Banking » Reviews » Wells Fargo Bank Review 2023
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Wells Fargo Bank Review 2023

In addition to the standard checking and savings accounts, Wells Fargo offers mortgages, , student loan refinancing and credit card options.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

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Wells Fargo Bank

Wells_Fargo-Logo
Wells_Fargo-Logo

Wells Fargo Bank

Fees

$10 Related to Wells Fargo Everyday Checking. The fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 or receive at least $500 in qualifying direct deposits per month. The fee is also waived if you’re 17 to 24 and have a linked Wells Fargo Campus Debit Card or Campus ATM card linked to the checking account

Minimum Deposit

$25

Current Promotion

$200 Minimum deposit of $1,000[/sc] needed. Expired on 12/31/2022

APY Savings

0.25% – 2.01% For deposit of $0 – $99,999.99, the rate is 0.25%-0.26% APY For deposit of $100,000 – $499,999.99, the rate is 1.01%-1.02% APY For deposit of $500,000 – $999,999.99, the rate is 1.50%-1.51% APY For deposit of $1,000,000 or more, the rate is 2.00%-2.01% APY

Wells Fargo has a long history of providing financial products and services. It was founded back in 1852 during the California gold rush. With its 170 year history, today, Wells Fargo ranks as the fourth largest U.S bank.

Wells Fargo has a full variety of financial products and services. In addition to the standard checking and savings accounts, the bank offers mortgages, home loans, student loan refinancing, and various credit card options. Wells Fargo also facilitates investments for its customers, including CDs, 401ks, IRAs, and wealth management solutions.

Although Wells Fargo did experience several high-profile scandals in the 2010s, it has worked to rehabilitate its image. Wells Fargo has focused more on technological innovations and customer service to regain consumer trust. Today, it has built up an average rating on consumer review sites, but Wells Fargo has a highly rated app available for iOS and Android devices.

Wells Fargo can be a good choice if:

  • You’re confident you can meet the checking account waiver requirements
  • You want a mortgage with a lower down payment
  • You're looking for a variety of savings products
  • Large Network
  • Highly Rated App 
  • Access to Low Deposit Mortgages
  • Wide Variety of Products
  • Promotions
  • Low Interest Rates
  • Multiple Overdraft Fees
  • Unattractive CD Terms
  • No Promotions

What are the requirements to open a Wells Fargo account? 

You will need to present identification and address evidence, just like with other financial institutions. You will have to enter some personal information, such as your Social Security number, current mailing address, and phone and email contact information.

State-issued photo IDs, U.S. passports, driver's licenses, and military photo IDs are among the commonly accepted types of identification.

Can I open a checking account with Wells Fargo online?

A Wells Fargo bank account can be opened over the phone, in person, or online. You may quickly open a checking account using the Wells Fargo Online platform. The portal can also be used to monitor the status of your account application or to complete it if you were unable to do so in one sitting.

Does Wells Fargo offer a free checking account?

Even though Wells Fargo offers a variety of checking account options, each one has a monthly service charge. However, if you meet the requirements, the service price may be waived.

This includes actions like having a Wells Fargo Campus Debit Card linked, being under 24, keeping a minimum daily amount of $500, having $500+ in eligible direct deposits, and more.

Which Wells Fargo products are resistant to inflation?

You may lock in your rate with Wells Fargo's fixed rates on loans and mortgages. This means that you won't have to worry about the cost of your loan rising even if inflation picks up in the near future. Your monthly payments may be set at the same amount for the whole loan or mortgage term. When inflation is driving up the rest of your family bills, this can be a huge source of comfort.

How's Wells Fargo physical coverage? 

Wells Fargo is one of the "Big Four" U.S. banks and has extensive coverage. In the US, this bank has more than 8,000 branches. Additionally, it has a network of more than 13,000 ATMs. This implies that no matter what state you're in, a local branch will be close by.

Wells Fargo Review

Banking Services
Credit Options
Savings Accounts
Mortgage
Checking Accounts
Government Mortgage
CDs
Credit Cards
Money Market Account
Debit Card
Investing Capabilities
Personal Loans

The Benefits

As the fourth largest U.S bank, Wells Fargo has a large network with 4,900+ branches and 12,000+ ATMs across 37 states. This makes Wells Fargo a highly accessible bank, with easy to find locations throughout the country.

Wells Fargo has an app for both iOS and Android devices that is highly rated. These apps make it easy to manage your accounts on the go, with almost the full functionality of the main website.

Wells Fargo has a partnership with Intuit, so you can seamlessly integrate QuickBooks, Mint and TurboTax online. This means that you can handle your finances without compromising your account security. 

Wells Fargo offers promotions and bonuses for new accounts. The banking promotions can be found from time to time (check above), While Wells Fargo credit cards bonuses are more stable and can be found on most Wells Fargo cards.

Wells Fargo has a wide selection of financial products. There are several checking and saving account options, along with lending products, credit cards, and investments. This makes it easy to manage all aspects of your money under one umbrella.

Some Wells Fargo mortgage deals allow for just a 3% down payment, which could make buying a home more accessible.

Pros
Cons
Large Network
Low interest Rates
Highly Rated App
Multiple Overdraft Fees
Access to Low Deposit Mortgages
Unattractive CD Terms
Promotions
History of Scandals
Wide Variety of Products

Drawbacks 

Here are the most important cons you should consider before applying:

As is fairly typical with large high street banks, Wells Fargo offers quite low-interest rates.  The rates are lower than the national average but similar to other big banks. For example, PNC bank savings rate is and 0.01% – 0.40% while Bank of America offers 0.01% – 0.04% APY on its savings products.

Additionally, you will need to consider whether a fee applies to your savings account. So, if you don’t qualify for waivers, you could be earning a negative amount on your funds.

While Wells Fargo has been working hard to revitalize its image, there are still several scandals in recent history. In 2016, bank employees had engaged in illegal practices and had to pay billions in fines.

Wells Fargo policies allow for up to three overdraft charges per day. This means that if you have a slip up, there is the potential to get stung with $105 in overdraft fees

Even though you need to deposit a minimum of $2,500 to open a Wells Fargo CD, you can only earn a paltry 0.50% – 4.01% with a relationship discount. This is easily beaten by many online banks and some bricks and mortar institutions.

Customer Experience

Wells Fargo has a 24/7 banking helpline, so you can speak to an agent if you have any queries or questions at any time of the day or night. However, there is also a decent website support page, with answers to many frequent questions.

Although Wells Fargo only has an average rating on consumer review sites such as Trustpilot, this is fairly typical for banks and financial institutions.

Wells Fargo
App Rating (iOS)
4.8
App Rating (Android)
4.6
BBB Rating (A-F)
Not Rated
Contact Options
phone/mail
Availability
24/7

Wells Fargo Savings Account

APY Savings

0.25% – 2.01% For deposit of $0 – $99,999.99, the rate is 0.25%-0.26% APY For deposit of $100,000 – $499,999.99, the rate is 1.01%-1.02% APY For deposit of $500,000 – $999,999.99, the rate is 1.50%-1.51% APY For deposit of $1,000,000 or more, the rate is 2.00%-2.01% APY

Minimum Deposit

$25

Promotion

None

Fees

$5 can be waived by maintaining a $300 minimum daily balance, one qualified automatic transfer, one or more Save as You Go transfers from your Wells Fargo checking account. Primary account owners age 24 or younger are exempt from the fees

Wells Fargo Savings Account

APY Savings

0.25% – 2.01% For deposit of $0 – $99,999.99, the rate is 0.25%-0.26% APY For deposit of $100,000 – $499,999.99, the rate is 1.01%-1.02% APY For deposit of $500,000 – $999,999.99, the rate is 1.50%-1.51% APY For deposit of $1,000,000 or more, the rate is 2.00%-2.01% APY

Minimum Deposit

$25

Promotion

None

Fees

$5 can be waived by maintaining a $300 minimum daily balance, one qualified automatic transfer, one or more Save as You Go transfers from your Wells Fargo checking account. Primary account owners age 24 or younger are exempt from the fees

If you're looking to open a savings account, Wells Fargo has two main savings accounts options, along with a kid’s savings account:

1. Way2Save

The Wells Fargo Way2Save account has been designed to encourage savings, so it is a simple to use account with some great features.

  • $25 minimum deposit
  • $5 monthly service fee, which can be waived with auto transfers from a Wells Fargo checking account, maintaining a $300+ daily balance or if you’re under the age of 24.
  • Save as You Go: This is a savings encouragement feature that moves $1 from your Wells Fargo checking account with each qualifying transaction, such as debit card purchases or when you use the Wells Fargo online bill pay service.
  • Overdraft protection for your checking account: This is an optional service, but you can use your Way2Save account balance to cover an overdraft on your checking account. The funds will be automatically transferred if you accidentally slip into the red, to avoid overdraft fees.
  • Auto Transfers: You can build your savings without too much thought with auto transfers. You can set your transfers at $1+ per day or $25+ per month.

2. Platinum Savings

As the name suggests, Platinum Savings is Wells Fargo’s premier savings account. It offers some impressive features including

  • No monthly withdrawal limits
  • Option to write checks
  • Relationship discount to increase your rate if you link a Portfolio Relationship by Wells Fargo account
  • $12 monthly fee which can be waived if you maintain a $3,500+ daily balance
  • Open the account with just $25.

However, Wells Fargo savings rates are quite low compared to what other banks offer. For example, Amex Bank provides 3.30% APY on its savings account  while Capital One Bank savings APY is 3.75% – both are much higher compared to what Wells Fargo offers, as of January 2023.

Wells Fargo CDs

APY Range

0.50% – 4.01%

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

Terms

3 months – 13 months

Fees

$0

Wells Fargo CDs

APY Range

0.50% – 4.01%

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

Terms

3 months – 13 months

Fees

$0

Wells Fargo has several CD options, but all three have a $2,500 minimum deposit and a 0.50% – 4.01% APY rate. This is quite low compared to other banks. With American Express CDs you can earn 0.10% – 4.25% APY, and Capital one CDs rate is 3.30% – 4.40%.

The only real difference between these products is that you can choose a term of three months, six months, or one year. However, it may be possible to obtain a CD for a longer term by discussing your requirements with the Wells Fargo branch staff.

CD Term
APY
Early Withdrawal Penalty
7 Months
3.44% – 3.76%
3 months interest
13 Months
3.68% – 4.01%
6 months interest
3 Months
0.50% – 1.02%
1 month interest
6 Months
1.00% – 1.51%
3 months interest
12 Months
1.49% – 2.01%
6 months interest

Wells Fargo CD holders can auto-renew their CD at the end of the term. Approximately one month before the maturity date, you’ll receive a notification. At maturity, there is a seven-day grace period to either change the term, make additional deposits, close the CD, or withdraw. Alternatively, you can allow the CD to auto-renew.

It is also possible to withdraw funds before the term of your CD completes. However, there is a penalty for this of either seven days of simple interest, or if your CD has been opened longer than seven days or not in the grace period, the penalty is one month's interest or three months interest for CDs with a term of 90 days or up to one year respectively.

Wells Fargo Checking

U.S Bank Checking Account

Fees

$10 Related to Wells Fargo Everyday Checking. The fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 or receive at least $500 in qualifying direct deposits per month. The fee is also waived if you’re 17 to 24 and have a linked Wells Fargo Campus Debit Card or Campus ATM card linked to the checking account

Minimum Deposit

$25

Promotion

$200 Minimum deposit of $1,000[/sc] needed. Expired on 12/31/2022

APY Checking

0.01%

U.S Bank Checking Account

Fees

$10 Related to Wells Fargo Everyday Checking. The fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 or receive at least $500 in qualifying direct deposits per month. The fee is also waived if you’re 17 to 24 and have a linked Wells Fargo Campus Debit Card or Campus ATM card linked to the checking account

Minimum Deposit

$25

Promotion

$200 Minimum deposit of $1,000[/sc] needed. Expired on 12/31/2022

APY Checking

0.01%

If you are looking for a checking account, Wells Fargo has three checking account options.

1. Everyday Checking

This is the basic Wells Fargo checking account that you can open with $25. The account has a $10 monthly fee which can be waived if:

  • You have $500+ in qualifying direct deposits each month
  • Maintain a $500+ daily balance
  • If you’re a college student with a linked Campus ATM or Campus debit card
  • You’re aged 17 to 24.

There is also a $35 overdraft fee that you can avoid if you sign up for Overdraft Protection with your linked savings account.

2. Clear Access Banking

This is the Wells Fargo checking account option for young people. It can be opened by minors aged 13 to 16 with an adult account co-owner. The account comes with a debit card for ATM withdrawals and spending, but you can set up alerts to notify you of specific account activities.

You can open the account with $25+ and the $5 monthly fee is waived if the primary account holder is under 24.

3. Portfolio by Wells Fargo

This is the premium Wells Fargo checking account that offers some very nice perks. There is a $25 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived if you maintain a $20,000+ balance across all your linked accounts at the end of each statement period.

You can also enjoy fee free Personal Wallet checks, money orders and cashier’s checks, overdraft protection fee from an eligible linked savings account is waived and discounted interest rates on lines of credit and select new loans.

If you maintain a balance of $250,000 or more across your accounts, the fees for stop payments, overdraft protection transfers and incoming wires are waived. Also, Portfolio customers have access to investment guidance from Wells Fargo advisors.

Additionally, all deposit account holders can take advantage of the overdraft rewind feature. If you make a deposit to cover your overdraft by 9 am, Wells Fargo will recalculate your balance from the prior day to include your ACH deposit Any overdrafts or returned items, which would have resulted without your additional deposit may be reversed.

Wells Fargo Lending Products

Wells Fargo has a number of lending products to suit your specific requirements. These include:

  • Mortgages and Home Loans

Wells Fargo has a variety of mortgage products including VA loans, FHA loans, and conventional fixed rate home loans. However, Wells Fargo has possibilities for a low down payment, from just 3%. Wells Fargo also offers home equity financing.

This allows you to borrow up to 80% of your home value less any outstanding mortgages, liens or home loans. The home equity finance packages are available from $25,000 to $500,000

  • Personal Loans

In addition to offering student loans and auto loans, Wells Fargo has a choice of personal loans. You can borrow $3,000 – $100,000 with terms of 12-60 months .

There are fixed interest rates and qualifying customers can enjoy a relationship discount. There are no prepayment fees, origination fees or closing fees.

  • Credit Cards

Wells Fargo has three main credit card options. The Wells Fargo Reflect card has a 0% APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers. There is also the possibility of a three month extension on your introductory rate if you make your minimum payments on time.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash card offers 2% cash rewards on purchases (unlimited). There is also a 0% introductory rate for 15 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers and a welcome bonus if you make qualifying purchases within the first three months.

Wells Fargo also has a Hotels.com card that pays stamps for eligible stays and purchases. When you collect 10 stamps, you can redeem them for one reward night.

This card has no annual fee and you’ll get free reward nights if you meet the spending requirement within three months of opening your account.

How to Apply for a Wells Fargo Bank Account?

While it is possible to head to your local Wells Fargo branch to open an account, you can also open most accounts online. If you visit the Wells Fargo website, you can explore the products and account options. If you find an account that you would like to open, simply click the “Open Account” button.

You will then need to fill in the required fields. These include whether you’re an existing Wells Fargo customer and if you want to open a sole or joint account. You will also need to read the disclaimer and click continue.

The next step is the main application form. You’ll need to provide your full name, Social Security Number, contact details and address. You will also need to confirm if you’re subject to W-9 backup withholding and consent to a credit search, where appropriate.

From this point, you can review the account options, and terms before completing the funding page to provide the initial deposit to open your account.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a well established financial institution with a wide variety of financial products, Wells Fargo is a decent option. Not only does Wells Fargo have an impressive geographic footprint with thousands of ATMs and branches, but you can also access every type of account and product you may need. However, Wells Fargo doesn't appear in our best checking account list of 2022.

While there are some account maintenance fees, there are usually several waiver options and you can also link accounts to enjoy relationship bonuses. Wells Fargo has had some scandals in recent years, but the bank is working to correct its public perceptions, including paying $3 billion in fines.

Alternatives

Quontic bank logo
discover logo
Chase_logo
APY Savings The annual percentage yield (APY) is a percentage that represents the amount of money or interest earned on your savings account over the course of a year. The APY factored in compound interest. A savings calculator can help you quickly determine how much you'll earn with a given APY.
3.20%
3.30%
0.01% – 0.05%
Checking Account Fee The monthly fee on checking account
$0
$0
$12 Can be waived if you maintain a $1,000 minimum daily balance, making direct deposits or Associated SnapDeposits of $500 or more per statement cycle, or holding $2,500 in combined deposit accounts with the same statement cycle date or having a Health Savings Account or investment account
Checking Minimum Deposit
$100
$0
$0
Mobile App Rating
4.5/5 on iOS, 3.4/5 on Android
4.9/5 on iOS, 4.7/5 on Android
4.8/5 on iOS, 4.3/5 on Android
BBB Rating
A+
A+
B-

FAQs

As of January 2023, Wells Fargo offers $200 promotion, which is nice – but average. For example, Chase offers $200 bonus if you open a new Total Checking Account. If you intend to deposit a high amount, Citi Personal Checking promotion maybe even better since it offers $200 – $2,000, depending on your deposit. However, this is better than Bank of America's promotion, which offers $100 on its Advantage Banking account.

Wells Fargo is one of the largest banks in the United States, so you can rest assured that your money is safe with them. Wells Fargo did receive a $25 billion federal bailout in 2008, but the loan was paid off by the end of 2009.

Wells Fargo now has over $1.7 trillion in assets, so it has enough funds to cover any defaults if the economic climate worsens. Furthermore, the accounts are FDIC insured, which means that your deposits up to $250,000 are federally protected.

Although Wells Fargo allows customers to purchase cryptocurrencies, this investment strategy is only available to the bank's wealthier customers. Although the bank does not disclose the specifics, it is safe to assume that you must use the Wells Fargo dedicated financial investor program, which requires a minimum investment of $100,000.

Wells Fargo is a large bank that provides some excellent options for teen customers, such as checking account options and savings plans. There are also some excellent resources available to assist teenagers in developing their money management skills and learning financial responsibility.

Because there are some excellent college student accounts available, it is simple to upgrade to a more feature-rich account as and when required.

Wells Fargo, as a large bank with numerous branches and an excellent online platform, certainly provides convenience and functionality.

You can select the products that interest you and apply for them over the phone, in person, or online. You can manage your account online or through the Wells Fargo app once you've opened it. This allows you to conduct your banking at your leisure. 

However, make sure to compare it with other checking accounts and see which option is better for your needs.

Wells Fargo has a good selection of student-oriented products. Teens aged 13 and up can open a checkless Clear Access checking account, which includes a debit card and digital payments with no overdraft fees. Adult checking accounts can also be opened by those aged 17 and up, but this may require a visit to the branch.

Wells Fargo also has some excellent savings accounts and student loans, as well as relationship discounts on qualifying products.

A Wells Fargo bank account can be opened over the phone, in person, or online. You can open a checking account with Wells Fargo Online in just a few minutes.

You can also use the portal to check the status of your account application or to complete it if you were unable to finish it in one session.

While Wells Fargo offers several checking account options, all of them charge a monthly service fee. However, if you meet the criteria, you may be able to have the service fee waived.

This includes things like keeping a $500 minimum daily balance, having $500+ in qualifying direct deposits, linking a Wells Fargo Campus Debit Card, and being under the age of 24.

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Wells Fargo offers an even broader range of products. There are several checking accounts available, as well as two savings accounts and investment options such as IRAs and 401ks. You can also get loans and mortgages, as well as wealth management services. Wells Fargo is thus a highly comparable alternative to the traditional high street bank.

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Wells Fargo offers a diverse range of products, including checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, mortgages, and investments such as 401ks, IRAs, and wealth management options.

US Bank offers an even more impressive range of banking services. Savings and checking account options, investments, personal loans, mortgage products, and wealth management are all available.

Read Full Comparison: Wells Fargo vs US Bank: Which Bank Account Is Better?

Both Ally and Wells Fargo have a fairly impressive banking product lineup that would make switching from a traditional high street bank simple.

Ally offers CDs, auto loans, mortgages, investments, and retirement products in addition to checking and savings. The only glaring omission in the lineup is the absence of a credit card.

Wells Fargo's product lineup is even more impressive. Checking and savings accounts, mortgages, loans, and a variety of investment options such as IRAs, 401ks, and wealth management services are all available.

Read Full Comparison: Ally vs Wells Fargo: Which Bank Account Is Better For You?

Both banks offer a good selection of banking products, making it easier to switch from your current bank.

Citi offers CDs, personal loans, mortgages, IRAs, investment options, wealth management plans, and a variety of credit card options in addition to checking and savings accounts.

Wells Fargo provides savings and checking accounts, but it also provides mortgages, loans, and investment options such as IRAs, 401ks, and wealth management products.

Read Full Comparison: Citi vs Wells Fargo: Which Bank Account Is Better?

The Wells Fargo service is even more extensive. Checking accounts, various savings accounts, mortgages, loans, and investment options such as IRAs, 401ks, and wealth management solutions are all available.

PNC offers checking and savings accounts, home loans, mortgages, investments, student loan refinancing, and a variety of credit cards.

Read full comparison: Wells Fargo vs PNC: Which Bank Account Wins?

Chase and Wells Fargo appear to offer very similar products at first glance, so we need to dig a little deeper. There is little to distinguish the savings accounts, and both banks provide a variety of checking accounts.

While Chase's account maintenance fee is slightly higher, it does have some more interesting features. Chase also has an advantage in terms of CDs, but Wells Fargo is a better option for loans and mortgages.

Read Full Comparison: Chase vs Wells Fargo: Where to Save Your Money?

Wells Fargo offers a diverse range of banking services. Checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, mortgages, wealth management solutions, and investment options such as 401ks and IRAs are all available. Flagstar also offers a diverse product portfolio that includes a variety of checking and savings accounts, investments, home loans, and loans and investments.

It is important to note, however, that Flagstar does not operate in all states. This bank only operates in Michigan, California, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin, where it has 150 branches. As a result, if you live outside of these areas, you may be unable to use Flagstar's banking services.

Read Full Comparison: Wells Fargo vs Flagstar: Which Bank Is Better For You?

Wells Fargo's product offering is even more extensive. This bank offers checking accounts, a variety of savings accounts, mortgages, loans, and investment options such as IRAs, 401ks, and wealth management services. This makes switching from another bank even easier because you'll have access to all of your favorite banking products.

Bank of America offers a diverse range of banking services. Checking and savings accounts, auto loans, home loans, credit cards, and investment options are all available.

Read Full Comparison: Bank of America vs Wells Fargo: Which Bank Is Better?

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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