Managing your money well is not just about getting wealthy; it’s a fundamental life skill that impacts your entire wellbeing.
Want help in achieving financial health and security? Here are the top 5 banking mistakes we see…and how to avoid them:
- Paying unnecessary ATM fees.
When you don’t maintain minimum balance requirements on your account, meet account-specific criteria, or you use out-of-network ATMs, you’re almost always hit with a fee that could otherwise be avoided.
When it comes to ATMs, choose your cash withdrawals carefully and stick to your bank’s ATM network.
“Customers call in frequently about a charge on their checking account titled ‘Foreign ATM Fees’,” says Cammy Murfin, Customer Care Consultant at INB. “This doesn’t mean another country’s ATM was used; this refers to ATMs that are not within INB’s Money Pass network were used and have racked up fees.”
In order to avoid these fees, INB customers can go to moneypass.com and simply type in the city and/or zip code to locate surcharge free ATM’s – or you can always withdraw from your account directly with a teller, Cammy suggests. Also, some INB checking accounts waive a portion of the Foreign ATM Fees 4 times per statement cycle. To see if your account includes this waived fee, check with our branch staff, or call 1-877-771-2316 and talk to Cammy or anyone on our Customer Care team.
- Mishandling credit
Carrying high credit card balances, making late payments, and only paying the minimum due can lead to high interest charges and damage your credit score.
This is especially problematic if you want to get a loan.
“If at all possible, make sure that your credit card balances are at or below 30% of the credit limit,” says Corey Kates, AVP, mortgage lending at INB (NMLS# 1652367). “Even if you’re paying your credit cards on time every month, having balances over 30% will still be classified as overutilized in the eyes of the credit bureaus, which could have a negative impact on your credit score and negatively influence what interest rate is offered to you on a home loan.”
- Ignoring security measures.
Not using strong, unique passwords, not enabling two-factor authentication, and not regularly updating your passwords can make your accounts vulnerable to hacking.
And fraud or scams have become a major issue today, says Darcy Marr, AVP, Branch Manager of INB Pleasant Plains.
“Customers frequently click on links that take them to bogus websites or they agree to the terms and conditions without realizing what they are signing up for. A lot of times they unknowingly agree to sign up for monthly charges – and most times in those cases, we are not able to get their money back,” she shares.
“Be cautious about ‘too good to be true’ deals…because most of the time they are,” Darcy says.
She adds it’s especially important to keep your debit cards and PIN numbers secure.
INB will never call, email or text you to ask for your login information or security codes. We may call to validate activity in your account, but we will never ask for security information.
- Not setting up security alerts.
When it comes to securing your money, setting up account alerts can help you stay informed and quickly address issues or unauthorized activity. Account alert services can notify you about low balances, large withdrawals, or unusual transactions.
“At INB, debit card alerts can be set up through email or text, or both. These real-time alerts let your know your debit card was just used,” says Nathan Van Zele, AVP, Deposit Operations.
To set up debit card alerts, visit the “Manage Cards” in your digital banking account or give us a call.
“Between getting alerts and regularly reviewing your account activity, we can more easily combat fraud,” Darcy says. “And the sooner we’re alerted of fraud, the better chance we have of getting your money back.”
- Not monitoring your account.
Neglecting to regularly review your bank statements and transaction history can lead to unnoticed errors, unauthorized charges, fraudulent activity or overdraft fees, which can add up quickly.
Set aside time each month to check your account for any discrepancies or suspicious transactions.
This also includes credit reports: not monitoring your credit report for errors or unauthorized accounts can negatively impact your creditworthiness.
“I recommend that our customers download the free credit report that is offered annually,” Nathan says. “This will help keep up on what active credit accounts are linked to your Social Security Number. It’s free and only takes a few minutes to get the report.”
Download your annual credit report here.
At INB, we know that everyone banks differently. If you need help avoiding these common banking mistakes, give us a call – we’re happy to help you monitor your account, budget, improve your finances, and stay vigilant!