Insert the EC card into the machine, enter the pin number, specify the desired amount, and withdraw the money. It's that easy when you have money in your checking account. If there is no money in the account – which happens to many people towards the end of the month – this is usually also the case. And with the so-called "dispo.
It's convenient to be able to overdraw your account when your wallet is low on cash. But it is also expensive. Because interest is charged on every euro overdrawn. And these are often many times higher than the interest rates that savers receive on their fixed-term deposits.
For the september 2013 issue of finanztest, stiftung warentest tried to get to the bottom of all the banks in germany and find out how high their interest rates are. It should be noted in advance: not all banks are willing to provide information.
The banks in our district, on the other hand, set a good example: on the webpage of the savings bank kulmbach-kronach, you can get the information you want with just two clicks: 11.95 percent and a quarterly interest statement. "With us everything is very transparent. On the internet you can find the complete price tableau", according to rainer ludwig from the communications department of the savings bank kulmbach-kronach.
Kulmbacher bank, commerzbank and deutsche bank also offer instant online interest rates: kulmbacher bank offers the lowest interest rate of 9.45 percent.
Stephan ringwald, member of the board of the kulmbacher bank, emphasizes that there is also the possibility of special agreements: "we check this separately for each customer. The overdraft interest rate can then also drop to 7.65 percent."
the sparkasse kulmbach-kronach attaches particular importance to customer advice when granting credit. "We recommend that you always go to your local bank first to avoid being taken in by loan sharks, according to rainer ludwig.
It is particularly important to him to emphasize that only just under two percent of the loans granted by the sparkasse are dispo loans. "If we see that a customer is using the overdraft facility for an unacceptably long time, we approach the customer directly and offer alternative solutions." these alternatives at the savings bank include the personal loan, but also the S-card plus, which is a mixture of overdraft facility and personal loan.
All banks that provided us with information on their overdraft interest rates by the editorial deadline offer interest rates in the normal range: the average calculated by stiftung warentest is 11.31 percent. In kulmbach, they range from 9.45 to 12.25 percent.