Americans are allocating a smaller share of their spending to investment-related fees since the recession, a sign they are still wary of returning to financial markets even as stocks trade near record highs.
The four biggest U.S. banks are encouraging their most creditworthy customers to take on more debt, mailing credit-card balance-transfer offers with rates as low as zero percent even as they add fees for other services.
Terry Williams borrowed about $7,000 to earn a degree from Spelman College 38 years ago. For her youngest child, a sophomore at Belmont University in Nashville, she will take on almost $40,000 in parental loans.
Two years after regulators gave Americans more power to manage overdrafts of their checking accounts, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is reviewing bank practices to determine if the crackdown went far enough.