In the olden days most towns had only one general store, one saloon, and one bank to choose from. Times have certainly changed, these days we have a seemingly endless choice of banks and credit unions. It's important to decide which type of financial institution meets your needs. Today's banks offer much more than savings accounts and loans, they offer many other services such as; credit cards, money management, and retirement planning. Both credit unions and banks offer several options for checking accounts. It may be beneficial for you to find a bank that offers free checking in Milwaukee, or a bank in your town which offers the same option.
Services offered at a Bank
- One of the best reasons to consider putting your money in a bank instead of hiding it under your mattress is the interest. Several types of deposit accounts gain interest, including checking, savings, money market accounts, and brokerage accounts. Usually, the more money you put in the account, the higher the interest rate.
- If you are in the market for a house, a car, or some other type of large purchase, you may need to apply for a loan. Most banks offer loans for mortgages, cars, recreational vehicles, and businesses, just to name a few. Some banks also offer unsecured, personal loans. Larger banks may loan money for you to buy stocks and commodities. Banks are able to make money on loans by lending money at a much higher rate than they are paying on deposit accounts.
- Banks offer the opportunity to open investment accounts. The most common type of investment account is a certificate of deposit, usually referred to as a CD account. A certificate of deposit is similar to a savings account, except you aren't able to withdraw your money for a certain period of time, possibly six months, a year or even longer, in some cases. In most cases, a longer wait time equals a higher interest rate. Some banks also offer their own mutual funds and retirement investment accounts. There are experts at the bank available to help you with your retirement planning and all facets of money management.
- There are many types of credit cards to choose from. Your bank may offer their own credit card or you may want a card issued by a large national bank. Your credit card can be linked to your checking account or can be completely separate. Before selecting a credit card consider the interest rate and the extra perks offered. Some cards offer points for every dollar spent to redeem for travel, dining, and entertainment, but may also have a higher interest rate. If you're sure you'll be paying the card balance each month, the extra points can be a bonus. If you will be carrying a balance month to month, a lower interest rate card is a better option.
- Most banking can be done online, from the comfort of your own home or office. You can transfer funds, balance your checking account or pay your bills. Using your bank's online bill payment service is convenient, secure and saves time. You can have many of your bills sent electronically to your bank, which eliminates the hassle of writing checks and mailing. Many banks also offer secure mobile banking so you can pay your bills from your phone or mobile device, anytime, anywhere.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a credit union or a bank. Location is important as well as knowledgeable, friendly personnel. Compare interest rates and services offered before deciding. Some banks offer free checking in Milwaukee, while others in your area may charge a fee. Take time to shop around for a financial institution that is best suited to take care of your hard earned money.
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