Americans Paid $15 Billion in Overdraft Fees Yearly

Americans Paid $15 Billion in Overdraft Fees Yearly

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Americans paid $15 billion in overdraft fees last year. That’s an awful lot of money that consumers wasted on unnecessary and preventable fees. CNN Money reported:

In 2016, U.S. consumers paid a total of $15 billion in fees for bouncing checks or overdrafting — which is when a customer tries to make a purchase without enough money in their account to cover the transaction — according to new data released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

All banks with assets over $1 billion must report how much money it brought in via bounced check and overdraft fees, according to CFPB. And this year the industry rang up at $11.41 billion. That’s up 2.2% from 2015, which was the first year banks began reporting total overdraft and bounced check fees to the CFPB.

Adding in its best guess for what smaller banks and credit unions charged, and CFPB says $15 billion is roughly the grand total.

These fees are particularly troublesome for cash-strapped Americans, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said on a press call Thursday.

“Consumers living on the edge can find themselves racking up numerous overdraft charges,” Cordray said. “Despite recent regulatory and industry changes, consumers with low account balances and little margin for error continue to pay significant overdraft fees.”

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