Despite New Opt-In Rules, Overdraft Fees Still Baffle Consumers

It has been nearly four years since rules went into effect to help clarify when banks may charge you penalties if you overdraw your checking account using your debit card.

But many people remain confused about so-called overdraft fees.

The report from the Pew Charitable Trusts found that in 2013, 10 percent of adults with checking accounts paid at least one overdraft fee–that is, a fee for a short-term advance from their bank to cover a shortage in their checking account.

Another 5 percent paid an overdraft transfer fee, charged for transferring funds from another account or a credit card. People who overdrew reported paying fees averaging $69. The typical overdraft fee was $35, but banks may add extra fees if the shortage isn’t covered quickly.

Story by Ann Carrns for The New York Times.

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