How to Find the Perfect Checking Account

by Andrew Schreiber 10. February 2015

Perfect Checking Account

In today’s banking world there are many variations of a simple checking account that offer different features and benefits. Most of the time you rely heavily on your bank’s recommendation as to what account works best for you, or you just default to the account that has the least amount of requirements. However, defaulting to the product with the least amount of requirements could be detrimental to you as a customer. You might be eligible for interest on your balances, free ATMs, free checks, etc. The following questions can help guide you to the best product for you:

Will you have a direct deposit into your checking account?

Having a direct deposit is becoming a more popular requirement of accounts in order to avoid a monthly service charge. The majority of companies offer direct deposit of payroll to their employees. Having a direct deposit is a benefit in and of itself; you don’t have the hassle of going to the bank to deposit your paycheck every payday. The funds transfer right into your account and are available to you that night.

A good account if you have a direct deposit would be our Classic Direct Deposit Checking account.

What is the average balance you keep in your checking account?

Maybe you like to keep some extra money in your checking account in case of emergencies. This extra money could make you eligible for a checking account that has some added benefits. No one knows the balance you keep in your accounts better than yourself.

If you keep extra money in your checking account, look for a high balance checking account you might be eligible for. Here at 1st Mariner you might fit into our 1st Select Checking account.

Will you be opening additional relationships with the bank?

Many bank customers have more than just a checking account with their bank. They have a checking account, a savings account, maybe a CD, or even a money market account. If you have a variety of products with your bank you could be eligible for a product that takes that into consideration. Take your entire relationship into consideration when you select a checking account because you may be eligible for a checking account with more features if you have other accounts with the bank.

Here at 1st Mariner Bank, if you have a minimum relationship balance of $10,000 you would be eligible for our Premier Relationship Checking account.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

4 Ways to Avoid Overdrawing Your Account

3 Things to Consider when Choosing a Bank

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Debt-to-Income Ratio: Who cares? You Should and Here’s Why

by Andrew Schreiber 21. January 2015

Debt-to-Income

What is your debt-to-income ratio? Don't know? Don’t care? Do you plan on buying a car and getting a loan to do so? Do you plan on buying a house? If the answer is yes, you should definitely care what your debt-to-income ratio is.

Why is your debt-to-income ratio an important factor when looking to borrow money?

Before a lender approves you for a loan, they calculate your debt-to-income ratio. This gives the lender an idea of your ability to pay your monthly debts and take on a new loan. Lenders prefer to see lower debt-to-income ratios because it shows that you have a good balance between debt and income. If your debt-to-income ratio is too high, you may not be approved for the loan amount that you applied for. Generally speaking, a good goal is to keep your debt-to-income ratio at or below 36%.

How do you calculate a debt-to-income ratio?

Simply add up all of your monsthly debts and divide that by your gross monthly income (your income before taxes and other deductions have been taken out) to get your debt-to-income ratio. The formula looks like this:

Total Monthly Debts / Gross Monthly Income

Here’s an example. Let’s say you pay $400 a month for your car loan, $300 for your student loans and $300 for the rest of your monthly debts. This totals $1,000 a month in debt payments. If your gross income per month is $3,000, your debt-to-income ratio would be calculated as follows:

$1,000 / $3,000 = 0.33 = 33%

Your monthly debt-to-income ratio is 33%.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Debt to Income Ratio: What It Is and How It Helps (or Hurts) Your Chances of Getting a Loan

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4 Ways to Avoid Overdrawing Your Account

by Andrew Schreiber 10. December 2014

Where does all the money go?

Overdrawing your account can be a common occurrence for some and it can be a rare occasion for others. Either way, the hefty fine that goes along with it is enough to make you want to avoid the incident altogether. Here are a few tips to mitigate the risk of overdrawing your account.

1) Use Mobile Banking

Using mobile banking is a great way to always know the current balance in your account. It's a great solution that practically anyone with any type of phone can use. If you have an old school flip phone, you can use text banking. This is a great way to find out your balance quickly before making a purchase. Those that have smartphones have the ability to download bank apps, and some banks offer Mobile Browsers as an alternative if they do not have an app for your specific device.

2) Use a Credit Card

Credit cards are good product for customers that are more financially responsible. Instead of having to worry about each and every transaction in a given month, you only need to make one payment a month. This is definitely something that should be used by individuals who are cognizant of what they spend. Those who have a shopping problem or don’t feel comfortable managing a monthly budget probably shouldn’t use this tactic.

3) Get Online Alerts

Most banks offer alerts through their online banking service. You can receive an email and/or text message for any activity you define. For example, you can set it up so you receive an alert if your balance falls below $100. This is a great way to notify yourself that you are getting close to overdrawing your account.

4) Store Extra Cash

This is a good tactic for those who still balance a checkbook, which fewer and fewer people are doing these days. You put additional cash in your account and try to forget it's there. That way, in case you accidentally think you overdraw your account, that buffer cash will cover it. If you track your balances electronically, you may not find this approach to be as beneficial.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

3 Things to Consider when Choosing a Bank

The Importance of Reviewing Your Beneficiaries

Establishing Credit for Beginners



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