How do you know if your bank is right for you? If you have been a subscriber to Quick Tips, then you know the first questions that must be answered: Is the bank an FDIC member and FDIC insured? The answer should be “yes.”
What other questions should you ask?
Location. Does the bank have branches or ATM machines that are close to your home, work, favorite stores, or activities? Remember that most banks charge a fee for using another bank’s ATM machines. You’ll also want to deposit any checks or cash quickly. Choose someplace close where it’s easy to make your transactions.
Fees. Do they charge you to have an account? If so, is there something you can do to lessen the fee or avoid it all together? Some banks waive their fees if you agree to direct deposit your paychecks, keep a minimum balance in your account, or have more than one linked account. You should be able to avoid any bank fees.
How to avoid bank fees. Banks have to make money to stay in business. One way they do this is by lending out money and charging interest. The other way is by charging fees.
You should be able to avoid fees with good record keeping. Keep your minimum balance and never use more money than you actually have (overdraft).
Every bank charges for overdrafts. It’s not only inconvenient for them, it’s actually illegal if you do it on purpose.
Keep accurate records with either a paper checkbook register, computer software, or handheld device. Your goal is to never have these fees charged to you.