November 4th, 2011

Big Banks Drop Debit Card Fees, But Can They Still Hold on to Customers?

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Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase announced that they’ll be dropping plans to charge customers a monthly fee for using their debit cards. This comes after a month of consumers protesting the fees and threatening to leave big banks with movements like “Bank Transfer Day,” Occupy Wall Street movement and other local demonstrations.

Wells Fargo stated, “As we adjust to changes in our business, we will continue to stay attuned to what our customers want.” Bank of America had a similar statement, claiming, “We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee.”

It seems like a win for consumers, but it begs the question,

Is this the end of bank fees?

Not likely.

Faced with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which is still rolling out its amendments, big banks will lose a lot of revenue. Just two pieces of the act, the Durbin Amendment and the Volcker Rule, will see 10 of the largest banks losing more than $9 billion in annual revenue.

When it comes to small banks, they have less wiggle room in their budgets to work in the costs of new banking regulation compliance. All around, there is pressure to come up with more funds or cut costs dramatically.

From a business perspective, banks can’t sit idly by.

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November 1st, 2011

Consumer Confidence Drops at the Worst Possible Moment

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Hey, let’s have a quick catch-up quiz to see how you’re feeling about the economy: How do you feel about current business conditions? What about in the next six months? How do you think employment is doing? Do you think it’ll get easier or harder to find a job in the next six months? How do you think your family’s income will change in the next six months?

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October 27th, 2011

Pros and Cons of Using Layaway This Holiday Season

It’s not even Halloween yet and the mania around holiday shopping has already begun. The latest ploy to send holiday shoppers into a spending frenzy? The reemergence of the layaway plan. In response to customer demand and the current state of the economy, Walmart has decided to join other major retailers like Sears, Best Buy and Toys “R” Us in bringing back the old-fashioned layaway program commonly used in department stores for years.

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October 13th, 2011

Will Bank Transfer Day Take Down Big Banks?

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Occupy Wall Street has received a lot of media attention due in large part to the protests and arrests occurring in New York and other major cities. Many consider the conversation around the dissatisfaction of banks to be a constructive idea, yet despite their growing following, Occupy Wall Street has yet to put any plans into motion to change the system.

That all changed this past week when an event called “Bank Transfer Day” emerged on Facebook encouraging people to switch from their current bank to a credit union by Nov. 5. While the event’s creator is not directly tied to Occupy Wall Street, many of its followers have shown support for the event, and it could mark the turning point for the movement.

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August 16th, 2011

Credit Karma Chat: What does the U.S. credit downgrade mean for you?

Bethy and Justine get specific about what the credit downgrade is and what it means for consumers

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August 10th, 2011

4 Steps to Avoiding Your Own Credit Downgrade

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We discussed earlier what you should do with your money in light of the country’s credit downgrade, but what can the country’s credit troubles teach us about our own finances?

Just like the national debt gets a credit rating, your credit score, given by each of the three consumer credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), is your personal rating of creditworthiness.

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August 8th, 2011

6 Tips on Dealing with the U.S. Credit Downgrade

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There’s a lot of information floating around the World Wide Web about the recent U.S. credit downgrade. But what is the important information that consumers should know? Here we go over a few basics and how you should react in light of the changes in our economy.

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May 26th, 2011

Fact Sheet: What’s in a Dollar Bill?

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You know that one dollar bill you just shelled out for a small coffee?

Ever thought about what’s it made of or where it came from? We answer those questions and more in our quick dollar-bill fact sheet. Read on, big spender!

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May 13th, 2011

Friday Roundup: Housing Market News

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In a town hall aired Thursday, Obama urged banks to help out struggling homeowners, recognizing that lots of U.S. mortgage borrowers are still struggling, reports CNN Money. But if banks are to help homeowners by doling out longer-term mortgage modifications and principal reductions, it's going to take some time.

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March 29th, 2011

Are You a Returnaholic?

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Last holiday season, retailers lost over three billion dollars to return fraud. That’s why according to the National Retail Federation, 17% of stores last year tightened up their return policies.

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