Choosing a bank is a very important decision that can have a big impact on your future financial needs. While trying to find the perfect fit, you need to take into account the account types, services, products, and additional features offered.
Here are a few things you need to consider while picking a bank:
Traditional Banks vs. Online Banks and Credit Unions
In today’s day and age, your banking options go beyond traditional banks. You can choose from three main types of banking institutions based on the products they offer, how you prefer to access your funds, and the level of service you desire.
Products and Services Offered
While assessing your options, make sure you look beyond the usual checking and savings accounts offered by the institution.
Take a look at the types of loans they offer, credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, and more. See if they provide services to help manage your personal finance like checkbooks, cashier’s checks, automatic bill pay, and more.
The level of wealth-management services offered by a banking institution speaks volumes about it.
Interest Rates Offered
Interest rates should be a two-way street. You want to find a bank that offers you low-interest rates on loans, but high-interest rates on your savings.
Account and Banking Fees
Financial institutions usually charge set fees for all the products and services they offer. But just like interest rates, these fees vary from institution to institution.
Make sure you do your due diligence to avoid any surprises in the future and read the fine print carefully for any hidden fees and other common charges like:
Monthly maintenance fees
Stop payment fees
Returned check fees
Wire transfer fees
Cashier’s check fees
Certified check fees
Out of network ATM fees
ATM and Branch Locations
If you are someone who still prefers to take care of their banking needs in person, the bank’s branch location should be a high priority. Make sure the bank you are interested in has a branch near your home or office for convenience. It is also important to make sure the bank offers a large ATM network and branches in convenient locations. Check to see if they charge a transaction fee for using a different bank’s ATM.