If you have been dealing with the same financial institution for many years, there might be some benefits associated with switching to a different one. You aren’t bound to using a particular bank, and credit unions have their own set of benefits. The type of financial institution you decide to use will be entirely up to you, but it’s best to be informed. Let’s discuss the qualities you should be looking for in a bank or credit union.
It’s important that a bank or credit union has adequate security methods in place as part of their daily operations. You’ll want to make sure that your data is secure. This will prevent things like identity theft from occurring. Of course, you’ll also want to know that your money is safe. Always check that a bank you intend to use is covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This will insure your money up to $250,000 for each account category you have in each bank. Although credit unions are not covered by the FDIC, they are protected in the same way by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) fund. If for some reason, you wish to keep even greater amounts in the bank, simply spread it around to different institutions.
Interest in Your Financial Health
When you enter your bank or credit union, you shouldn’t feel as though you’re just another customer off the street. A conscientious institution will work with you in order to find the financial products that suit your needs. Negotiating rates, finding different products that work for you and going to great lengths to make things happen is what it’s all about. Banks and credit unions should be customizing their services to address the financial health concerns of their customers. These services impact clients’ well-being and the reputation of the establishment.
Depending on your lifestyle, you may have a narrow time window in which to access your bank. Take a look at different banks’ and credit unions’ hours to make sure that the one you choose will be open when you’re available. You should also check to see if there are branches close to where you live or where you work so you can access them easily. You’ll also want to look into your access to ATMs. For example, you’ll want funds to be available when you’re traveling. If the bank or credit union you are looking at is smaller, check to see if they are part of the Co-op ATM network or Plus ATM network. Many credit unions and banks are part of one of these networks. These provide access to ATMs from other banks or credit unions in the network, and sometimes they don’t even charge you an extra fee for using one.
Before you move all your funds to a bank or credit union, sit down with a customer service representative and find out what the institution can do for you. Weigh the advantages against the fees. Investigate security and accessibility. Remember that it’s up to them to compete for your business. Don’t feel as if you have to settle. There’s another financial institution right down the street.
Here’s another article we think you’ll enjoy: The 4 Pillars of Financial Wellness