Everyone needs to find the right kind of bank to work with. Whether you want to open a savings account, shop for loans at low prices, or sign up for a credit card, picking the right kind of institution gives you the opportunity to enjoy several financial benefits and services with ease.
When it comes to selecting the right kind of bank for you, you should be aware of some guidelines before signing your name on the dotted line. As a rule of thumb, an ideal bank should provide several services that can help you save and grow your money.
Here are some ideas to help you choose the right Syracuse bank to work with:
- Make a list of your preferred options:
There are countless financial institutions that offer several banking services at affordable prices. Each of them possesses their own unique advantages and disadvantages for various people and scenarios. Some options include:
- Community banks – Compared with multinational and international banks, community banks tend to focus more on localized customer service in order to meet their clients’ needs. Considering that they only have a few physical branch locations, most of these banks tend to be less strict with their requirements, allowing users the chance to enjoy similar services with a more relaxed approach.
- Online-only banks – These banks don’t have any physical location but can still offer the same banking services as regular banks, often at more affordable prices. Many of these online-only banks also tend to offer higher interest rates, making them all the more attractive. Unfortunately, if you live in a rural area, you may need to take a long trip to the nearest urban location to withdraw some of your cash.
- Credit unions – Credit unions are nonprofit financial institutions that are purely member based. This means that in order to benefit from some of their services, you must first submit a membership deposit, which entitles you to more flexible banking options. Most credit unions have a website that allows you to easily monitor and manage your account.
- Consider the services offered:
After narrowing down your banking options, the next step is to consider the services offered by the financial institutions that can help you manage your money wisely. Keep in mind that alternative financial institutions may have limited services that do not necessarily meet your needs. The services most banks generally offer include:
- Financial accounts – Financial accounts can range from savings, checking, and money market, to rewards checking accounts.
- Loans – Loans include car loans, mortgages, home equity, and credit cards.
- Asset growth products – These are financial products designed to help you expand your profits, such as certificates of deposit and various investment accounts.
- Take note of fees and features
Not all services offered by different banks cost the same. Certain institutions may require an additional fee when withdrawing from an ATM, while others may require you to maintain a minimum account balance. Here are some of the fees you should look into very carefully:
- Monthly account fees
- Overdraft protection fees
- Insufficient funds or NSF fees
- ATM use fees
- Late payment fees for loan products
Additionally, it helps to take a closer look at some of their other features. For instance, do they have a mobile app? Are there ways to access your account when you are on the go? Can you withdraw cash from other banks when you need it? These are only some of the factors you should consider when selecting a bank.
- Read the terms and conditions very carefully
Similar to features and fees, every bank has its own set of principles and guidelines when it comes to maintaining an account or using various financial services. Prior to putting your signature on the form, remember to read the terms and conditions very carefully to avoid making a decision you might regret. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or an explanation from an expert on terms or conditions you are not familiar with.
Before selecting a bank, it always helps to do careful research, especially if you are doing personal accounting. This may include visiting your options’ websites and reading reviews from other users. Aside from selecting a bank based on fees and reputation, it also helps to take a closer look at your own lifestyle and select a financial institution that can meet your specific needs.