that it is quick and you don’t have to carry much cash. Retail establishments are very familiar with the Visa logo and you usually do not need a second piece of ID, as with writing a check,” points out Pope.
Says Sherry, “Having an ATM card that can be used as a credit card is a very convenient way to pay. It is very useful and ‘pay-as-you-go’ is a great way to manage your finances.”
Your bank does not reinvest in your community. It is unreasonable and unfair for banks that have your dollars to export them from your community into another for new car loans and new home loans. “It damages the community and the long-term effects can be very devastating,” explains Willard “Chuck” Lewis, senior executive vice president and COO of Citizens Trust Bank.
The bank has an unwavering commitment to the African American citizens of Atlanta and demonstrates it by offering investment planning, home mortgage loans through its full-service mortgage company, and automobile, small business, large commercial, consumer, and college education loans. Citizens Trust Bank advertises consistently and heavily with practically all of the black-owned publications in Atlanta. It is a major sponsor of De Kalb County’s Partners in Education and Teacher of the Year programs, and makes regular donations to the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Council, and local church events.
“We have a company philosophy of community reinvestment, and that is evident in our Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rating, which measures and gauges how banks reinvest in the community. We received an outstanding rating-the highest possible rating-for the past three years,” says Lewis. “Assess what your bank has done for your community. If they cannot give you clear answers, it is time to look f
or another bank.”
Your bank does not offer a credit line/overdraft protection. There are two types of overdraft protection by which your checks will be paid even though you do not have the funds in your checking account to cover them. They are line of credit and automatic transfer of funds from savings. A line of credit is lending approved by your bank, up to a certain amount of money, and usually requires a credit check. When you open your savings account, you have the option of having funds transferred from your savings account to cover checks. Although there really should be no charge for transferring your money from one account to another, there is usually a $5 fee for each transaction.
Additionally, banks should not charge longtime customers high fees for returned checks. This is another reason for leaving a bank. “Returned check fees are painful. The standard fee is $30 or less. Anything over that would be considered out of bounds for most institutions,” says Lewis.
Your bank does not allow “linked” accounts. A linked account is one which combines all of your accounts at a bank, and may include checking, savings, money market, and certificates of deposit. Banks usually offer reduced fees or eliminate them altogether when you meet the minimum balance requirements. For