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5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a New Bank or Credit Union

Last Updated

May 5, 2020

Written by

First Family Credit Union

Explore all your options when choosing a new financial institution 

The options are endless when it comes to choosing a new financial institution and the variety of products and services they offer. So how do you narrow down the selection? It’s a personal decision and it’s important to consider the services and features that you value – you should consider more than just the rates! Here are some important items to add to your checklist:    

1. What is your long-term plan? Can they help you with all your long-term goals?

What are your long-term spending and saving goals? Pin down your vision for the future and ensure that the institution you choose can help you every step of your financial journey. This goes beyond the basic checking and savings accounts – explore what they can do for buying a home, an automobile, and future real estate investment. Your bank or credit union should be your partner for life, not a season.  

2. Do they offer online banking or have easy access locations? 

Accessibility and flexibility are key in this day and age and you should take into consideration how easy it would be to access your accounts anytime and anywhere. Most banks offer some online banking services but we recommend you vet their online options and ensure they fit your needs. Having instant access to your accounts will save you time and make monitoring your money easier, and a bank of credit union that keeps technology top of mind, will always come out on top. 

Learn more about how Family First is innovating new ways to help you spend and save smarter using technology! 

3. What does their customer experience look like? 

While some may be ok with an automated voicemail or chatbot, others really appreciate the one-to-one customer experience. Reflect on what’s most important to you and what you would expect when you’re looking for help. The big banks often don’t deliver the “customer-first” and “family-feel” that you’ll find with more local banks or credit unions.  

4. What incentives do they offer beyond the basics? 

Every institution has different partnerships and incentives and its well worth your time to explore what they can do for you, unique to your situation. For example, even within basic checking accounts, Family First offers First Checking Pinnacle which pays members 1.00% interest on balances up to $10,000! When interviewing potential banks, make sure to ask them what other incentives they could offer and take those into consideration in your selection.  

5. We get it, fees and rates are important, too.  

Investigate the institutions policy around fees. Many institutions charge for monthly maintenance, ATM use, overdrafts, and transferring money between accounts. Banks and credit union publish their rates and fee schedules on their website making it super simple to compare. View our latest rates here.   

Next Steps

Choosing the right bank is a personal decision and it won’t be the only one that you have to make. Decide on what matters most to you and examine your options. If you’re looking for a helpful resource to walk you through your options, we’re here to help! Stop by one of our branches and schedule a meeting to meet with one of our team members, today.  

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