We can all save a little more but some months it can be a challenge to scrap up extra cash. Have no fear, as we share The Week’s three top pieces of financial advice, from how to get bank fees reversed to slashing car insurance costs.
Get bank fees reversed
Stop putting up with those bank fees, said Allison Martin at Credit.com. Though it’s tempting to just “bite the bullet and pay,” it’s possible to reverse those annoying fees with a little legwork. First, make sure to “address the issue promptly.” That means calling your financial institution as soon as you spot the charge. Time your call right — “don’t wait until the late afternoon when the representatives are exhausted and their patience is thin.” When you have someone on the line, explain your case “and request a pass because of your usual stellar history.” Good and longtime customers will have an advantage, but “if the first request doesn’t work, you can always ask to speak to a supervisor, or hang up and try again.”
How to score scholarships
College students who need more cash are in luck, said AnnaMaria Andriotis at The Wall Street Journal. While tuitions at colleges and universities continue to rise, so does the “scholarship money being handed out by corporations, foundations, and other private-sector benefactors.” Prospective students should start their search early, using websites that can help families find scholarships for which they might qualify. Parents should also check with their employer to determine if it offers scholarships to employees’ children. Lastly, “aim high.” Though the competition for large national scholarships can be stiff, qualified applicants should give it a shot. “The payoff can make it worth the effort.”
Driver tracking slashes insurance costs
You can save big bucks on your car insurance — if you are willing to pay “the price of some privacy,”said Ron Lieber at The New York Times. A growing number of auto insurers, including Progressive, Allstate, and State Farm, now offer usage-based coverage, which gives drivers an annual discount in exchange for letting the companies “track every second of your driving” using a device that plugs into a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics port. The device tracks things such as driving speed, turns, and acceleration, and wirelessly transmits the data back to the insurer. On average, these programs can save drivers 10 to 15 percent off their premium, but those with privacy concerns might be leery. “One lingering worry,” for example, is the possibility of insurers adopting a “FICO-like driver score,” which could follow drivers around whenever they shop for new insurance.
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Source: The Week’s