We're in the Money: Tips for Getting the Most From Your Bank

Aug 05, 2021 at 10:27 am by RMGadmin

with Mandy Garland, FirstBank 
These days there are more and more choices when it comes to banking. Choosing a bank is a personal decision that shouldn’t take lightly. Switching banks takes some time and effort, so a little preparation on the front end can ensure you find the best fit.  

Get to Know Different Banks

There are many institutions for you to choose from. Do you have minimal transactional needs? You might consider a smaller bank. On the other hand, if you want a complete financial solution for mortgages, personal banking, business banking, and investments, several regional banks offer a community bank feel with large bank solutions. National banks are also an option if the convenience of multiple state branch locations is appealing. Additionally, have you seen signs advertising your bank? Is the bank involved in the community and things that are important to you?  

Know Your Banker 

As in all business relationships, things will likely go much smoother if you are familiar with the person you are dealing with. It’s important to have a good rapport with your Banker. Get a reference from your friends and neighbors. Maybe a local community group you are involved with has a banker on the team. Your bank must be as invested in you and your community as you are. 

Understand the Fine Print  

Banks are heavily regulated and therefore required to disclose lots of information when signing up for new products. Don’t get overwhelmed. Bankers are there to help you. Ask as many questions as you need to understand interest rates and any account charges. For example, if a bank offers a special product with a much higher than average interest rate, make sure you understand what conditions must be met to receive the special rate.   


Bank technology has come a long way. Checks can be deposited online. There are numerous ways to transfer funds, even if the person doesn’t bank at the same place as you. Check out the website or the ease of the mobile banking site through a demo if one is available. 

Think Ahead  

Don’t just consider your current situation. Try to imagine the next stage of your life as well. Will you likely buy a new home in the next few years? If so, make sure your bank has a good, reputable mortgage originator on the team. Are you thinking about how to retire early? Maybe consider a bank with a knowledgeable wealth management team.   Remember, your bank is there to serve you. So make it a priority to find a big enough bank to handle all of your banking needs and yet local enough to play a part in your community.  

Mandy Garland serves as Senior Vice President,
Middle Tennessee Regional Marketing Coordinator for FirstBank.