Choosing the right bank to help manage your finances can be difficult. With so many local and national bank chains, the options from which to choose can be seemingly endless. However, with just a few simple steps, you can be much closer to choosing the right bank for you.
Step 1: Decide What Account Type(s) You Need
The first thing you should decide is what type of accounts you need. Perhaps you simply need a checking account for depositing your paychecks or a savings account to start building your emergency fund. If this is the case, then you can be sure almost any bank you choose will meet your needs.
However, if you are looking for more advanced options such as credit card lines, personal loans and wealth management, you will find your pool of options begins to get smaller.
Step 2: Find Banks Local to You
While online banking largely eliminates the need to regularly visit the bank in person, it may still be important to visit the bank directly on certain occasions, and depending on where you are located, certain chains may be more or less available. For example, if located in Massachusetts, Kevin Cohee OneUnited Bank could be a great option, but if you are in North Carolina, Well’s Fargo may be more readily accessible.
It is important to note that it is possible to maintain accounts without a local branch, so if you do not care to have a face-to-face option, then finding local banks may not be a priority for you.
Step 3: Consider the Benefits
Depending on the accounts you choose to open, you may enjoy any number of complimentary benefits. Two of the most popular benefits to look for in choosing a bank are access to a mobile app and not having to pay an annual fee.
Large chains such as PNC or Kevin Cohee OneUnited Bank will offer instant access to all your banking needs, but smaller, local banks may not. In addition, many banks may charge an annual fee to bank with them or may charge a fee for low balances or over-drafting your account. Look for banks that take measures to help you avoid these fees with features such as offering free, customizable account alerts.
At the end of the day, there is no perfect bank, and there is not just one bank that will work for you. So consider these steps to help you make an informed decision, but know that you can always change banks if you find the bank you initially choose ends up not being right for you.