If you’re thinking about a new bank…

Here is a light post until I get together a proper response to your amazing comments on the $tre$$ post because they were wonderful enough to warrant their own proper response and I’m in a calmer place now too.

So ING Direct is having a big savings sale like they do every Black Friday weekend. The one that benefits you and me the best is the Electric Orange deal. If you open a checking account using my referral account with a $250 deposit by December 15, I get $100 bucks and you get $25. If you open that account by tomorrow and use the debit card ten times in 45 days, you get $125 on the 50th day.

I love my Electric Orange account. If you have problems overdrafting your account, this will help you in a big, big way. They don’t charge you fees per transaction and they have a tiny overdraft limit to keep you in check. This account has saved me again and again and again. And I know I can use $100 and I know chances are pretty good you could use $150. So there you go. I hope this helps you out!

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@$)^&@!&%$ Banks!

Please allow me to have a mini rant here. If you’re not in the mood for ranting, you can… go…. look at…. meditation stock photos.

Image from a Telegraph article appropriately titled “Bank Complaints: Don’t get mad, get even”

A couple of months ago, University Credit Union let me know it was going to start charging $2.99 a month for my formerly free checking account. I had been debating closing my account with them anyways because I don’t like ridiculous fees for what is most of the time just really stupid mistakes. In other words, I don’t think most people overdraft their accounts with a malicious intent. Most of the time it’s truly accidental. I mean ok I understand a $5 fee for being a dummy but $32? That’s absurd.  Anyway, I had made a couple of stupid mistakes already and I didn’t like being slapped with that huge insulting fee which doesn’t exist at ING Direct. Which by the way, if you’re interested in ING Direct, and you should be, email me and I ‘ll send you a referral so we both get extra money. Ok so back to the freaking point.

I decided to close the credit union account BUT not right away because it was linked to the child support payments and I kept receiving promises of payment during this time. So I kept it open, made up my mind to send in paperwork to change the account the child support deposited into, and forgot everything.

Fast forward to September. The account had dwindled down to about $14 since the only thing connected to it was the child support deposits and those weren’t happening. But, oh no, my kids’ school pictures were coming and the only account I have checks for is the credit union. So I got online, checked the balance to see how much I’d have to deposit to cover the three $15 checks, and set out the next day for the bank. On September 18th I deposited $45. I got a receipt that showed I had just under $60 and threw it away.

Today I logged on to see if the checks had cleared so I could follow up with child support and make sure they had transferred the deposit info and then I could close the credit union accounts– including the savings one as they had just emailed a few weeks ago they were going to start charging $5 a month for THOSE accounts.

I was overdrawn by $25.

What. The. Hell?

Photo check one? Clear.

Photo check two? Clear.

Photo check three? Bounced and initiated a $32 NSF fee.

But how? I hadn’t touched the account since I deposited! I took a look and lo and behold there was a credit card transaction that happened September 13th that overdrew my account by a little more than $5.

Ok now the transaction is sort of valid. It’s a bill I pay. I had changed the credit card the last time I paid but for some reason it charged this old card this time. I never deleted it from their file (LESSON!). And it went through even though it was for $19.99 and the account only had $14 in it. But the part that is driving me insane is that it wasn’t there when I went on the 18th to make the deposit to cover the photo checks. I even had more cash on me but only deposited what I needed because I wanted to close the account.

And here’s another thing I don’t understand. If they did allow it to go through when it was overdrawn as the ledger shows then why didn’t it get an overdraft fee attached to it?

I called. They can’t help me because it’s a branch issue.

I went to the branch. I stood in line for over 20 minutes because everyone was out to lunch except one teller. I tried talking to her. She waved me off saying not to worry everyone does that, no big deal. So when I said great you’ll fix it? Oh no I can’t do that. Make your deposit and go talk to Member Services. Another line. This one I didn’t make. I left. I was starving and preferred to sit here and rant while I stuffed my face with a sammich than to sit in line for who knows how long to maybe get $32 back.

It’s situations like these that make me very very very distrustful of banks. How the hell was that transaction not there five days after it supposedly went through? Especially since I got a receipt on the 13th for that payment (didn’t show the credit card number that was charged so I didn’t think twice about it). And why do they allow credit card transactions to overdraw accounts without penalty and with full payment but not checks? And why didn’t I get alerted that my bank had been overdrafted on the 13th?

Ok my sandwich is done which means the rant is over. Your turn to rant about financial institutions and/or our own stupidities relating to money management.