Choosing the right bank can be a tough decision nowadays. In United States alone, there are over ten thousand FDIC Insured Institutions. And moreover, the rate at which bank mergers and acquisitions are going on makes it even more difficult to choose the right bank for you.
So, how would you go about choosing the right bank for you?
Well, there are certain parameters against which you can judge which bank is right for you. Most importantly you should know what you need from your financial institution or bank. Choosing the right bank is very much important as it can be your partner to gaining wealth and prosperity.
Here under I have compiled a list of parameters which can ease your work of choosing the right bank.
Know the Types of Banks that Exist and what they Offer
Before diving into the task of selecting the right bank for you, you need to know what types of banks exist and what services they offer to their customers are. If you are able to pick the type of bank based on the services they offer and your needs and aspirations, half of your task of choosing the right bank for you would be completed.
Basically, there are three categories of banks.
There are the Big National Banks, and then the Regional Banks, and finally you have the Internet Banks.
Each of these banks offers varied services at different costs.
Let us know what they offer.
Big National Banks have ATMs and Branches spread all across the country. They offer a wide variety of services such as through them you can invest in mutual funds, get insurance, get loans, have a credit card, get a mortgage, and offer lots of other services too. They also offer an array of specialized services and dedicate a personal banking representative to help you. Big National Banks are recognized as leaders in innovative technologies and services. They have online accessibility, which also includes bill paying services.
As compared to the Big National Banks, the Regional Banks do not have a national presence; however, they are more flexible and give greater incentives to small accountholders. They have low fees and offer personal level of services to their customers. They are also adaptable and responsive to the need of their customers and accountholders.
Well, if you value ease of service, then Internet Banks may be the right choice for you. When compared to brick and mortar counterparts, Internet Banks offer ease of service and that too at a minimal fee. They have low average minimum balance requirement and seldom charge fees from their customers for using other banks ATMs.
Know you’re Banking Needs
Besides knowing the types of banks and the services they offer, you need to be aware of your banking needs. You need to be aware of the services you require from a bank. It becomes easy to choose the right bank when you know your banking needs. You can simply reject a bank if it does not offer services that you require.
So, prepare a list of services that you require from your bank. It may be a savings account, or perhaps a checking account is important for you. You may be interested in deposit services, investment opportunities, Insurance, or may be looking out for loans services, and mortgage. There may be other things on your priority list such online accessibility, or some kind of personalized services. Knowing your banking needs, you can move forward in choosing the right bank for you.
Check the Fees Structure
Different banks have different fee structure. So besides knowing which type of banks suit you’re banking needs, you need to acquaint yourself about the fees structure of the banks in which you are interested. So you need to look at the fine print and carefully go through all the charges and fees related to their services.
For example, usually banks charge for not maintaining the minimum balance required in savings or checking account. Then they levy fees for deposits, for making overdrafts. Some banks even charge for check-writing or for withdrawals, and also for direct deposits.
You need to know if there is any sort of monthly or annual fees. Contrary to the popular belief, big banks charge high fees in comparison to local banks. A fee structure comparison for banks will give you a clear idea as to which banks charge high fees and which banks have low fees structure. This will help you in choosing the right bank for you.
Consider Your Convenience
Convenience in Banking is perhaps another very important criterion in choosing the right bank for you. Although a bank might charge you less, but if it is not convenient for you to bank, it is no use to you.
So it is important to set down your convenience criteria.
Is it that you require a good network of branches or ATMs? Or is it that you require adequate online services? Do you look upto personalized services? Is banking hours important to you? Are you interested in having Investment advisory services? Do you look upto cost effective Loan solutions from a bank?
Once you know and list down the convenience criteria, it will become all the more easy for you to choose the right bank for you which is convenient to bank with.
It all Depends upon your Profile
Choosing the Right Bank largely depends upon your Profile. If you are young and single, an Internet bank might suit you as it has low minimum balance requirement and seldom charges its customers for using other banks ATMs. If you are a young family with children, then a big nationalized bank would be right for you. A big national bank offers a host of products and services. You can look forward to depositing services, loans, Insurance, credit cards, overdrafts, bill payment services, and other services too. If you are a retired couple, then a regional bank may suit you as it is good on personalized services that you can receive at its local branch or even at your doorstep.
Finally, after accessing all the above criteria’s for choosing the right bank, you need to devote some time on online research to know the facts, figures and the range of products and services offered by the banks that you are interested in bank with. It would be even better if you decide and go about visiting the branches of such banks to clarify your queries and doubts. This is known as Shopping Around. Doing this you would have a crystal clear picture of their services, products, facilities, and fees structure. Then it would be much easy for you to select the right bank for you.
Choosing a Right Bank is tough but if you follow the above guidelines you may well end up selecting the right bank and that too very easily and quickly. The above guidelines are not exhaustive in any way but may well prove invaluable for you in choosing the right bank for you. So there is nothing to worry, just follow the steps mentioned above, and you would be able to choose the right bank for you.