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When people think of what their goals are, they often think of things like losing weight, eating healthier or finding a better job — things that could be achieved in a relatively short time frame given the right circumstances. Many long-term goals, such as saving for college, buying your first house, or other complex efforts can be greatly helped with the resources at your local bank. When you’re looking to achieve something not months but years from now, especially when it’s something that will involve large sums of money, a local banker can help walk you through the best steps and come up with an individualized plan for your situation to help you succeed.

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Strong Relationships

Local banks and credit unions can create much stronger relationships with their customers due to their size and how they are embedded within the communities they serve. If you are needing to receive guidance over a large sum of money over a span of multiple years, it’s best that you are able to create a relationship with someone at your bank that you trust. A trusting relationship can also make the savings plans and your long-term goals seem more personal to your banker and help you feel like you’re in good hands.

Better Interest Rates

When you’re looking to save money long term, a local bank may also be able to give you a better interest rate on your savings to help you reach your goal faster. Often, local credit unions and smaller banking organizations, while still governed by the same FDIC regulations as large national banks, are able to offer better interest rates because of their size. When you’re looking to save up for a long-term investment such as a house, they also can sometimes offer you a lower interest rate on a mortgage than other national companies. And the fact that they are local means that if you ever have any questions or concerns about your loan, they are right there in your area to reach out to.

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Lower Or Eliminate Fees

When saving for a long term goal, it’s also important to look at the fees that can be involved in your accounts. When you’re using an account for a short while, having a fee attached may not seem like a big deal. But those fees can add up over the course of many years. Local banks are often more likely to have accounts that are fee-free to help their local customers.

If you’ve got a long-term goal in mind, but haven’t found the way to reach it, stop by your local bank and talk to someone — they’ll be sure to find a way to help you out.

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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