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Barbara Anderson
CENTURY 21 New Millennium

How You Know the Right Time to Leave Your Bank

Maybe it’s the high fees, not enough ATMs, lousy service or low interest rates on savings accounts that convince you to finally leave your bank. It could be all of those things, or something much worse. Everyone has their own pain point.

If you’re unsure if your bank is doing the best job for you and meeting your needs, that’s a red flag. Some may have bigger problems for you than others — such as high interest rates on home loans— and others may not matter to you so much. Here are some you should consider:

Poor Service
If tellers used to greet you by name and no longer do, your bank has poor hours, or you’re forced to go through a phone tree to get a question answered, it’s probably time to find a new bank.

You’ll know if a bank doesn’t meet your needs and it goes beyond a bank employee being rude or not helping you solve a problem. If you’ve talked to the branch manager and your problem still isn’t resolved, visit other banks and see how they’d help you differently.

Won’t Match Interest Rates
Interest rates for loans and savings accounts are at opposite ends of each other, but your bank should offer different types of each that are in line with what other banks are charging or paying.

It’s often worthwhile to shop interest rates and can easily be done online. If you find a better rate on your home loan and your bank won’t at least match it, then it can be worth the effort to move that loan to a new lender. The same goes for savings accounts, which often have higher rates at online banks.

High Fees
Hopefully you’re not enduring high fees for overdrafts or a monthly checking account fee because your account balance isn’t above $1,500. These small dings add up over time, and while they’re only an annoyance if you only face them one month out of the year, they’re worth asking your bank to waive them if you’ve been a customer for years.

If they won’t, chances are you can find a credit union, online bank or another bank nearby that doesn’t charge maintenance fees and has lower fees or none at all.

You’re Moving
Getting a new bank account when you move is common and one you shouldn’t avoid if your bank doesn’t have a branch near your new home. Call your bank’s customer service line to see if it has a branch near you. 

You may be able to do all of your banking online, but from time to time you may need to visit a physical branch, so changing to a new bank can be a good long-term move.