Top 10 facts that your bank might be hiding from you.
Beware of the universal default clause.
Before you sign up for a bank-issued credit card, ask if it has a universal default clauses also known as as the ultimate poison clause in credit cards. If it does, run for the nearest exit. It allows the bank to look through all your credit accounts, and if it sees that you are late paying a bill on another card, it gets to jack up the interest rate on its card.
…is pretty safe, but it could be better, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. They studied 214 financial-institution websites and found design flaws in 76 percent of them, including banks redirecting users to less-secure sites.
Not everyone is allowed to do a teller’s job.
Call or visit in person to resolve a problem.
You probably don’t need to pay fees.
Small business loans are hard to get.
Unless you are Wolfgang Puck, our loan officers have pretty much decided before you walk in that you are not getting a loan for your dream bistro. But they all let you apply for one anyway. Weâ??re not crazy about lending to nonprofits and houses of worship either. We don’t want the bad publicity when we go after them.
Banks don’t always promote their highest interest rate accounts.
A bank has the right to pay itself back.
“We’re excited about your trip to Europe too!”
It’s not bad enough that the dollar is hovering near historic lows against most major currencies, but when you travel overseas, every transaction comes with big fees attached. Take out cash from an ATM in London and you’ll get hit with a foreign-transaction fee, plus a fee for using a competitor’s ATM. All told, it can cost up to $7 just to withdraw $200. Credit card purchases aren’t much better. Visa and MasterCard charge 1 percent of the purchase for converting currency. And the issuing banks may take another cut, which can bring the total to 3 percent of your purchase price, says Card Ratings.com’s Arnold. “If people don’t travel overseas very often, they just don’t think about it,” he says.
“In debt? The courts won’t help.”
Since the late 1990s banks have been including mandatory arbitration agreements in their contracts for many of their products, including auto loans, checking accounts, home-equity loans and credit cards. Such agreements prohibit you from suing and instead require you to use an arbitrator — someone picked by the arbitration firm named in your credit card contract to hear the dispute and decide the outcome.