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How To Avoid Common Personal Banking Mistakes

Aug 17, 2007
Using a bank can really save you money, but there are also ways in which you lose a lot of money. If you are not proactive in recognising potential dangers and mistakes, then you could be caught out. Here are some of the most common personal banking mistakes and how to avoid them.

Not reviewing your statements

Many people get their statement each month, open it and then throw it away. If you don't look at your statements properly then you will not see mistakes on your account that could be costing you a lot of money. If there is a payment that you did not make then you could be charged a fee, and there is also a chance that you card has been copied. Checking your statements against all your purchases each month is imperative.

Paying too much

Many people are too lazy to shop around or to question the fees that they pay each month on their accounts. If you look at the fees you pay you might find that you are paying far too much. If this is the case then it is time to shop around for a better deal, because you could save yourself a lot of money each year just by not paying expensive banking fees.

Leaving paper around

When you look at your bank statement or open bank related information, make sure that you don't leave it lying around. If you carelessly discard information relating to your account then you are an easy target for identity thieves and fraudsters. Make sure that you keep all bank related information in a safe place, and shred any documents that you are going to throw away.

Using ATMs without care

When using an ATM, make sure that you take precautions. Do not write down your PIN number anywhere near your card, and make sure that you shield your number when you type it in. Being aware of people around you when using an ATM can stop most potential crime.

Banking online in public

Although you might need to check your account urgently, checking your online account and carrying out transactions on a wireless network is not totally secure. There is a chance that someone could access your details, or that the transaction will be lost. Use your online banking at home if at all possible.

Not establishing a relationship

If you want to get the best deals from your bank, then you need to establish a relationship with them. If you have a local branch, then arrange a meeting with the bank manager so that you know who they are. Although you might never need their help, if there are any problems or you need extra funds then knowing your bank manager can really help.

Only borrowing from your bank

If you have been loyal to one bank for a while, then perhaps it is time to rethink that loyalty. Although you might think your bank offers the best deal, whenever you want to purchase a new financial product you should shop around. There are many other places, particularly online, that can offer you great deals on borrowing money from credit cards or loans. If you are careful with your banking information and shop around for the best deals, then you can avoid most of these common personal banking mistakes.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot.
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