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Is a community bank right for you?

Choosing the right bank often comes down to personal preferences and values. Many
consumers understand the appeal of banking with a financial institution with roots in the
community where they live.

Community Banks are independent, locally owned institutions focused on serving the families
and businesses in the area, rather than on the needs of large corporations, according to the
Independent Community Bankers of America.

Here are a few things to consider about community banks:

Accessible mortgages
Community banks are familiar with the local real estate market. When it comes time to buy a
home, community banks like Mound City Bank can offer competitive deals on mortgages, as
well as helping eligible first-time buyers apply for programs that provide special grants and down
payment assistance.

When evaluating a mortgage application, large banks tend to weigh objective factors like credit
scores more heavily, while many community banks are willing to also factor in individual
circumstances, including character and family history.

Diverse checking options
You may find that the checking account options available at a community bank are tailored to
meet the needs of the families and individuals living in the area. For example, consumers can
choose from basic checking accounts with free online and mobile banking access, premium
checking accounts with extras like identity theft insurance and a safe deposit box, and interestbearing
checking accounts.

Safety and security
Whether your bank is large or small, your deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation , up to $250,000 per customer per institution. No bank customer
has ever lost money from FDIC-insured deposits.

Latest tech
Community banks invest in the latest financial technology to make it easy to get your banking
done, wherever you are. Even if your job or interests take you to a different locale, you can still
easily keep in touch with your hometown bank through online banking or your mobile banking
app. Many community banks support popular digital payment options such as Apple Pay.

Supporting neighborhood growth
Another reason to do business with a community bank: your dollars on deposit go to fuel the
vitality of your local economy. Unlike big national banks, community banks channel most of their
loans to the consumers and small businesses in their neighborhoods, which means the money
that you keep on deposit will be put to work to helping your neighborhood thrive.

A community bank may be a good choice if you are looking for a more personalized banking
experience and want to do business in a way that helps support economic growth in your

Jeanne Lee, NerdWallet

© Copyright 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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