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Many people in America don’t think too much about their bank of choice. That is not the smartest idea since a bank holds a person’s money and has control over a person’s finances. However, there is a way to make sure that choosing a bank that is just right is more than a dream. Whether it is the convenience of use, the ability to use 24/7 banking options, or just finding a bank where the employees treat you like an actual person and not just an account number, there are banks out there just right for everyone. Here are some great ways to make your bank work for you.READ MORE: When I See A 50% Chance Of Rain In The Forecast, What Does That Really Mean?
Shop For the Right Bank
Don’t just sign up with a bank because they are close to your home or because they are a huge mega-bank that everyone has heard of. There are a lot of choices, and some of them just are not the right fit for everyone. Local regional banks are a good bet when it comes to more personal relationships with customers, but they are a bad bet when a person moves. Large mega-banks are often more secure because they are well-known, safe and have locations all over the country. However, they often have higher charges. Figure out which items are most important to you, and then choose the right bank for you.
Don’t Let the Banks Bully You
Often when a person signs up with a bank, that bank will try to push a person into getting a savings account, adding on extras, and signing up for things that a person doesn’t really need. Most banks have free checking accounts, and that might be important to know ahead of time. There are a number of banks that offer semi-free checking accounts, where a person has to keep a minimum balance or make a specific number of transactions or else they have to pay a fee each month. Read the small print, know these things ahead of time, and walk away if the possibility of a bank costing you money might exist.
Look for Convenience of BankingREAD MORE: Colorado Weather: Monsoon Storms Return Sunday, But Focus Shifts A Bit West
This is different for different people. For some, a convenience of banking is to walk in the door, have the tellers know you by sight and make you feel right at home. This is the ideal when it comes to regional banking. This also helps a person avoid fraudulent charges because a bank knows you and your habits, and that is always good for personal peace of mind. However, mega-banks offer even more convenience, with free ATMs located nationwide, the ability to deposit checks through text messaging and online banking access. Just make sure, when choosing these banks, that your personal convenience is not something you will overpay for.
Remain Able to Fire Your Bank
There will be times when a person chooses a bank and then realizes after the fact that they are not as good as advertised. At these times, a person should be able to fire their bank without hassle. There are some things to remember when firing a bank. Setting up a bank to auto-pay bills is not a good idea because that leaves a person at the mercy of their bank. It is better, if auto-pay is a necessity, to have the bills be pulled from the bank account. That allows a person to change payment options through their creditor, so leaving a bank becomes less of a challenge. Also, read the fine print when signing up with a bank. If that bank charges an exit fee, they might not be the best bank for you.
Spread Your Wealth Around
It is also not a good idea to handcuff all your accounts to one bank. If this happens, leaving that bank for any reason becomes close to impossible. Some banks will offer what seem like good deals to hook a checking and savings account up together. That may not always be true. Other banks may have better deals for savings accounts than a mega-bank used for checking. In those cases, use different banks to get the best deals on each account. The Internet makes transferring money to different banks easy, so there is no reason to keep it all under one roof. Also, just because you bank somewhere, it doesn’t mean that is where you need to get your credit cards, home and car loans. Shop around and save money by finding the best deals.MORE NEWS: Boat Ramps Closed At Three Western Slope Reservoirs, Closures Expected At Blue Mesa As Water Level Drops
Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He writes for a variety of national publications and has over 15 years of sports journalism experience. Follow Shawn on Twitter @sslealos. Examiner.com.