Curtis (2/15/11)

I understand the need for traditional banking – really, I do – but that doesn’t mean its rules don’t grate on me from time to time. When I was in my early twenties, I incurred an overdraft fee thanks to an emergency car repair. I thought I had enough money in my account. I didn’t. So how did I respond to being charged $25? I closed my account and opened a new one with Washington Mutual, a “consumer-friendly” bank that promised every goodie under the sun: no fees, no overdraft charges and, to make the deal even sweeter, a no-questions-asked home loan. Well, we all know how that turned out. After Washington Mutual imploded, I went looking for a stodgier, more conservative bank that understood how to properly assess risk. I still dislike overdraft fees and other safeguards (PMI is what sticks in my craw these days), but I also understand their importance.

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