The many ways the financial system screws those who cannot afford it
Poor people are hit with fees and fines that take what little money they have and leave them suffering.
Over the decades I have listened to so many people say they take one step forward and two steps back. I know individuals who work two or three jobs but never seem to get ahead. If that is you there are reasons and it is not as simple as it seems. The American financial system is increasingly hostile to those whose income is on the lower end and this plays a role in why so many disadvantaged individuals are never able to pull themselves out of poverty.
I have taken notice of the growing ways money is taken and how businesses gain while the least of these suffer. I was recently charged a $6.00 penalty by my bank because I had more than the allotted 6 transactions in a billing cycle. The translation to this is that my financial institution wants my money to sit there and gain their interest while I am penalized for transferring to my checking account my own hard-earned income.
I was stunned when I was recently charged a 15.00 wire transfer fee after a site I write for paid me using a wire transfer. I have also become disillusioned with Paypal and Cash App as both take a percentage of your funds if you transfer to your bank account immediately. I am old enough to recall a time when banks allowed a check to go through twice before hitting you with an overdraft fee.
This way you had about a week to put the money in the bank and prevent being charged. Today you incur a $36.00 fee within 24 hours of an overdraft and a second extended overdraft fee if you don't get the money in the account within five days. About 10 years ago I accidentally keyed in one wrong number when attempting to pay my water bill online which was a simple human error. Soon after I received a notice that I had to pay a $100.00 deposit in addition to the one they already had or my service would be cut off.
I've been told by numerous people that if your water is cut off you have to pay $100.00 to have it restored. These fines and fees only hurt those who are already struggling financially. The local water authority also charges a $20.00 application fee to start new service or to transfer service from one location to another. I recently had my cable service and house phone disconnected so I could better utilize the $220.00 each month. A $50.00 fee was added to my account for early termination. I took someone to a local Pawnshop to pay on a bill and was told they were charged an extra $10.00 for being a week late.
A new scam is the application fee for those looking to rent a house or apartment. Some places charge as much a $30.00 per person so a family of four would have to put out $120.00. If the landlord decides not to rent the money is gone and the nonrefundable application fee has to be paid each time a renter applies for somewhere to live. The local water authority now charges $20.oo when you apply for service or if you transfer your service to a different address.
My daughter hired movers to get the remaining furniture from a house when she was moving. When she went to pay she was told that the total cost was 59.00 more than what she was originally quoted. When she said she had to pay $30.00 in cash they told her the price would increase to $100.00. I had never heard of being charged extra for using cash. She called me and I had to put the entire $59.00 on my debit card or she would have had to lose $260.00. This is absolutely insane. I have never heard of anyone being penalized for using cash All of these fines and fees simply penalize the poor by taking what little money they have and giving it to the greedy.