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10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Bank


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Mistakes & Miscalculations
Whichever bank you choose, be sure to keep a close watch on your balances to ensure no mistakes are made.
Whichever bank you choose, be sure to keep a close watch on your balances to ensure no mistakes are made.
Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Financial institutions aren't going to advertise changes to their policies, so it's important to read the fine print on any paperwork you get from your bank. Banks keep investors happy by finding new ways to separate you from your money, which means you need to know what your bank's policies are and when they change.

It's essential to keep an eye on your balance to make sure you aren't paying extra fees. Phone or online balance checks are a good way to stay on top of your budget and make sure you're not subject to NSF or overdraft fees. By linking your savings and checking accounts, you can avoid these fees and keep your balance in checking as low as possible. That means you're earning a better rate on that money through your savings account.

Today's financial environment means mergers, buyouts and other corporate changes. It may seem like these things don't affect you, but you might be surprised by changes happening right under your nose! If a bigger bank buys your bank, you could be subject to its fees and rates -- and chances are, the new entity is going to choose the more profitable solution every time.

Comparing rates, fees and your overall happiness with your bank is something you should be doing every year or two. You might be surprised by how much things have changed! While loyalty is important and can pay off when it's time to get a loan, the bottom line is your satisfaction.


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