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Are You Going Broke Because Of ATM Fees? [AUDIO]

ATM fees keep going higher and higher in the Garden State.

A man uses an ATM machine of the Bank Of Cyprus
A man uses an ATM machine of the Bank Of Cyprus (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

“Part of the reason that banks are nickel and diming consumers in this way is because there has been a lid on many of the fees that banks were able to charge. They would say that they have to make up these billions of dollars that they’re losing in what were also predatory fees,” says the Executive Director of New Jersey Citizen Action, Phyllis Salowe Kaye.

She points out some ATM machines, in convenience stores, bodegas and hotel lobbies, are now charging as much as $6 dollars to make a withdrawal.

Salowe Kaye believes this is just another way that banks are trying to make up for fees that the regulators put a lid on.

“Consumers need to be better financially educated – and they need to think about what money they’re going to need, and where they’re going to make those withdrawals. We don’t want people to be walking around with large sums of money, but at the same time, we don’t want people to be making ATM withdrawals three times in three days.”

Salowe Kaye points out often low and moderate income people are the ones affected by this, because they don’t have large amounts of money in their bank accounts to begin with, so they’re forced to go back multiple times as the money comes in, and make multiple withdrawals.

She says the bottom line is that, “ATM’s should be accessible to everybody at reasonable amounts of money if it’s not your home bank.”

As the state’s largest citizen watchdog coalition, New Jersey Citizen Action works to protect and expand the rights of individuals and families and to ensure that government officials respond to the needs of people rather than the interests of those with money and power.

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