Personal and Business Banks – Choosing One for You

As you browse various banks to choose the one that fits your needs, take the time to learn about the assistance and services offered because many differences exist. By asking questions, you can learn what financial institutions offer and choose one that matches your lifestyle and investment requirements.

Location and Convenience

The way you manage your money will determine what type of institution you need for your money. If you need an organization with a convenient location to enable you to stop in while you’re running errands or on your way to or from work throughout the week, narrow your search to include only institutions with convenient locations. Don’t forget to consider the hours of the organization, also, to ensure that it will be open when you typically stop in.

Services

Ask about the services offered by any branch you consider using. Compare interest rates for all organizations you consider to enable you to receive the most return for your investment dollars. A full-service institution will likely offer both online banking and a walk-in branch to service customers. Online services should enable you to check your account balances, schedule payments, pay bills, transfer money, and make deposits. Find out if the branch has an ATM available for 24/7 transactions. Ask if the bank makes it possible for customers to use ATMs within the same network in other locations. Many banks provide foreign currency upon request for clients traveling internationally. Ask about the availability of foreign currency upon request, and find out how the branch assists customers traveling abroad.

Fees

Banks levy a variety of fees for their services. Find out exactly what fees you will incur as a customer of any financial institution before you deposit your money. Many institutions have fees associated with accounts. Ask about minimum balances required for accounts to learn whether you can avoid some fees. You may encounter overdraft fees, also. Overdraft fees would occur if your account balance falls into the red because you wrote a check or used your debit card. Some organizations will also charge a specific amount for each day an account is in “overdrawn” status. Most banks offer ATMs for their customers, but find out what fees are involved with using this convenience. It’s common for banks to provide a free ATM machine on-site for the convenience of their customers. Often, you won’t incur a fee for using the ATM located at the branch unless your usage exceeds minimums set by the institution. You can use other ATMs in other locations, but this type of usage will usually incur a fee.

A financial institution’s credentials and reputation are another factor to consider as you weigh the pros and cons of any organization. In the end, you should base your final decision on the branch that offers the most services for the least money, while prioritizing customer service and satisfaction. Any organization with these priorities should be able to take care of all of your financial needs without a problem.

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Separating Your Personal and Business Credit

Did you know that with one simple step you will increase your chances of obtaining business financing by more then 300%?

Lending institutions don’t always tell you all the requirements and where they go to qualify you and your business, before you apply for financing. A significant step in qualifying you and your business is to pull your personal AND business credit. Do you know what your credit reports look like?

As an expert in the small business credit industry, it’s been my experience that fewer than 10 percent of entrepreneurs know about or truly understand how business credit is established and tracked; and how it affects their lives and businesses everyday.

Last month I spoke with a potential client (J.G.) who had questions about his credit situation. J.G. is a typical small business owner, who runs a small retail store in southern California and generates a decent profit.

In the good years he is able to take his family on a trip to Hawaii for a week. Something they all love to do. J.G. told me that he just applied for a mortgage on a new home and was denied. He started his business three years ago and never had previous credit problems. He couldn’t understand why he was refused because he paid his personal bills on time.

I asked if he had opened any lines of credit for the business in the last three years. He said one line of credit with a bank for $60,000, but nothing else. I then asked if he had received credit or terms to pay suppliers for his retail store any time since starting the company. “Oh Yeah. Of course,” he said. Here is where the problem arose for J.G. His retail store needed several suppliers for all the products he sells. Unfortunately J.G. had applied for credit with each of these suppliers under his personal name during the last year. I asked if he paid all of those bills on time. “Not all the time, but the latest I ever paid someone was 60 days late.”

I cautioned J.G. that obviously not paying bills on time would damage his credit and that there were many other variables that determined his personal credit score. If you want just a simple system to keep your credit in good standing consider this one simple rule, make sure your debt load is no more then 25% of your gross income, even though many banks will lend at 33% to 38%.

Introduction to Personal and Business Savings Accounts

Savings accounts can be of two major types. Accounts meant for individual use are called personal savings accounts and those for the use of businesses are called business accounts.

Many people would like to invest in banks instead of having money locked up at home. Money which would had remained idle is sure to fetch some interests and benefits by investing or depositing in banks. Personal can meet their requirements.

Savings can be of great use in long term. It is generally a good practice to maintain a savings and deposit periodically to the account. Over time as the balance grows one can get good interest rates. Also as a long term account holder there would be many benefits offered by the banks. For example, banks generally immediately approve loan applications by long term account holders.

Business accounts on the other hand can help businesses to a great extent. They can provide good interest rates. They can even act as secondary source of steady income amidst market fluctuations. They can be used to recurring expenses like monthly bills, salary etc. In long term, when interests sum up, business are sure to get good returns.

Businesses would also want loans at many points in time. They would also require huge amount of money, which would be considerably higher than that of individual loans. Having a business savings account adds to the credit history and can help a lot in getting loan approved. These amounts can be used to improve infrastructure, start new ventures etc.