Checking is convenient. But you need to know in advance all the fees and charges that might come with your account.
You might have per check charges, account minimums to earn interest, monthly account fees or a combination of these features.
And you need to use your account responsibly or overdraft fees can add up. If you write a check for more than your account balance, either:
- The bank or credit union pays the amount and charges you a hefty fee, or
- The bank or credit union doesn’t cover the amount. You may owe an overdraft fee to your bank and often another one to the payee for providing a bad check.
Debit cards, also called check cards, can be very convenient, since the money you spend comes right out of your account. But there may be fees for overdrafts and for some debit transactions. It’s important to know what charges could apply before you use your card.
The way to keep things in balance, so you always have enough money in your account for expenses, is to keep good records.