You Could Save By Doing Your Banking At Big Box Stores - WSPA.com

You Could Save By Doing Your Banking At Big Box Stores

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. -

Life insurance, at Walmart, mortgage loans at Costco, nowadays you don't have to go to a bank to get financial services. You can find them at local stores.

One in 12 people don't have a checking account.

Until recently, Diane Steen was part of an under-served population, who often turned to expensive payday loan and check cashing places that charge high fees.

"Whenever I would open a checking account, I would have to have a certain amount of money, and I just can't promise them that because I'm not employed," said Steen.

But today Big Box Stores are reaching out to those customers offering savings.

Cheryl Brown says she saves $150 a year on check cashing fees by going to Walmart.

"If I go to the bank because I don't have a checking account, the fees are double, so I come here to save more money."

And you may be surprised to hear Walmart is now offering Life Insurance in South Carolina and Costco offers mortgages and home and auto insurance to members.

"We are a big company and we've negotiated with this great contractor, Ameriprise, and therefore it's like, oh you're a Costco member, automatic discount," said Kim Adams.

But don't assume just because you're doing finances through a discount retailer, you're getting the most savings.

Of course, if you don't read the fine print you could be paying more in the end, for instance, pre-paid card issuers aren't required to disclose fees, and if you lose it you're not guaranteed to get your money back.

That's the main service Steen uses at Walmart. She gets charged $3 every time she loads money. But she says for her it's the least costly method.

"You can just spend money that you don't have and you can go into debt, and with the money card you only spend what's on the card, and well, with cash, sometimes it's very hard for me to keep cash."

 

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