Are you torn between community banks and big national banks? Read on to learn the major advantages of community banking.
Personal Finances

Cashing In: 4 Benefits of Community Banks

If you’re looking for a place to store your money, you’ll likely find yourself at a crossroads between a large, national branch and a more community-oriented bank.

Community banks might not have the name recognition of national brands, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come with a whole wealth of benefits.

Why might you want to consider banking with a community bank as opposed to a national one? What are the benefits of going this route and what might the potential drawbacks be? 

Read on and we’ll walk you through the basics that you should be aware of when it comes to community banking.

1. Invest In Your Own Community

Large national banks spend most of their time investing globally in large ventures that tend to, as you might imagine, make them money. The dealings of a large national bank are going to be taking place very far away from your own home.

Local community banks, on the other hand, are much more likely to use the deposited funds in their accounts to invest in the local community around them. That would include everything from neighborhood small businesses to individuals needing to take a loan out.

They are also more likely to sponsor and support community organizations, including non-profits, high school arts programs, and so forth.

When you make the decision to keep your money in a community bank, you can rest easy knowing your money is actually being used to help the world around you, not better the bottom lines of large corporation owners.

The community bank has a motivation to better the community around them, for as the community grows and prospers, so does the bank. If you’ve been looking for a way to think local and to help the neighborhood and community around you, choosing this sort of banking can be very helpful.

2. Local Banks Provide Similar Products

Worried that you’re going to miss out on some of the features you might get by keeping your money in a larger, national chain? If you do a little research, you might find that you actually don’t have much to lose by going with a community bank instead.

In fact, community banks today almost all of the same services and opportunities that a national bank does — often at a lower cost to you, the customer!

Almost any community bank nowadays will be able to offer services such as mobile check deposits, online bill pay, and the ability to provide both debit and credit cards.

Your community bank will likely have its own phone application as well, allowing you on-the-go convenience when it comes to depositing checks or checking your balance. 

At the end of the day, you’ll end up paying less in fees for all of these advantages at a community bank as compared to a national one. Once upon a time, national chain banks might have had this advantage over smaller ones, but the advance of technology has allowed a sort of democratization.

You can now find all the services you need and desire within your own neighborhood. 

3. Easier To Obtain Loans

Do you foresee a situation in your future where you might need to go out and secure a small loan of some kind? Maybe you’ll be launching a new business and need some extra money to launch your new venture.

It will often be much easier to secure this kind of loan at a community bank than it would be via a national chain. When you apply for a loan at a national chain bank, you are only what the bank sees on paper.

However, at a community bank, you are more likely to have an ongoing personal relationship with the bank. You’ll have a local reputation in the community and a history of previous interactions with the bank and its employees.

All of this can factor into your application, not just the hard numbers like your credit score. A community bank will be more interested, passionate, and invested in the chances of your success than a national chain would be.

Community banks rely on the success of small businesses in the community for their own prosperity. As the logic goes, they want you to succeed. You can be much more supported in these kinds of endeavors if you decide to keep your banking local as opposed to going with some sort of national entity.

This is one of the major benefits of community banks such as Farmers Bank

4. Better Personal Service

In most situations, you’ll find that a local community bank offers much better customer service than a national bank. You are going to enjoy the experience of working with a community bank much more.

Employees at a community bank often will be able to connect personally with their clients, build relationships, and have overlapping local interests. It’s easier to feel as if you are a part of a larger community when you head to this kind of bank.

At a national chain, you’re an isolated individual, performing a transaction. At a community bank, you’re part of a larger family. That can make a world of difference when it comes to the overall experience of your banking.

You can find comfort in knowing that there’s a familiar face behind the counter when you come in, and one that is going to be happy to see you. 

Benefits of Community Banks

There’s a lot of reasons to consider investing your money with community banks instead of national chain banks. The above points are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many advantages that community banks have to offer.

Need more personal finance tips and tricks? Keep scrolling our blog for more.

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