When choosing a bank, the options are virtually endless. These days there are local credit unions, large national and even ones that operate entirely online. But how do you know which one is right for you?
Choosing a bank may not seem like a tough decision to make, but there are many factors you want to consider to ensure you’re making a choice that best meets your financial needs.
Here’s what you need to know about finding a good one that meets your financial habits, needs, and goals.
One of the first things you’ll want to consider when deciding which bank is right for you is to see what types of accounts are available. Think about how you want to manage your money. Do you prefer to keep all of your money in a checking account? Do you want a separate account for savings?
It’s easiest to keep all of your money under the same bank. This means you’ll want to find one that offers a variety of account options, including:
– Credit cards
– Lines of credit
– Certificates of deposit (CD)
– Money market
But what if you only need a checking account for now? You don’t have to open every kind of account upfront. However, it is best to choose a bank that offers a variety of accounts so that you can use the same one for all of your financial needs in the future.
When figuring out which kind of bank accounts you will need, ensure you meet all of the requirements. For example, some accounts require a high account balance in order to keep the account active. There are also accounts that require you to set up direct deposit or use the account a certain number of times in a month.
Ensure Your Money is Protected
Just as you have insurance to protect your home, your car, and your health, you want the peace of mind that your money is protected as well. When choosing a bank, be sure to find one that is backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Most national banks are covered by the FDIC, which insures up to $250,000 of your funds if it fails.
If you choose a credit union, ensure it’s secured by the National Credit Union Administration. This federal agency also insures your money, up to $250,000.
Fees & Rates
When choosing a bank, you want to find one that doesn’t ding you with all sorts of fees. It’s also important to look at the rates that it offers.
In looking at fees, you want to see what each bank charges for ATM use, monthly account maintenance, overdrafts, and the cost to transfer money from one account to another. You’ll also want to check if the one charges for paper statements.
Next, look at the rates. While rates change based on your credit score and the market, you want to at least find one that offers fair rates. Look at the interest rates for loans and compare those numbers with other ones.
It’s also important to look at rates for deposit accounts. The higher the rate, the more money you’ll earn just for having it in an account!
Locations & In-Person Services
Think about how you prefer to bank. If you prefer to be able to go to a branch to deposit a check or to meet with a financial advisor, you’ll want to choose one that offers branches in your local area.
If most of your transactions are digital, an online bank may meet your needs. This means you can use a mobile app to handle all of your money needs. And if you need professional financial advice or help, you can compare the 5 best financial advisors in Miami on the Careful Cents site.
Features & Technology
In today’s digital world, banks are more technologically advanced than ever before. As a consumer, there are likely various features and technologies that you’d want the bank to offer.
Services such as a mobile app, mobile check deposit, budget tools, and the ability to transfer money in just a few clicks are important to most account holders.
Make a list of the features that you think will most benefit you and your financial goals. Then see which banks offer those features.
Choosing a bank isn’t a decision that you want to make lightly. While it’s not hard to move funds to a new one, it’s always easiest to choose the right one the first go-around.
The right bank for you will be one that offers all of the accounts you need while also offering all the services you require to conveniently manage your funds. Keep these factors in mind before deciding which one is best for you.