, company nurse, union representative – whoever is in charge. Be clear about how the injury happened and that it happened at work. Report it immediately even if you think you are not seriously hurt. That knee you twisted or back you strained might not require medical treatment until a few days later, and then your employer can claim you were injured someplace else. While you are usually allowed between 30 to 90 days depending on your state, some companies impose shorter deadlines and can issue formal reprimands or suspensions of pay for not reporting an accident in accordance with their policies.

Keep good records. Being organized and having proof can make the difference between winning and losing financial reimbursement for a workplace injury claim. There will be medical reports, incident reports, and insurance paperwork, but you can also help yourself by keeping detailed documents of conversations and employment actions. Request copies of any papers your employer keeps on the incident and hold on to paystubs and timesheets showing income and hours worked. What you don’t document may not be covered, so try to keep a thorough record of all expenses that are a direct result of your work-related injury.

Consider contacting an attorney. Cases involving a workplace accident can be very complicated and can involve doctors, physical therapists, independent medical consultants, adjusters, insurance company lawyers, co-workers, equipment manufacturers, maintenance companies, and more. Because it may be difficult to determine all of the details and sort out all of the necessary parties, having your case evaluated by an attorney will maximize your compensation. Many workplace injury lawyers offer free initial consultations, so it’s often worth your time to talk to an attorney who can help while you are dealing with the aftermath of a serious injury or illness.

Workplaceinjuries stem from a wide range of incidents and an even wider range of causes. Some of the more common injuries include bodily reaction (bending, reaching, climbing, etc.), being caught in or between objects, falling from heights, repetitive motion, overexertion, slips and falls, falling objects, and vehicle accidents. Of course, construction workers have different on-the-job hazards than office personnel, but all workers can help themselves by practicing safe work habits appropriate for their jobs. Keeping work areas free of clutter and taking care not to rush (many injuries occur when people hurry and take shortcuts) are two practices that can benefit virtually any worker.

Things can go wrong even in the best run business, but not every employee is able to build up an emergency fund to draw from in the event they get hurt. Medical bills should not lead to financial ruin.Depending on the circumstances, there may be grounds for a legal cause of action. At a minimum, an experienced work injury lawyer may be able to advise you on your options, including negotiating with the medical providers, seeking out help from federal and state entities, and whether bankruptcy is truly the best choice for your situation.

Author: David Mann is a workers’ compensation attorney located in Macon, Georgia. He’s a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and is a past president of the Middle Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.

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