February 13, 2019
Most people in America bank at one of the big banks. Whether it's because of access needed everywhere, or mergers when they were at a smaller bank, or it's where they opened their first account and never changed, the reasons don't matter, it's a fact. Many people are becoming more distrustful of the big banks, and looking at alternatives. While many may be discouraged about switching because they think they'll lose some services, that is not true. Community banks offer the full range of banking services, often with lower costs and better rates than at larger institutions.
Much of the recent innovation in banking has taken place online. Many of us have no need to write checks anymore, so we can do most of our banking online. We get our paychecks electronically, we check our balances online, we transfer money on our computers or smartphones. There's a lot less that we need to do at a physical bank location.
So say you're looking for a bank with online checking in the state of Minnesota. You aren't limited to just the national banks. Community banks now offer the same online services as their national rivals. Whether you're looking for online checking, online bill pay, or mobile banking, your local community banks have that covered.
In addition to providing the same services as larger banks, local banks also do so at lower cost. The fees at local banks are on average much lower than those at big banks. So you can get the same services at a local bank, and pay lower fees than you normally would.
Another popular misconception is that community banks don't offer all the financial services of larger ones. So no matter what you're looking for, whether it's checking and savings accounts, a mortgage, auto loans, or loans for a small business, make sure that you check out your local bank as well.
In addition, when shopping for a loan, community banks often take your whole situation into account. They won't look at just your credit history, or just at a generic form that every applicant gets. Your situation will be weighed by a loan officer, who will be able to take into account the nuances in your life.
And on top of that, local banks keep their loans in the community, and are often one of the largest sources of lending for small businesses. So if you're looking to support your local businesses in another way, banking at a community bank is a great way to help.
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