I Bought My Kids Dinner — And Saw Firsthand How Overdraft Fees Punish the Poor
Like many people who are or have ever been poor, I have plenty of stories about the costly and embarrassing ramifications of overdraft fees. Once, a $5 can of baby formula triggered a cascade of fees and penalties so substantial that it ended up costing me hundreds of dollars by the time I was finally able to get my account back in the positive.
Another time, I was thrilled to receive a $200 freelance payment in the mail and rushed to deposit it into my checking account — which at that point had a balance of around $3. In my excitement, I failed to realize that my bank would hold the check for three business days before it “cleared” and was officially credited. On my way home from the bank, I treated my kids to Happy Meals. The $10 transaction went through but sent my account into the negative, causing me to incur more than $100 in fees before I knew what had happened.
Read the full story in the Washington Post.