News Summary: Should you change checking accounts?

PAYING MORE FOR CHECKING: The average monthly service fee on checking accounts rose 25 percent from last year to a record $5.48, according to financial data publisher Bankrate. ATM fees rose 4 percent and overdraft fees rose 1.4 percent.

FEE WAIVERS: Some banks will give you free checking if you sign up for direct deposits or maintain a minimum balance in your accounts.

OTHER OPTIONS: If that doesn't work, seek other options. Most credit unions and Internet banks don't have monthly fees.