Choosing the best bank for your finances is a decision that can be somewhat confusing and stressful. Before you choose the first bank that you read about, consider the following eight helpful tips. 

1.Do Your Research

Once you pick a bank you will likely stay with it for years. This means taking your time and finding out everything you can about the ones you are considering. You’ll want to check out what the experts are saying about the handful of banks you have narrowed your list down to. Check out their customer service reviews before signing up, and consider how much you will benefit from their services.

2.Determine the Best Account

Since banks offer various services, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which one is best for your needs. It may be easier to take a look at your financial goals before settling on a bank. That way, you’ll know what type of account you need going in. For example, if you want to open a new checking account, a well-known bank will usually offer multiple types to choose from. If your goal is to save money, many online banks now offer competitive rates to bring in business. 

3.Choose the Right Bank for Your Needs

Any bank that you choose should fit your specific goals. If you are looking to save money, find a bank that will allow you to open up several different accounts. For example, you may open up separate accounts for Christmas, travel, and regular savings. It’s also wise to find a bank that offers budgeting tools that will help you keep track of every expense. 

4.Check Out the Numbers

You don’t want to pay a high fee just for the privilege of having a bank account. Most online banks offer accounts with little to no fees due to the fact they have lower operating costs. Always ask about ATM fees, monthly maintenance fees, and how much the bank will charge if you overdraw your checking account. Pick the bank that has the most lenient overdraft policies in place. You can also look for a bank that offers text or email alerts when your account becomes low and at risk of being overdrawn. 

5.Digital Features are a Plus

Many banks are now happy to offer mobile services that will allow you to keep track of your banking information much easier. If you are the type that would value a mobile experience, check out the reviews concerning the bank you are considering to see if they have what you need. Many banks offer customers the ability to check their balance, transfer funds, and make mobile check deposits, all from their smartphone or computer. 

6.Consider Accessibility

Most customers are looking for as much convenience as possible with their bank. This will include ATM locations and branch locations. If you would prefer a brick-and-mortar branch that allows you to talk to someone face-to-face, consider the different banks in your local area. If you are fine with doing business over the phone or through an app, then an online bank could be right for you. 

7.Terms and Conditions are Important

Always make sure that your money is federally insured with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration. If you are looking at CD rates, keep an eye out for any promotional deals that will eventually expire. Also, find out if you will be charged out-of-network ATM fees if you use a different ATM. 

8.Consider a Credit Union

You may only consider a bank when you are ready to open up an account. However, local credit unions are not as difficult to join as they once were. Many credit unions are able to offer higher earning rates for their customer’s savings, as well as lower loan rates when it comes to loans. If you think a credit union is right for you, join the American Consumer Council to make the process easier.