From making some of the biggest life decisions in one’s lifetime, choosing which bank to trust your money with has its place near the top of the list. If one is not careful, making the wrong decision can actually cost you. So here are some tips to help you choose the right bank. It might also be helpful to check out some software for bank collections and find out if the banks that you are considering use them.
Know what account type you want
It can be difficult to know which account type suits you as banks often offer a wide range of products and services for their clients. What decision you make has its foundations in your own goals and priorities for the future.
For those who are interested to save money, a high-yield online savings account might just do the trick. While the federal reserve has had a history of cutting interest rates twice in 2019 and banks have been known to lower their yields, this account still offers competitive and even better rates than the other options.
For those who are looking to replace their checking account, a bigger and more traditional bank might have the account type that you are looking for. Look out for accounts offered by credit unions and community banks if you still seek high yields. Money market accounts allow for transactions each month and also offer check-writing services for its clients. However, do note that this isn’t offered by every bank.
Take note of any hidden numbers
Some banks are known to levy extra charges for their accounts. Avoid those if you are looking to save your money and instead, start searching for some online banks. As these banks are conducted over the internet, they do not incur as much operating costs as traditional banks.
Fees you need to look out for are monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, and also fees required for when you overdraw a checking account for example. Although banks also offer an overdraft protection program, this can also cost you. So it is just better to be careful in general. The consumer financial protection bureau (CFPB) reports that more people pay for protection than the actual overdraft fees themselves.
Some other tips to implement are to link your checking account to another bank account as well as to sign up for some low-balance alerts through the website. This prevents any risk of overdrawing from your account.
How accessible is it?
Do you prefer ATM convenience or even mobile access? While branches are seeing a healthy influx of customers, one may be interested to do their banking online as it is still the most convenient option. However, even if you are indulging in online services, having access to physical branches is still important for any task that online banking cannot handle.
In fact, 78% of customers still open their account or try a new product at physical branches.
While most people use big banks, it might be worth a look to check out credit unions as well. Credit unions offer reduced loan rates and higher earning rates for savings. While joining a credit union may have been difficult before, there are many unions that are available nationwide and one can join by becoming a member of an organization such as the American Consumer Council.
Does it fit your lifestyle?
Are you entrepreneurial? Then you might want to look for a bank that can support businesses. Or are you into saving more money? Opening and naming separate accounts may just be the way to go. One can open an account for different goals such as one for traveling, one for gifts, and one for regular expenses. This helps to improve budgeting as well as spending habits. Some banks also offer a landing hand with their different budgeting tools and services to help you track your expenses.
While banks may offer a wide variety of online and mobile services, not all banks offer advanced digital features for their clients. These include the ability to lock your card and manage mobile banking alerts. There are also some cases where the bank doesn’t offer an app for easy access. If you are into the online experience, finding a bank that is on par with your technological needs might be a good idea.
Terms and conditions
Look out for fees and charges hidden in the fine print of different banks. From monthly service fees to ATM charges, it is important to know exactly what you are paying for. And in the event of a bank closure, make sure that your money is also insured by the Nation Credit Union Administration or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Some deals that might look good in the short-term can actually cost you in the long-run. Always know what you are getting yourself into.
Do some extra research
With credit unions and different types of banks, it can be difficult to know exactly what they stand for and what they do for you. It is important to get different points of view and opinions from experts who know exactly what they do.
For those who are interested in efficient customer service, it may be worth your time to research the different kinds of bank services and policies that they offer to their customers. After all, choosing a bank is a long-term investment. If you are struggling to choose just one bank, you can also look at spreading out and managing different accounts from different banks if this helps you manage your finances and meet your goals.
With technology improving every single day, the types of services and products that banks offer will only continue to increase. From savings to business-orientated accounts, what type of bank is suited for you ultimately comes down to your own personal and business goals. From managing a savings account to scoring high yields and juggling different account types, there’s definitely a bank suited for everyone. So, be sure to do ample research on your end before making a final decision.