Banking While Poor? Prepare to Get Swindled!

The companies distributing the [pre-paid] cards have drawn criticism for not clearly disclosing fees that can include a charge to activate the card, load money on it and even to call customer service. Customers with a “convenient cash” prepaid card from U.S. Bank, for example, pay a $3 fee to enroll, a $3 monthly maintenance fee, $3 to visit a bank teller and $15 dollars to replace a lost card.

Capital One charges prepaid card users $1.95 for using an A.T.M. more than once a month, while Wells Fargo charges $1 to speak to a customer service agent more than twice a month.

— Big Banks are now expanding their offerings to include products to take advantage of low-income customers! People are choosing to go to banks over those terrible payday loan places that exist in every low-income neighborhood, because you know, banks are better, you’d think. But nope! The big banks are selling them the same terrible, high-interest, high-fee products, and sometimes they are even worse, because the banks “typically are not subject to interest rate limits on payday loans and other alternative products.”

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