Banking in the United States is different than in other countries. The US has Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which protects your deposits up to $250,000 regardless of the institution. This means that you are guaranteed to have access to your money even if a bank fails. In addition, US banks are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC). The OCC is responsible for ensuring the safety and soundness of all domestic and foreign banks operating in America. To make it easier to find a bank, we’ve compiled a list with 10 tips on how to find one when moving abroad.
How to find a bank in the USA?
1. Choose a bank with branches in your area.
You can find this information on the bank's website or by calling the customer service line.
2. Check their location in USAA.com . You can search for banks near you, and use the map to see where they are located.
3. Check for branch openings and closings . The OCC maintains a list of banks that have either closed or are planning to close their doors at any time due to financial distress or failure to meet federal regulations. It is important to stay updated on these closures so you can make an informed choice about which bank is right for you.
4. Consider credit unions , which are non-profit, member-owned institutions that provide banking services in addition to savings and loan services (i.e., checking accounts). Credit unions differ from banks because they do not normally participate in FDIC insurance programs, but they do offer some of the same features as banks, such as credit cards and savings accounts.
5. Look for a local bank with a good reputation . You can find that information on the bank's website or by calling the customer service line.
6. Check your credit score . The easiest way to find out your credit score is to sign up for free on Credit Karma , which will show you exactly how you're doing in all three credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – and even give you advice on how to improve your score.
7. Consider opening an account at a local credit union . Credit unions are non-profit institutions that provide banking services in addition to savings and loan services (i.e., checking accounts). Credit unions differ from banks because they do not normally participate in FDIC insurance programs, but they do offer some of the same features as banks, such as credit cards and savings accounts.
8. Consider opening an account at a community bank . Community banks are very different from national banks because they are owned by their local communities. This means that there is a lot of local involvement in the decision-making process and the bank is more likely to have a community-based focus.
9. Consider opening an account at an online bank . Online banks are similar to credit unions and community banks, but they are owned by large, national financial institutions that offer banking services like checking accounts, credit cards, and savings accounts. They also have more robust technology systems than credit unions and community banks.
10. Consider opening a joint account with your spouse or partner . Joint accounts can be beneficial because you can split the cost of fees between the two of you (or even three or four people). Plus, if one person does not pay on time or has bad credit, it will not affect the other person's score as long as they do not have access to his/her funds without permission from both parties.
11. Consider opening a business account . If you run a small business with only one or two employees, you should consider opening a business account at a local bank. This way, you can get the benefits of working with a local institution while still having access to the same banking services that larger businesses have.
12. Consider opening an investment account . You can open an investment account at a bank or brokerage firm and invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other types of investments. You will pay fees for this service but it is a good way to diversify your portfolio and increase your net worth.
13. Consider opening a checking account for your child . If you have children who are under 18 years old, you should consider teaching them how to manage their own money as early as possible. If they have access to their own savings accounts or credit cards from the time they are very young (say ages 4-6), they will be more responsible with their money and less likely to waste it on things like video games or expensive clothes when they grow older if they know how to manage their money.
14. Consider opening a joint checking account . If you and your spouse have separate checking accounts, you should consider opening a joint account so that you can monitor each other's spending habits and help each other with money management.
15. Consider getting a credit card . In most cases, if you are not being reckless with your finances, taking out a credit card is not a bad idea. Having one will give you the ability to charge up to 25% of your available credit limit (a maximum of $2,000 per month) for things like groceries or gas if you need to use it in an emergency situation when cash is tight.
16. Try to avoid unnecessary debt . If you have been using credit cards or other forms of debt because they make it easier for you to buy things that are on sale or because they compound every month without ever being paid off, then please reconsider how much debt you are accumulating and make sure that it is being used for things that you truly need.
17. If you are going to use credit cards, use them wisely . Credit cards can be extremely useful if used properly, but make sure that you understand how much of a debt you are accruing by using them. Also, do not spend more than your available credit limit as this will lead to an increase in your interest rate and a decrease in the amount of money that is available for future purchases.
18. Try to save at least 15% of your income . If you have never been able to save anything, then please read this article on the 3 reasons why people fail at saving money and this article on how much money people should be saving each month before going further with this list of tips.
19. Make sure that you pay all of your bills on time . I cannot stress enough the importance of making sure that all of your bills are paid on time. This will help ensure that you don't get into any trouble with creditors or debt collectors.
20. Be careful of credit card offers . Credit cards are an extremely useful tool for managing your debt, but make sure that you are aware of any credit card offers that you receive in the mail before signing up for them.
21. Never use a high interest credit card to pay off a low interest credit card . Many people think that they can save money by using their high interest credit cards to pay off their low interest ones and this can result in significant amounts of unnecessary debt accumulation.
22. Never use a debit card to make purchases . Debit cards are extremely useful, but they are one of the most common ways for people to accumulate unnecessary amounts of debt because they allow you to spend more than you have available on your account without having to pay for it.
23. Never buy anything on credit . This can be the most expensive way to go if you don't have a good credit history because you will have to pay interest on the money that you borrow.
24. Don't use credit cards to pay for your monthly bills . If you are paying all of your bills with a credit card, then there is a good chance that you will end up paying more than you need to in order to accumulate debt.
25. Pay off your debt as soon as possible . If you are not able to pay off any of your debt within 6 months then it is probably best for you to do something about it before things get too out of hand.
26. Don't keep unnecessary amounts of cash on hand . I'm not talking about the money that you keep in your wallet, but rather the money that you keep in your checking account. The truth is that it is extremely easy to accumulate unnecessary amounts of debt if you do not have enough money on hand to pay for it.
27. Never use a credit card as a backup for your savings account . If you are using a credit card as a savings account then there is a good chance that you will end up with an excessive amount of debt because the interest rates on credit cards are usually extremely high.
28. Don't buy stuff on credit unless necessary . If you don't have enough money to pay for something that you need, then it is best to wait until you can pay for it with cash instead of using a credit card.
29. Don't buy stuff on credit that you don't need . If you are not able to pay for something that you are buying on credit, then it is best to wait until you have enough money to pay for it with cash instead of using a credit card.
30. Don't buy stuff on credit unless you can afford the payments . If you cannot afford the payments that are associated with the purchase of something then it is probably best not to use a credit card at all because if you do end up defaulting on your debt, then there will be a high chance that your debt will be sent after collection agencies and this can result in receiving some very large bills in the mail.
Tips on how to set up an account
When you move abroad, you will need to open an account with a bank. To find a bank in the US, start by going to FindABank.org. The website will help you search by state and city for banks that are registered with the OCC and have a physical address. This is important because it gives the bank credibility and allows customers to locate them easier.
In addition, make sure that any bank you consider has online access so that you can take care of business from anywhere. With online banking, you can view your account balance, pay bills, and transfer money easily from home or on vacation. You can also do things like order checks from home or request wire transfers anytime without having to go into the bank office!
Consider mobile banking
Mobile banking allows you to make deposits such as paychecks and taxes from your phone. This is a convenient way to access money when traveling abroad. Because of the convenience of mobile banking, it’s also a good option for keeping tabs on how much money you have in your account at any given time. Of course, there are other apps that can do this too, but mobile banking is still an important feature to look for.
Consider online banking
If you’re looking for a bank, an excellent place to start is online. If you’re able to use the internet, chances are good that the bank you want will be easy to find and accessible via their website. Almost all banks have a search bar on their website where you can type in your city and state for the best options in your area. Since there are many banks competing for your business, it pays to do some research to find a reputable institution.
Check out your credit scores
There are two main types of credit scores in the US: FICO scores, which measure credit risk and are used for consumer lending, and VantageScore 3.0 scores, which use a different model to measure credit risk and are used for commercial lending. The FICO score is based on credit history while the VantageScore uses a broader range of information such as payment history, debt levels, income, etc.
Some banks offer both types of scores. Choose the type that best suits your needs.
Find the best checking accounts for your needs
When you’re moving to the US, it’s important to find a checking account that meets your needs. The best checking accounts offer low fees and a wide range of features and benefits. Some features include ATM withdrawals, mobile banking, or online bill pay. You should also look for accounts that offer free balance transfers or no minimum balance requirements.
Find the best savings accounts for your needs
Your first step in finding a bank should be to find the best savings account for your needs. You can compare savings accounts, see fees and rates, and learn about other banking services such as online or mobile banking with the help of this tool from USA.gov.
While comparing different banks and their savings account options, make sure to consider the following:
* Interest rates
* Minimum balance required for certain accounts
* Credit history
* How easy it is to open an account
Find a bank near you. When moving abroad, it’s important to find a bank that’s close by so you can have access to your funds easily. It also helps if you have friends or family living there who can give you a recommendation on which bank is best suited for your needs.
Consider a different type of account
There is a new type of account that you may want to consider in order to better protect your money. This account would be an interest-bearing checking account, which offers FDIC insurance as well as a higher interest rate than regular checking. The downside of this account is that it doesn’t provide any Federal Deposit Insurance, so you will have to make sure the bank you choose is one that has been audited by the OCC and has enough capital on hand to pay off its deposits if it failed.
Another way to protect your money is through a savings account or certificate of deposit (CD). This type of account provides FDIC insurance on the initial investment, but does not offer any interest until the CD matures and must be closed out. CDs are also less liquid because they can't be directly cashed out without incurring a penalty.
Whether you're looking to open an account or make a switch, these ten tips will have you set up in no time.
It's time to bank in the USA! Even if you're not sure where to start, these ten tips are sure to make your banking experience a breeze.