Choosing a bank that meets your individual needs can be an overwhelming process, however, it’s crucial that you take all the various factors into consideration before making a decision. If you’re in the process of establishing a new banking relationship, ask yourself the following questions—provided by the American Bankers Association—to ensure that the bank you ultimately choose will live up to your expectations.
2. How much money can you keep on deposit each month and how many checks will you write? This will help you figure out what type of account you might need. “Packaged” or “multi-service” accounts offer a variety of services for one fee, while “no frills” accounts offer a minimum number of services at an extra-low price. Other accounts might be designed cafeteria-style: you choose from a variety of services and pay as you go.
3. Will you be buying a home or car or making another large purchase in the near future? If a large purchase is on the horizon, you’ll want to find out about the variety of loan products offered.
4. If you hope to save for a big expense or toward your child’s (or your own!) future education, you’ll also want to find out how many savings products are offered. Many banks now offer uninsured investments, such as mutual funds, as well as the more traditional insured deposit accounts.
5. What time of day do you expect to do most of your banking? While some people prefer to visit the bank during their work hours, others prefer a bank located close to home that they can conveniently visit over the weekend.
6. Do you like the convenience of automated teller machines and other types of electronic services—like banking through your personal computer—or do you prefer to deal directly with bank personnel? Be sure to answer this question honestly as it will help determine if you’d be happier at a bank with an extensive branch network emphasizing regular, evening, or weekend hours, or one that focuses more on electronic services, like ATMs and PC banking.
Source: The American Bankers Association
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