In our modern society, it’s almost impossible for you to function without having your money in some type of financial institution. Whether it’s so you can deposit a check from work or pay off a debt or even use a credit card, you’ve got to have one bank or credit union in association with your money to get the things you want and pay for the items you need. However, not all financial institutions are created equal and not every bank or credit union will necessarily be a good match for you. So to help you find just the right place to keep your money and give your sensitive personal information to, here are three tips for choosing a new bank for your financial needs.
Know What You Don’t Want
If you don’t have much experience in banking or the financial industry, you might have a hard time knowing what bank or credit union you want to work with. So rather than coming at this question from this angle, Karen Cordaway, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, recommends that you create a list of the things you don’t want from a financial institution. To help with this, think about your current bank or the financial businesses you work with now and consider your complaints with them. If you can think of a few things you don’t like or wish you could change, it will make it a whole lot easier for you to know when you’ve found a bank or credit union that fits the bill for you.
One of the biggest factors that you should consider when picking a new bank is its accessibility. Depending on the type of life you lead or how you plan to interact with your bank or credit union, you might need more or less accessibility. For example, according to Amanda Dixon, a contributor to Bankrate.com, you may prefer a worldwide bank rather than a local bank if you travel a lot. Additionally, if you never plan to go into an actual branch of a bank to speak with an employee, you may simply need a bank that conducts all their business online. Just make sure that however you prefer to do your banking is possible through the financial institution you choose to work with.
Look Into Rates and Possible Fees
While working with banks or credit unions does make certain things easier, it can also add problems where there otherwise would be none, like rates and fees for doing business. Because of this, Melissa Lambarena, a contributor to NerdWallet.com, advises that you compare banks and credit unions on their rates and fees before you pick one. Some of the most common fees that you might be able to avoid by choosing the right financial institution include ATM use and processing, transfer fees, maintenance fees, overdraft fees and more.
If you plan on switching to a new bank or credit union, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you pick the right one for your needs.