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What kind of questions should I ask before choosing a bank?

If you are looking for a new bank, you may want to ask several questions. Credit.com suggests you ask these seven questions before choosing a bank:

1. What are my options? Ask questions about how many branches the bank has, whether they are focused on personal or commercial account, and what services they offer.
2. What type of account(s) do I need? With this question, you will want to find out what the fees or minimum balances are for checking accounts, and what the interest rates are for savings accounts. Also find out what the fees are for ATM transactions at non-bank ATMs.
3. Where is most convenient? It is good to have a branch close to home and work.
4. Is my money safe? You want a bank that is insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). This means that you will be protected if the bank fails. The National Credit Union Administration has similar coverage for credit unions.
5. Will my past be a problem? Some banks will not open a new account with you if you have a history of bounced checks or other negative history.
6. What happens if I bounce a check? Find out what the bank’s policy is on overdraft fees. You may want to consider setting up an overdraft line of credit.
7. What’s in the fine print? Ask for all of the information from the questions above in writing and file it for future reference:

To this list, we would add a number 8: how seriously does the bank take online banking security? When banking online, you want to be confident that no one else can access your information. A great security feature that some banks have is two-factor authentication, where you have “something you know” (your username and password) and “something you have” (a one-time password token or other security device). For more information, see “How can I improve my security when banking online?

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