Living in Syracuse offers many advantages, and one of them is the availability of banks. Whether you're a young adult or near retirement age, there's a vast option of banks for you. Whatever your needs, there's a bank that can cater specifically to you.
Since Syracuse banks have various services and products, it's best to choose the best one so that you won't have to undergo the difficulty of changing from bank to bank. To do that, you can do the following so you won't end up with regrets:
1. Understand The Different Types of Banks
One of the first things you must do when choosing the best bank is to understand each type of bank. That way, you'll know what can cater best to your financial needs. Here are some of the type of banks you need to know:
- Retail Banks – This type of bank caters to consumers who go to banks for their daily banking. They offer mortgages and personal loans locally but don't provide loans for corporations or large businesses.
- Commercial Banks – Unlike retail banks, commercial banks can cater to small businesses for financial products like small business loans, and checking and savings accounts. With this type of bank, all certificates and savings deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
- Cooperative Banks – Also known as mutual banks, these banks' customers own a percentage of these banks. With such, they answer both votes from the national banking regulations and their customers.
- Credit Unions – Similar to mutual banks, credit unions answer to their shareholders but are much more bound to their members. However, they might lack some financial services and products that big banks offer as they cater to more personalized services. These banks have restricted membership to a certain geographic location or population. For instance, these banks can give out credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, and other personal and business banking solutions to retirees, company employees, and many more like Empower.
- Central Banks – While credit unions are more personalized according to their members, central banks are more governmental. It means that their services should influence their nation's economic goals.
2. Check Available Financial Products
Now that you know which type of bank you should go to; you must also check its available financial services. Since banks aim to make their customers' finances better, you should choose the bank with the type of financial services you need. That being said, here are vital financial services that banks must have:
- Individual Banking – This type of service can help you manage your personal finances like deposits and credits. It also includes credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, checking and savings accounts, and insurance.
- Business Banking – Although they offer similar products in individual banking, this type of banking focuses more on businesses rather than individuals. The services include accounts for checking and savings, credit, and loans specifically made for businesses.
- Loans – Another financial product that banks offer are loans. But like banks, loans come in various forms like personal loans, small business loans, auto loans, student loans, mortgage loans, home equity loans, and more.
- Digital Banking – Since people are now turning to online means for whatever they need, banks have incorporated digital banking for easier and more comfortable banking service. This includes online bill payments, eStatements, text alerts, mobile check deposits, online and mobile banking.
3. Compare Fees
After checking which banks have the services you need, you should also understand their fees and rates. This is vital so that you won't aggravate your financial condition as some banks have high-interest rates, especially for loans. The lower the fees, the better.
Because banks need to pay for their operating expenses as well, their services come with charges. Whether you're getting a loan or opening savings or checking accounts, you'll pay service fees. That's why you should know what your banks charge you with to avoid losing your hard-earned money.
An example of this is the monthly account maintenance fees that are more than USD $169 yearly for having the account. That's why most banks offer a minimum balance that you must have in your bank. By complying with this, you can eliminate or reduce the monthly maintenance fee. However, the bank charges you if you don't have the minimum balance in your account.
If you overspend money from your account, then the bank will charge you with an overdraft fee. This fee is also known as the nonsufficient funds or NSF. To remedy the NSF, you can elect for overdraft protection. But of course, you will pay an overdraft protection fee so that your bank will advance you enough.
As for the card fees, banks charge you ATM fees, debit card transaction fees, wire transfer fees, and the like when you use your card. For ATM fees, you only pay a fee when you use it outside your bank's network. Debit card transaction fees will charge you for transactions using your debit cards. Another fee when using your bank account is the wire transfer fee when you send money.
Knowing the different fees can help you gauge which bank offers the lowest fees.
Before you open an account, it's best to know the bank you plan to go to. First, understand the various types of banks so you'll know which can cater to your needs. Then, check whether the bank has the banking services you're after. But then, you shouldn't forget to compare the fees so that you can choose the ones with the lowest.
By doing these things, you can get the most out of your bank.