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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

Learn how the CFPB can help you

I opened a "free" checking account. I received a notice from the bank/credit union stating that it had decided to start charging monthly fees. Can the bank/credit union do this?


Yes. A bank or credit union can start charging you fees on your account as long as the bank or credit union notifies you in writing at least 30 days before it starts charging fees and explains the change to your account.

However, once it starts charging these fees, the bank or credit union can no longer advertise that particular account as a “free” checking account.

Banks and credit unions have multiple types of accounts available, so make sure you review your own account terms. If you feel your bank has violated a promise to you, you may file a complaint.

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The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.