Is your bank on the danger list?

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No matter what happens, your bank deposits are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per customer per bank; more if you work the loopholes.

>> Full details of government's bank stress test

Portfolio investments made through a bank are insured up to a half million dollars by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC. Even if the bank goes out of business, your shares are safe.

Insurance and annuities are covered up to $250,000 by the California Life and Health Guarantee Association.

If you stay within the insured limits you're pretty safe.

But what about other factors?

Consumer Action's Joe Ridout says "bank stress" is not the same as "consumer stress" and that there are other warning signs to look for.

"The most important stress test for you to run as a consumer is which banks are most aggressive in applying overdraft fees or ATM fees or other strange fees like account closure fees which some banks even do today," Ridout says.

Some of the bank charges you want to avoid are:

  • Fees to use ATMs
  • Minimum balance fees
  • Overdraft fees
  • Debit card fees

    Some perks to shop for?

  • Interest on checking accounts
  • Good CD rates.

    Links to find deals and avoid fees:
    >> http://www.bankdeals.com
    >> http://www.bankrate.com

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