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Banking Fees Top Movers’ Worry List

[Tuesday, July 29th, 2014]

Moving is a stressful event, right up there with death and divorce. One of the most stressful things is deciding where to set up a new bank account.

A survey of 1,100 Americans by TD Bank showed that 30% of people are concerned with where they will bank after a move. One of the most important factors to look at when choosing a bank is what kind of fees they charge. Easy access to in-network ATMs and bank branches will lessen the chances of being charged bank fees.

One way to avoid bank fees is to use a prepaid card instead of a traditional checking account. This is increasingly popular, not only among people who want to save money on banking fees, but for underbanked consumers and people with poor or no credit.

Buying a home can take a toll on a person’s credit. To get the best mortgage rate, folks need a good credit score, but the financial pressures of closing on a home and all the associated costs of moving can cause credit scores to sink into the limited credit range.

Reasons to move

According to the TD Bank survey, 30% of people move in order to have more space. Being in a different neighborhood factored into the moving decision for 25% of respondents, 18% wanted to be closer to family and friends, 17% had better job prospects in the new location, and 13% were moving due to expanding or shrinking family size.

After the big move, 66% of those surveyed set up a new bank account within a month of moving. Twenty-one percent set it up before the move.

For 41% of survey respondents, the bank being close by was a major consideration – the bank they chose is within three miles of their new home. Twenty-five percent chose a bank with a branch within 4 to 5 miles.

Reasons for switching banks included avoiding fees and charges. Forty-seven percent said that was their primary reason for changing banks after a move.

Along with the survey results, TD Bank provided these tips for avoiding banking fees:

  • Shop around and look for extended hours and online banking options.
  • Choose a bank that is conveniently located to home and work. A large ATM network with convenient, fee-free transactions will save money. TD Bank offers reimbursement for non-bank ATM fees.
  • Remember to make a list of direct deposits and automatic payments that will need to be linked to your new bank account.
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