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Choosing The Best Bank & Checking Account With No Fees Or Penalties – 5 Tips

Choosing The Best Bank & Checking Account With No Fees Or Penalties – 5 Tips

The idea of personal banking is quite simple, really: a bank gives you a safe place to store your money, while investing it in the meantime for their own potential profit. Meanwhile, depending upon the type of account you have, you may even earn a little bit of interest on your money. Simple, right?

That is essentially how banking worked for over 150 years. Then, in recent decades, new banking innovations such as checking accounts, online banking, debit cards and overdraft protection have made banking a bit more complicated.

As things have evolved, it seems as if banks have found more and more ways to charge customers fees for various services. Bank fees and penalties are now a very big part of the entire banking experience. Many customers have a love-hate relationship with their banks, often finding themselves looking over their monthly statements with a suspicious eye toward unwarranted fees.

If you want to choose the best bank & checking account with no fees or penalties, here are 5 tips that can help:

1. Understand the types of fees that traditional banks charge:

There are various types of fees and penalties that most banks charge. The most common used to be checking account fees, but nowadays most checking accounts are without a monthly fee. Instead, these days, the most commonly-charged fee is the overdraft charge.

Overdraft charges are big business for banks, bringing in about $30 billion in revenue for them in the U.S. alone. Part of the reason they are able to earn so much money off of their customers is a general lack of understanding on the part of customers about how these fees really get charged. The result is that even the most conscientious patrons can easily get dinged 1-2 times per month. And, with fees at around $35 per occurrence, this can add up fast.

2. Decide whether you want to enroll in overdraft protection:

Recently-passed laws now obligate banks to ask new customers if they want to enroll in overdraft protection programs. Up until then, people were just automatically enrolled unless they specifically said they did not want to participate. But, even with the new “opt-in” process for overdraft fees, most people choose to enroll. And, the penalty fees keep rolling in like they used to.

3. Conduct an online search for no-overdraft-fees banks:

Your best bet in finding a new bank is to conduct an online search for “no overdraft fee banks.” Many of these institutions will actually cover customers’ charges – even when the account is overdrawn; but, they still will NOT charge you a fee.

4. Decide whether you need the bank you choose to have a local branch:

Many no-overdraft-fee banks have local, brick-and-mortar branches, while others have primarily an online-only presence. Decide whether it is important to you that your bank have a local branch.

5. Make sure the bank is FDIC-insured:

And of course, make sure that the no-overdraft-fee bank you choose is FDIC-insured. That way, you know your money is safe for the long-term.

Take these 5 tips to heart as you choose the best bank & checking account with no fees or penalties.…

Simple Solutions For Common Home Improvements

A home improvement project can alter the very foundation of your home. It can even cover outdoor structures and landscaping. If you want some great ideas, this is the article for you.

Always comparison shop for contractors when you need to fix up your home. Later, if you decide to sell your house, it is almost certain you will need to have some repair work done. If the work you require is extensive enough, you will have to hire a contractor. This is not something to do on the spur of the moment. Not all contractors are created equal; shop around before engaging one!

If lubricant alone doesn’t solve your door squeaking problems, try using wire wool. Simply remove the hinge from the door and dismantle it by removing the pin in the center.. Wipe away any dirt, rust, and any other excess debris with the wool and replace the hinge pin and return the hinge to the door. Then apply lubricant.

You can find many articles and web pages online that can give you tips when remodeling your home. A quick search on the internet can go a long way, and it doesn’t hurt to gain more knowledge. You want to make sure you tackle each project with confidence before you start it. You might finish the job quicker too, if you do just a little research.

Before using your kitchen cabinet drawers to put your utensils and other things in, consider a solution to keep them clean. A lot of discount and dollar stores sell vinyl wallpaper that has an adhesive back. Cut a Home Maintenance piece of the adhesive wallpaper to fit your drawer, then peel off the backing and adhere. Taking this step will prevent your drawers from getting damaged and the wallpaper can be easily peeled off and replaced.

Now you know more about home improvement and have some tips for helping you renovate your home. No matter what sort of home improvement project you choose, we hope you’ll have a great deal of fun with it. Your home will give you more pleasure every time you walk in the front door.…

Why Form a Nevis Corporation?

Why Form a Nevis Corporation?

Nevis, a small island in the Caribbean, is a part of the politically independent Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Since the adoption of the Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance in 1984 Nevis has become an attractive and convenient offshore business location.

The government of Nevis is committed to assisting international investors which combined with Nevis convenient location and the fact the Nevis laws are based on US and British legal principles makes Nevis a logical location for American and British businesses to consider when forming an offshore corporation.

Advantages of an offshore corporation

Many investors and business people are attracted to offshore corporations as a way to avoid complicated legal requirements, potential lawsuits and to enhance the privacy and security of their corporate assets.

An offshore corporation can provide the owner financial confidentiality and asset protection. A personal offshore bank account offers little security or privacy. However, an offshore account in the name of an offshore corporation will provide the investor with both asset protection and privacy.

An offshore corporation is not a legal way to avoid taxes. Taxes for US citizens and many citizens of other western countries are paid on worldwide income. However, an offshore corporation can help to preserve assets and privacy while remaining tax compliant.

Why Nevis?

Nevis offers a stable government and a stable economic environment with strong and safe banks. Nevis also has an impressive communication infrastructure which makes it an attractive offshore home for your business or investments. Nevis corporate laws are based on British and United States legal concepts and written in English, a big benefit for American and British businessmen. These factors alone make Nevis worth looking into as an offshore home for your corporation but even more attractive are the provisions the Nevis government has written into the Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance. The ordinance provides Nevis corporations:

• Are exempt from Nevis taxes• Are protected by strict privacy laws• Assets are protected at a level that is better than many other countries offering offshore business opportunities• Do not have to disclose corporate owners, officers, or directors in any public record• Corporate officers or directors may conduct business without a meeting if they are in unanimous agreement• Do not have to file annual corporate financial returns• May locate corporate offices and records anywhere in the world• May create corporate control without ownership• May choose officers or directors that are not citizens of Nevis• May issue bearer shares

Nevis also offers similar benefits to Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs). Nevis’ LLC’s offer superior asset protection including a provision providing if a member of an LLC is sued and a judgment results, the Nevis law protects the LLC and assets held by the LLC from seizure.

It is also not insignificant that the Nevis corporate laws make it extremely easy to create an offshore Nevis corporation quickly and inexpensively compared to other popular offshore locations.…

The Know Series – What is Private Banking?

The Know Series – What is Private Banking?

Private banking involves financial services that banks offer to private individuals who invest in sizable assets. This ensures that the customer is offered a personal touch than is the case with the normal retail banking. This is usually done through well qualified and dedicated banking advisors and in a very exclusive manner. A bank’s private banking section will offer numerous services such as wealth investment, inheritance and tax planning, savings among others. The high-end form of private banking is often termed as wealth management.

In wealth management, private banking help build relationships through first of all understanding the customer’s financial needs and then endeavor to best solutions fit for the prevailing financial situation. A customer is also assisted on how to develop and protect wealth both for now and for generations to come. The impacts of wealth are also managed. This includes if one intends to buy a house or relocating to overseas as well as areas such as philanthropy, tax advisory, property investment and media.

One of the benefits of private banking is that one is assigned a bank manager who will always be at hand to offer financial advice when required. Most of the transactions can even be made over the phone, thus being spared the pain of standing in queues. It is however obvious that this privilege always comes at a cost. The cost depends on whether one is investing large amounts of money and other financial products. The higher the investment the higher the cost of advice and vice versa.

The fact that all the affairs in private banking are kept private is perhaps one of the great advantages of this kind of banking since it only involves the designated bank manager and the customer. Other staff might however step in at some point for cases such as signing of non-disclosure agreement.…

How to Search For the Best Business Banking Account

How to Search For the Best Business Banking Account

Business banking is a lot different than a personal checking account that you might have. Those who own their own companies need to ensure that they have the best business banking account that they can rely on. Use these great tips to find out how to search for and open your brand new business bank account! Signing up takes less than 20 minutes and you are all set up!

The bank that you are looking into needs to be reputable and secure. If you choose a smaller bank, you may get better service but your options are going to be limited for accounts. Look around in order to determine where the best banks are that hold the right business accounts that you can use.

Once you have found a couple of banks to possibly sign up with, you need to look at your options. Find out about the debit card you will receive as well as how much you need to have in your account at all times. When it comes to these business accounts, you need to ensure that you are always meeting the proper standards. Find out if your can receive overdraft protection as well in the event that you overdraw the account you are covered and taken care of.

Look around at banks online in order to see who is the top rated. Many major banks will offer specials for signing up for a business banking account online. Try out a few of these sites to see which companies have the best options and resources for you to use. Since you are a bigger account holder, you are going to need a lot more to make business run a lot smoother.

Each bank will require a specific deposit amount in order to open an account. This deposit needs to be provided as soon as you have signed up for the account. You can make a transfer from another account that you might have, or you can make the deposit in person at a local branch.

Ensure that the account that you choose is specifically designed for the business owner. You will need to manage your accounts online so that you always know where you are standing. If the bank does not offer online management offers, you may not want to sign up with them simply because they are not as convenient as you might like.

Business banking is essential to running a profitable business. You will need to look for the best business banking account that you can find. Within a few weeks, you will have everything organized and ready to go. Keep track and you will always be prepared for anything!…

Managing Risks In Core Banking Replacements

Managing Risks In Core Banking Replacements

Survival of the Transformed

I arrived at the symposium half expecting last year’s critical themes again. Why would I expect a change-after all, the world of core banking technology had not changed all that much in the last 18 months – or had it? A couple of years ago, at the same symposium, all I heard was that core banking solution replacement was an idea whose time had NOT come. The risks were just too great, said experts. Others opined that the costs of such a dramatic change in the technology infrastructure were just too high to justify undertaking the risk. And as I considered these views very objectively, I realized that they were all correct. The risks were indeed very high, costs potentially bordering on the prohibitive and in-house systems had indeed served the purpose. However, what I had heard at this year’s session was refreshingly different. There was still widespread cognisance of the risks and costs, but there was something else in the air, an acknowledgement of the fact that banks, irrespective of size and geography, face the dual challenge of cutting costs and increasing internal efficiencies, with the ultimate aim of improving margins, which are clearly under strain. There are visible signs of large global and regional banks willing to take the plunge. While some openly stated their intentions to consider a core banking solutions replacement, there were some others who had already taken the first steps towards this brave move. More than one global bank is considering a new application -if not in their home market to start off with, then at least elsewhere.

This is a significant step and I strongly believe that all it requires is a couple of successful migrations before this develops into something like a wave.

What then are the risks that banks should take cognisance of, before embarking on what is clearly going to be the single biggest technology initiative within the bank?

Vendor or partner risk

Analysts rate this as the single biggest risk while evaluating enterprise applications. After all, if a core banking systems replacement is going to be the single biggest initiative, the solution provider should be a partner rather than a vendor. There are various questions to be considered while evaluating a vendor’s credentials.

Some of these are:

Is the vendor financially strong?

It is imperative that the vendor is financially very strong, and capable of tiding over the bad times so as to be able to capitalise during the good times.

Is the vendor committed to the business?

It is vital for a vendor to have a long-term view of the banking business just as a bank would have. They should understand the business, make regular investments to track and understand the business, and above all, give it the focus that it deserves.

Does the vendor conform to quality standards?

For a software vendor, adherence to various quality standards is of paramount importance.

What do others have to say?

The different accolades received pertaining to corporate governance, the quality of management and their vision, and so on are positive indicators. Vendors of core banking solutions are more than just developers of another piece of software and banks are recognising this.

Solution risk

At the end of the day, a solution is what the bank buys. And therefore, evaluation of the solution itself is very important. For example, it is expected that the vendor would invest in benchmarking the solution features against best practices as its geographic footprint grows. Critical evaluation of solutions by research analysts and consultants also can provide banks with key insights into the solution. Banks should also look at the vendor’s strategy in future-proofing the solution for emerging requirements.

Technology risk

It is a must that a bank’s partner is at the cutting edge of technology. For example, a few years ago, the adoption of web technologies was considered necessary-and solutions, which had adopted these technologies early and web-enabled their systems, were clearly the more progressive ones. In today’s environment, experts are talking of Web Services and a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA), so solutions that conform to this are obviously more than a step ahead. There are other factors to be considered too, such as:

Is the solution scalable?

Banks should closely look at vendors who have performed scalability benchmarks. However, the (real) proof of the pudding is in the number of ‘live’ sites say 500 branches, or where transactions volumes per day are more than 5 million..

Is it based on open and inter-operable standards?

The core banking solutions will co-exist with other internal and external applications. It is important that interfacing and integration capabilities are proven beyond doubt.

Implementation & support risk

The banking world has seen many projects fail. It is often said …

Where to Get Your Cord Blood Coupon

Where to Get Your Cord Blood Coupon

Getting a cord blood coupon may just be your ticket to taking advantage of the best medical plan you can ever give your child. Cord blood registry can be very expensive but with the help of a coupon, you can definitely be on your way to enjoying its benefits rather than worrying about the expenses.

This blood registry is expensive because preserving the cord blood specimen is going to be for a lifetime’s worth. These transplants are known to be able to successfully treat major illnesses that affect the blood as well as the immune system. A lot of life-threatening diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, can be treated completely through the use of stem cells obtained from the cord blood specimen.

You can actually get a cheaper specimen through public banks. However, the safety of the actual specimen may not be that guaranteed. Doctors know that getting someone else’s cord blood specimen may be risky in terms of getting some genetic diseases from the unknown donor.

In contrast, private sectors that facilitate cord blood banking may be more expensive because you don’t only pay for the full circle that comes with getting and sustaining the specimen’s life. You also get to have insurance for the sample, assuring you that your payment will be partly covered should anything happen with the specimen or the facility where it is being stored.

So it really does make a big difference when you have a blood coupon. You can begin by asking from your friends, colleagues, and loved ones if they are aware of institutions that give away such coupons. Some of them might have direct leads as they have experienced this themselves.

You can also turn to private blood banking facilities and try to ask if they have existing discounts or promos you can avail. Try checking their online website for any information regarding this. Most of them would have coupons available right on their website to attract people to come and visit their online presence. It would be best to avail the coupons right from the facility’s own website so you can be sure that you are buying legitimate ones.

You can also try getting your coupons from the websites that sell them. Just make sure you do some background research regarding the said website. Groupons have become such a fad these days that’s not surprising to find a blood coupon also being offered on any of these sites.

Finally, you can also your very own gynecologist if they know of any facility that offers a cord blood coupon. They might either be able to refer you to one or they might actually be part of a facility that is duly certified to perform the extraction of cord blood specimen.…

Blogging Online – Being Tortured by Internet Banks and Local Banking With Charges & Costs

Blogging Online – Being Tortured by Internet Banks and Local Banking With Charges & Costs

Making money blogging and looking after money matters is a must! Imagine working your butt off and not being able to get to your money.

First and foremost, visit your Bank Manager and find out what legal requirements need to be adhered to when marketing over International Borders.

– Ask how much money you are allowed to receive or send in any one transaction or total value for a month.

– What legal forms may be required to declare payments being made or money received.

Whether marketing products you own, or selling another persons products for a commission (Affiliate Marketing). Have a clear plan on how to go about setting up banking online and clearing International cheques.

Did you know PayPal did not make payments to South Africa before the end of March 2010? Where you live is relevant, and you may have to look into various options with banking. Join local forums in your country to find out what other bloggers are doing to help solve banking problems.

What to look out for in the “small print”:-

• Bank charges for receiving money on your behalf.

• Sending money to you – what percentage of your earnings is this going to cost.

• Keep an eye out for additional charges in set bank “fees”

• When exchanging money over International Borders look out for what your foreign exchange value is on the day. This will be reflected on the banks website or just phone them and ask the Foreign Exchange Department what the rates are on the day.

Charges vary from bank to bank, normally reflected as a percentage of total amount transferred, so be sure to look at the cost involved before signing up. Some banks will charge a percentage, and add on an additional service fee.

Working over borders I have found that the charges incurred can add up to 10% of your earnings. That is a sizable sum especially when you are starting a new business.

So how is the 10% made up…..

1. You earn $50 from a sale – to receive $50 into your PayPal account at a cost of $2.25 is levied = 4.5% (2.25/50*100) or (50*0.045).

2. Moving the money into your local bank is at 1.5% of the value once the exchange rate has been calculated.

3. You may lose money depending on the strength of your currency in the International Market. Try to move money on a “good” day!

4. Bank Fees, plus local VAT or GST is added into the equation.

Moving money costs you – our local South African Reserve Bank law stipulates that money earned must be brought down into a local account within 30 days.

This means we cannot leave money a PayPal account to use at a later date. Wow, how is that for a skew “ball”.

Wake up – banks are out there to make money, you need to know how much. Each Country will vary, each Bank will vary, use this information as a guideline.…

Second Chance Checking Accounts – A Layman’s Guide To Getting One

Second Chance Checking Accounts – A Layman’s Guide To Getting One

Are you currently looking into second chance checking accounts but are not sure what the process is, or how to get things started? In this article, we will be going over the background of these types of accounts, why they are needed and what type of banks offer them. By the end of this, you will get a clear idea about how this works and what you can do.


If you ever been turned down for a regular checking account, it is likely that you have a negative record in the ChexSystems. Sometimes mis-spelled as the Check System, this is an organization just like a consumer reporting agency.

What Experian is to credit history and credit scores, ChexSystems is to checking account history. Banks that are member organizations of this system will report on to the system if the accounts are closed with fees unpaid and other events that will indicate the quality of the checking account transactions.

Second Chance Banking

All is not lost even if your ChexSystems account has a negative flag. One way is to bypass and go for non ChexSystems checking accounts that are offered by banks that are not a ChexSystems member. This situation is getting less and less common, though.

Most likely, you can still get an account from a bank that is a member of ChexSystems. Banks may see your record and still be willing to offer you a second chance checking account. For example, Joe S, an online forum poster, recently applied to Chase bank for a regular bank account for checking, and was offered the second chance Chase Access account instead.

Banks That Offer Them

Regular national banks, local banks and credit unions offer second chance banking. Some are offered by financial institutions that specialize in bad credit checking accounts.

Amongst the many choices, you can consider nationwide banks like Chase or USBank, or regional banks like Woodbury bank or Bank of the West. These accounts typically have all the benefits of a regular account, including check writing, online banking and a debit card.

Improve Financial Management And Credit History

This is important as it makes it so much easier to participate in mainstream financial activities and to make payments. Over time, a history of good financial management and the ability to pay bills on time could also contribute to a better credit score.

Be Careful About The Fees And Terms

One catch about second chance bank accounts is that they may also include some fees like an application fee, monthly account fee and transactions costs for writing checks. That is why you need to be careful when choosing the right place to open your new account at. Check out several websites and compare all the charges involved.

Moving Ahead With Life

The good news is that as you establish an account history with the bank, and they see that your account is in good standing over time, they will be willing to upgrade your account to a regular checking account.

Second chance checking accounts are available widely across many states and with different banks and credit unions. If you’ve been denied an account before, all it means is that you have not found the right bank. Don’t settle for the first bank that offers you an account. Instead, research and compare the fees and terms of several banks before choosing one.…

How to Nail Your Investment Banking Interviews

How to Nail Your Investment Banking Interviews

Ok, so you’ve got your big interview at that Investment Bank you’ve wanted to work at since you first heard of it. How do you prepare?

The thing is, not all investment banks are the same and you can’t always tell what’s going to happen in every interview.

To be honest though, there is a way to almost guarantee your success and that’s by anticipating what’s going to go down at your interview and preparing for it in advance.

First, let’s be clear. Fit questions will always be more important than the investment banking technical questions. I mean, these people don’t expect you to know it all when it comes to the financial world. They do expect you to have a good knowledge of it, but what they’re looking for the most is whether you’ll be a good addition to their firm.

The way you can tick all their boxes is to come across interested in business and the financial world, and also willing to learn and eager to work hard. Also, when you get asked the requisite questions on what you would do in certain situations, make sure you give examples from your own life. Hint: have 4-5 stories accentuating your relevant strengths – this will set you apart.

But the way to almost guarantee your success with investment banking interview [] questions is to be enthusiastic about what you’re saying. Interviewers cannot resist someone with FIRE, someone who’s positive, great to get along with.

Here’s the key: Make them want to work with someone like you.

Another good thing to do is to be prepared for all the logistics. You should be prepared to speak with a banker in every level of the firm at some point. We’re talking analysts, associates, VP’s and perhaps MD. You should be ready to have a very high-pressured day, full of interviews, tests, group exercises and assessments. Make sure you arrive on time in the morning and socialize with the other candidates. People will be watching you, so you should be at your most social and professional.

So in summary, prepare for the investment banking interviews in advance, link the fit questions back to your own experiences, be personable and charming and think about the logistics on the day itself. You’ll be getting investment banking job offers in no time!…