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Your Bank: Love It or Leave It?

Cameron Huddleston

A new survey shows that a majority of consumers want to break up with their financial institution.



It's Valentine's Day, so now is a good time to reflect on your relationships -- your financial relationships, that is. What? You were expecting love advice from Kiplinger's?

SEE ALSO: 5 Annoying Bank Fees to Avoid

An important relationship to evaluate is the one you have with your bank. That's because there's a good chance you're not satisfied. More than 70% of consumers say they would like to break up with their bank, according to a recent survey of 1,050 people by McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, which has 20,084 members worldwide and serves more than 120 companies.

Survey respondents cited high or hidden fees, lack of relevant products and services, and the belief that their bank doesn't listen, resolve issues or provide clarity as the top reasons for their dissatisfaction. In fact, more than one-third compared dealing with their bank to interacting with their in-laws, and another 30% likened their bank interactions to dealing with the cable guy.

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If you're thinking about parting ways with your financial institution, we can help. First, consider these things:

-- If you're a customer of a big bank, weigh convenience versus fees or other drawbacks. You may get lower fees and better customer service at smaller banks, but you will lose the 24/7 experience bigger banks offer.

-- If you do decide to change banks, make a list of what you want in a financial institution before making a move. Consider whether you prefer to visit a branch or bank online, how often you use out-of-network ATMs and whether online bill payment or mobile banking services are important.

To help you decide whether to make a switch, what to look for and how to find the right bank for you, see this advice from Kiplinger's:

What to Look for in a Checking Account
If your bank doesn't offer these things, you might consider looking elsewhere.

Banks Woo Loyal Customers
They’re seeking a monogamous relationship. But you might be better off playing the field.

Switch to a Bank With Lower Fees
If you’re ready to act, here’s what you need to do.

7 Credit Unions Anyone Can Join
Credit unions offer the same services -- checking and savings accounts, CDs, credit cards, mortgages and auto loans -- that banks provide. But they tend to charge lower loan rates and pay higher savings yields.

Where to Find Free Student Checking
Many banks offer free student accounts with no minimum balance.

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