Picking the right financial institute
Changing banks can be a real hassle when you have to spend time opening a new account, switching your automatic payments, and ordering a new debit and credit card. To alleviate some stress down the road, you will want to pick the right financial institution for your specific needs and goals, rather than the one that’s closest to your home or work.
Here are some things to think about when making your selection:
Hours and location. Do you go to the bank most frequently on the way to and from work, or do you tend to do your banking over the weekend, closer to home? It matters. Do you travel a lot? If so, you may need a larger bank with branches in more locations. You’ll want to consider your financial habits when picking a bank.
Services and customer service. Small community banks are usually known for offering great rates and excellent personal service. Larger banks may offer more products and services, including ATMs and branches in more locations. Nowadays, most banks offer online banking services like mobile check deposit and electronic transfer options for your funds. You’ll want to evaluate your needs carefully before deciding upon a small community bank, a larger bank, or one in the middle.
Fees. Do you make a lot of withdrawals or debits? Keep a low balance? It’s important to understand bank fee charges that could possibly cost you a lot of money for debits or withdrawals. You’ll also want to watch for monthly service fee charges on an account that goes below a certain balance requirement.