It is, in other words, a one-stop financial shop for checking, credit cards, CDs, loans, brokerage, and insurance.
Your bank refuses to give you a loan. There are some customers who find that they are constantly turned down by their bank for car and home loans as well as home equity lines of credit and financing for short-term personal needs and investments. You are not obliged to be loyal to a bank that is not loyal to you if you are creditworthy. Credit problems in your distant past should not affect your future.
“Many times I have been turned down by banks. I was turned down four times by other banks before City and Suburban Savings Bank gave me a 75% loan toward the purchase of an eight-unit brownstone,” says Smith. “The important thing to remember is to really examine the reasons that you were turned down. If your debt-to-income ratio was too high, address it and correct it.”
Your bank does not offer financial planning. Some banks meet with customers to discuss their needs for retirement, an investment portfolio, mutual funds, Fortune 500 stocks, estate planning, and various types of insurance. “It is good to have a knowledgeable group of people behind you. Your bank would like to see all of your resources in one place. Banks that do not offer financial planning lose this market share,” says Smith. “For consumers, the advantage is that it is a one-stop shopping situation.”
Asserts Cooper-Taylor, “Banks need to get back to more personal attention and consumers need to get back to making demands on these banks. I would encourage people to be more vocal if they are not pleased with the service. If we, as African Americans, do that, I think that we would find, over time, we will be taken advantage of a lot less.”
Banking secrets that could save you money
- Get checks for cheap. You may pay less if you don’t use your bank’s designated check printer. Current Inc. (800-533-4443) charges $4.25 plus $1.95 handling for 200 basic checks.
- Demand a waiver for unwarranted bounced-check fees. If you’ve written several checks on the same day, the bank typically clears the largest one first. Under this strategy, the remaining checks will bounce and you will incur separate bounced-check fees for each of them. Ask for a fee waiver if this tactic was used on you.
- Use your check/debit card to avoid ATM charges. Many banks don’t charge a fee or the fee is nominal if you use their debit or check card. You can avoid a hefty ATM surcharge by paying for your goods and services with your debit/check card instead of making a withdrawal.
- Find out if you are listed with ChexSystem. Most banks check with ChexSystem, a financial database, to see if you’ve bounced a check or had other financial problems when you apply for a checking account. They may use this information to deny your checking account request. Find out if you are listed in error by writing to: ChexSystems Inc., Attn: Customer Relations,