NEW YORK (6/30/10)--Consumers worried about new checking account fees can take several steps to avoid them. One step: consider opening an account at a credit union. So says USA Today columnist Sandra Block in her Your Money column. Entitled "How to steer clear of checking account fees on the horizon," the article notes that it has been years since consumers have had to worry about checking account fees. Most financial institutions offered free checking that was subsidized by overdraft coverage fees and revenues from interchange fees paid by retailers for their customers' use of debit cards. But with overdraft and interchange regulations on the horizon, "this means banks are looking elsewhere for revenue," said Block. She noted recent disclosures by Wells Fargo and TCF Financial of plans to start charging fees for customers under the minimum balance required. In telling consumers to consider credit unions, Block cites a Bankrate.com survey that found 39 of the 50 largest credit unions offer free checking. Only three require a minimum balance to avoid a checking fee. For the full article, use the link.