5 Factors to Consider When Comparing Local Banks

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in Savings

bank buildingMany people have a number of options when it comes to selecting a local bank. This can be both a good and bad thing. It is always nice to have more than one choice; however, this can make it difficult to make a final decision.

As a consumer with many options, it is important that you compare multiple banks before deciding which one to open an account with. Jumping the gun and deciding in haste could lead to a poor choice, and may necessitate a change in the near future.

You must consider these five aspects when choosing a bank:

1. Customer Service
Is there anything more important than this? The last thing you want is to get stuck doing business with a bank that does not value you as a customer. Rather than find yourself in this position, learn as much as you can about the service offered by each bank on your list.

You can examine a bank’s level of customer service by visiting a branch in person or calling on the phone. Are you happy with how you were treated? Once you answer this question, you will have a better idea of how to move forward.

2. Location
There is nothing worse than having to do business with a bank that is far from your home and place of employment. You should only consider banks that are close enough to easily and comfortably visit on a regular basis.

3. Your Personal Preferences and Needs
Some people want nothing more than to open a basic savings or checking account. Others have more complex needs, such as investing, securing a home loan, opening a CD, and more. If you know exactly what you are looking for, you can select a financial institution accordingly.

4. Services
Some banks simply offer more products and services than others. If you only need to open a checking or savings account, you don’t have much to worry about. However, if you are interested in CDs, home equity loans, refinancing, or other services, you need to choose a bank that offers products in all of these areas.

5. Reputation
How do other customers rate the bank? Has the bank been in financial trouble in the past? Is there a chance that it could close down in the near future? You can find this information online, as well as by speaking with friends and family. If the reputation of the bank is not strong in the financial industry, you may want to reconsider your options.

Final Thoughts
By focusing on the five points above, as well as any others that are important to you, it should be simple enough to compare local banks and make a decision as to which one to do business with.

You would think that opening a bank account would be a quick and easy process. While it can be, you don’t want to move so fast that you make a bad decision.

What do you look for in a bank?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

John Schmoll 2012/07/23 at 10:25 am

Great tips on finding a good bank. One I also look at is their fee structure. I have no problem with the fact that they’re a business and need to make money, but what I don’t like is when they nickel and dime you for many things. Taking a look at their fee structure can help you see if they’re there to help meet your needs or just to make a buck off of you.

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Jerry 2012/08/27 at 6:27 am

I love my credit union. They have great customer service and I love that personal touch of them knowing me. However, we have an account with a big bank and it is convenient because they’re located all over the country. It’s insurance for issues that might come up if we’re traveling in a different state and it leads to more convenience for our tenants who need access to the account.

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Fred@Foxy Finance 2013/01/27 at 2:01 am

I look for customer service, it’s the only real important factor for me one that is preferably available 24/7. I don’t mind fee’s so much as long as they use them to ensure the customers are happy.

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Zimmy 2013/05/14 at 7:28 pm

I have been with the same credit union for the last 12 years and they have always done me right. I recently had an ATM eat about $200 of my $320 withdrawal. All I had to do was give them a phone call and my account was credited within the hour just on my word. If you have a choice, I say go with a good credit union.

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