A big portion of how you handle your finances will have a lot to do with the bank that you choose. In most cities, you should have quite a few choices, and with internet banking, it’s never been easier to find a new bank. However, before you open an account, checking or savings, there are a few things that you need to know ahead of time, to help you determine whether or not a bank is right for you.
First, it’s very important to learn all that you can about the fees a bank will charge.
Whether it’s extra money to write more than a certain amount of checks, a monthly service charge, atm fees, or other little fees, these can quickly eat away at your balance. This is money that could be going into savings or that could be better spent. Never take a bank’s word for it, always read through the documentation they provide to help you figure out just how much an account will cost you. Free checking doesn’t necessarily mean free.
Next, you should also consider whether the account will grow with you.
Does the bank offer easy upgrading to a different account type or do they make it easy to transfer funds in between your accounts? Ask questions about the different types of accounts they offer to help you better determine which one will be the best fit for you not only now, but also in the future.
The question of interest is very important.
As banks get more competitive, they are starting to offer high interest-bearing checking accounts as well as savings accounts. This is an easy way to earn more money on your existing balance, but these accounts may come with balance minimums and there may be a few more charges. Once again, go through all of the documentation before you decide.
Last but not least, there is a question about the availability of funds.
This is a common mistake that many people make when they first set up a bank account, and the resulting bounced checks can cost you a fortune. Make sure you know exactly what the bank’s policy is on deposit availability and how long it takes checks to clear. In some cases, it can take longer than a week, and if you are not prepared, you can easily bounce checks everywhere. Some people may open up a new account with a paycheck, only to find out that they won’t be able to get a dime of their money back until that waiting period has passed. Don’t be afraid to switch banks if they aren’t meeting your needs or helping you reach your financial goals. The process of finding the right bank may take a few tries, but eventually, you should find the one that is perfect for your individual needs. By taking the time to do your homework on your own, however, you can ensure that you will be happy and that your money will be safe.