Clark Howard: Junk Fees – Do you know what you are paying for?

DAYTON — Consumers in the United States waste billions each year on what is known as junk fees, resort fees, airline fees, and credit card late fees, just to name a few.

Now, there is proposed legislation to get rid of them. However, News Center 7′s consumer advisor Clark Howard said there are ways you can avoid them right now.

A Las Vegas resort priced at $622 tack on nearly $160 for a resort feed, which is $781. Concert tickets for $270. Not so fast! Add another $48.50 and your real cost is more than $344.

Shelby Lewis a consumer said, “I feel like there’s not a lot of transparency in what those processing fees are.”

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Doug Sleezer another consumer said, “It’s horrible. You think you’re paying one price, and you turn around and you’re paying double what you expect to pay.”

The Junk Fee Prevention Act introduced in Congress earlier this year aims to limit and eliminate excessive, hidden, and unnecessary fees imposed on consumers. But there’s no guarantee it will become law, which is why you need to take time and read before you click to purchase anything.

The cheapest airline ticket you find could be the most expensive by the time you add luggage and seat fees. Even more frustrating? When those fees are attached to your bank account.

Overdraft fees can be as high as $37 per transaction. Banks like Citi, Ally, Capital One, and Bank of America have all gotten rid of them. If your bank still offers overdraft protection, get rid of it. Instead, sign up for text alerts when your funds are running low.

News Center 7′s I-Team crunched the numbers and found Americans spend more than a billion dollars each year on rental application fees.

Howard said anything that’s not going to be rolled over into the deposit or into the rent is just frustrating and contributes to the disparity in housing and access to it.

Before you put down the money, make sure you want to live there. Use sites like Apartments.com, Avail, Trulia, Zillow, and Zumper. Many times. You’re able to fill out an application for multiple listings which could save you big time. And check your credit before you apply.

Bad information on your credit report could leave you without money and an apartment.

The thing you got to do, you got to check your statements, your checking account, and your credit card statements for junk fees. What you don’t know can hurt you and the junk fees come from everywhere.

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