Is It Time to Break Up With Your Bank?
As with any bad relationship, there will be tons of warning signs if you and your bank are a couple that’s beyond repair.
When you first met your bank, it was a romance like no other. You would spend days together at a time, eating at restaurants, going on weekend trips, or even just staying in, ordering stuff off of Amazon.
But now things have cooled a bit. They don’t seem to be offering you the same rewards they used to. Their customer service representatives used to talk on the phone with you for hours, but now they seem to be rushing you to wrap it up. They also used to keep their ATM kiosk sparkling clean if they thought there was even a chance you’d be coming over, but now it seems to be constantly covered in mustard.
(Specifically mustard. No other condiment. Just mustard.)
Is it time for you to break up with your bank? It just might be. But don’t worry, honey, because Auntie OppLoans Financial Sense Blog is here to help you make that decision.
The fee’s knees.
You’ll probably never find a bank with no fees at all. That’s just hoping for too much.
But if it seems like your bank is offering more fees than usual, it can be worth looking around and seeing what other banks are offering. Overdraft fees may be standard—and they may be preferable fees for bad credit loans—but it’s not wrong to take a look at banks that offer some form of overdraft protection. You deserve to be with a bank that tries to minimize the fees you pay, rather than squeeze you for every cent you’re worth.
After all, squeezing should be something you do to your loved one’s hand as you both watch a sunset together, not a way for bank executives to get rich at your expense.
Oh and make sure you’re paying attention to their interest rates too, especially the rates on their personal loans. If you’re not getting rewarded for being a loyal customer, then it might be time to teach them a lesson by walking out the door. That’ll show them to take you for granted!
You’ve grown distant.
People change. Maybe your bank worked for you when you were younger, but your life may have changed. You could have moved to a place that doesn’t have as many locations for your bank if it has any at all.
Maybe you were still a student when you started this account and now they’re trying to stick you with an “old person” penalty. Or you could have lost a job or gotten a new one and the specific rules and incentives this bank offer simply don’t mesh well with your new financial reality.
People and banks grow apart sometimes. It might not be anyone’s fault, but it could mean it’s time for a split.
It might just be time for a change.
There might not be any specific thing or things wrong, but it’s worth taking a look at your relationship with your bank every so often.
“I think it is good to stop and review every 6 months or every year and look at the interest rates you are receiving and the perks,” advises nationally recognized credit expert Jeanne Kelly (@creditscoop). “Sometimes you can go years as a loyal customer and that is great, but still when you sit down and take the time to review what other banks might offer for rewards, they might fit your lifestyle better for today.”
Getting back on the scene.
So you decided you might want to break up with your bank. But it’s been so long since you’ve been out there! How do people even find new banks these days? Is there some sort of app where banks post pictures and information about themselves and you can swipe left or right accordingly? How about a variation on that app where only potential customers are allowed to send the first message so you don’t get inundated with messages from banks?
Not really! But the internet is still a great resource for finding which new bank is best for your needs. Many banks also offer special rewards for starting a new account, possibly even straight up cash. But make sure you’re looking at all the terms you have to sign on to. Don’t let flashy rewards right now trap you into whole new bad bank relationship.
And speaking of the internet, different banks will offer different services in their apps and online. Take a look at each of those and consider them as one part of your decision.
Also, make totally sure that your bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)! That’s how you can make certain that the funds you deposit are safe. Never, ever open an account with an uninsured bank, or you could risk losing everything in your account. If you aren’t sure if the bank is FDIC insured, you can check on the FDIC site.
Staying single isn’t recommended.
When it comes to banking, being single isn’t so great.
There are actually tons of folks out there who can’t even get a bank account. According to a 2015 survey by the FDIC, as many as nine million U.S. households are entirely frozen out from banking. These folks are known as “the unbanked.” They have to rely on check cashing services that charge hefty fees just so people can access the money in their paychecks.’
(If you’re worried that a bad credit score could prevent you from opening a bank account, then you’ve come to the right place. We have a blog post for that.)
Without a bank account, you could find yourself falling prey to predatory payday loans or title loans. These are a kind of no credit check loan, and they come with incredibly high interest rates and can trap borrowers into a cycle of debt.
Unless you like the feeling sleeping on top of money stuffed into your mattress, you should always maintain a bank account. We really can’t recommend the alternative.
At the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you. As much as you want to avoid any awkward conversations or hurt feelings—if you let a bad relationship with your bank fester, you’ll both just end up miserable.
|Jeanne Kelly (@CreditScoop) After being turned down for a mortgage 15 years ago, Jeanne Kelly realized she needed to get her credit in order. Not only was she able to fix her bad credit, but she took the skills and knowledge she gained and decided to share it with the world. Now she’s a nationally regarded credit coach and expert, with multiple books and television appearances. Follow her on Twitter and check out JeaneKelly.net to get the credit help you need!|
The information contained herein is provided for free and is to be used for educational and informational purposes only. We are not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law and we do not provide "credit repair" services or advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit. Articles provided in connection with this blog are general in nature, provided for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for individualized professional advice. We make no representation that we will improve or attempt to improve your credit record, history, or rating through the use of the resources provided through the OppLoans blog.