4 signs it's time to switch banks
- If you've been with your bank as long as you can remember and never considered switching, it may be time to take a look at your options.
- If your savings account is earning pennies or you're paying a fee for your checking account, there are better options out there.
- You may also want to consider switching banks if your online banking options are limited or you want to take out a loan from a credit union but aren't yet a member.
- Read more personal finance coverage.
Every bank isn't right for every person. If you've been banking with the same financial institution since you were born (thanks, parents!) or even since high school or college, it may be time to think about making a change if your bank isn't meeting your needs and helping you grow your money.
Tons of new banks and credit unions have sprouted up - especially online - in just the last decade, and they offer features many old-school banks lack.
Wondering whether your bank is right for you? Here are four signs you should switch things up.
1. You're earning pennies on your savings
If you're earning next to nothing on your savings, it may be time to switch banks (or at least move your savings to a new account).
Traditional brick-and-mortar banks typically offer between 0.01% and 0.09% interest on savings. That's nothing, and there are plenty of other financial institutions offering better rates.
Find a bank or other financial institution that offers high-yield savings accounts; interest rates on those accounts are typically between 1.5% and 2%.
Online banks, such as Ally, offer a suite of banking products, from checking and savings accounts to CDs. Digital financial institutions, like Betterment and Wealthfront, offer high-yield savings accounts and excellent robo-adviser investment services (one more way to grow your money).
2. You're paying a monthly fee for your checking account
Traditional banks typically charge between $4 and $20 a month to own a checking account, with most coming in around $10 or $12. With many banks, you can avoid a checking account fee by keeping a minimum account balance, direct depositing your paychecks, opening another type of account at the same bank, or following other predetermined guidelines.
If you're easily meeting those requirements and paying $0 for your checking account, that's great. The account is probably working for you just fine. If you're getting billed just to keep your money at your bank, though, it may be time to switch. Many banks offer fee-free checking accounts, and it's easy to open an account online.
3. Your online banking options are limited
If your bank isn't providing you with the kind of digital services you crave, abandon it. There's no reason you shouldn't be able to pay bills, deposit checks, and transfer money through your bank's app or website in 2020.
4. You want to take out a loan and can get a better rate if you're a customer elsewhere
Many banks offer their customers - whose habits and credit scores they know well - better rates on auto loans, mortgages, and other loans. But credit unions, which typically offer lower interest rates than traditional banks, don't lend money to non-members.
If you know you want to apply for a home loan, for example, and want to get your mortgage through a credit union, you'll have to become a member. Check membership criteria at your local credit union to make sure you qualify.
You don't necessarily have to switch banks to get a loan from a credit union, but you may find you prefer the credit union to your current financial institution. It's also completely fine (and common!) to have accounts at multiple financial institutions - it's all about finding what works best for you.