So what happens if a bank makes a mistake with your money?
Steps to take
Sometimes the issue can be resolved simply by calling customer service or strolling into your local branch. However, other times, mistakes may take longer to trouble shoot.
The first step to take is to bring the matter to an employee's attention, whether that be a customer service representative or a branch associate. If the person you speak with is unprofessional and unhelpful (which many of our readers write about in our reviews section), try a speaking with a different employee and when if need be, raise the issue with management.
If you're really not being assisted, don't feel discouraged. There are times when banks just don't seem to be handling the issues appropriately, and that's when you pursue outside help and take the issue to government vehicles, such as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, to help resolve the matter. This organization is a department of the U.S. Treasury that works to ensure a safe banking system for all Americans.
For more on how to handle a bank error, see our in-depth article on how to successfully handle a dispute.
To sum up, the tips we've given you to manage your checking account should be simple to follow and effective. Maintaining a good checking account standing will serve you throughout many moments in the future, such as when you're ready to buy your first house and need a mortgage, or need a loan from the bank. Additionally, gaining an understanding your bank account features will add to the bank's transparency, and you'll be able to:
- Avoid late payments.
- Avoid overdrawing your account and being slammed with weighty overdraft fees.
- Avoid service charges by knowing the minimum balance needed to waive your bank's monthly service charge.
- Be able to check your balance daily, and have a good handle on what you owe and how much you've spent.
- Avoid embarrassing situations in which your card is declined or a payee bounces a check you've written.