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Getting a Loan: 4 Reasons To Stick To Your Current Bank

When you are in the market for a new loan, there are a number of things you need to take into consideration when making your comparisons. With so many different lenders and loan products however, this comparison can be stressful, time consuming and confusing – but unfortunately it needs to be done because a loan is definitely not a financial product you want to get wrong. The wrong loan can be costly, it can be frustrating, it can put your security at risk and you can be stuck with it for many years.

Fortunately there is a way to make all of these comparisons a little easier. You can’t and shouldn’t avoid spending the time comparing loans, but what you can do is make the comparisons you need to with your current bank, and save yourself some time and save your sanity.

1 – Type of loan

Each lender will offer a number of different loans, but most lenders will specialise in a certain type of loan. Whether a lender is a small business specialist, a teacher’s credit union or a financial institution which specialises in bad credit cases, they will have these specialities to allow them to better understand and cater to their particular client, and offer more comprehensive services for their target customer.

If you can find a lender who specialises in your type of loan, then you will save yourself time in the approvals process because you won’t apply to a high profile lender when you need a bad credit specialist for example, who can offer you alternative verification procedures. Similarly, if you are a small business owner, you want to be dealing with a lender who is a specialist in low doc loans.

Therefore, when you first applied for your current loan, transaction or savings account you should have sought out a lender based on your needs and the type of product you were after, as well as the type of person you are. As a result, your current bank should already be perfectly matched to your needs and situation, and should therefore be the perfect financial institution to tailor a loan to your needs.

2 – Staff

When there is a problem with your account or you have a question you don’t want to be endlessly on hold and you want to speak to someone who will listen and be able to help you. If you already have a number of accounts with a certain lender you will know the level of customer service you receive and whether your questions are answered promptly and easily.

It is also important for a bank to have a well qualified loan officer on their staff who is able to look at your situation and tell you upfront whether you will qualify for a loan, and whether there is anything you can do to improve your chances of approval. If you already have a loan with your current bank then you will have dealt with the loan officer previously, and they will know your financial history in detail. This can help reduce the perceived risk to the bank of lending you more money, as they can see the intricate details of your loan history and how reliable you are with your repayments.

Going back to the small business example, if your current bank is a small business specialist, they will also likely have a small business advisor as part of their staff. Having specialist staff to meet your needs means you can discuss exactly why you need the loan, and your goals for your business, to make sure that a loan is the right option.

3 – Access

Successfully managing your finances means always knowing what is going on with your accounts. Therefore, whether you prefer to check your balances online, on your smart phone, by calling the phone banking number of popping into a branch on your way to work, you will have established routines with your current accounts. This not only means you can stay on top of your accounts, but it also means you know the best ways to avoid unnecessary fees.

Even if you are getting a loan with your existing bank you will likely have to go into the branch to complete the paper work, and this gives you a chance to discuss your loan needs. However, there is no doubt that online banking is much faster and convenient than a branch visit could ever be, and by applying for a new loan with your current lender you don’t need to learn any new online banking systems, or remember any new online banking passwords, because you can access all of your banking products in the one place.

4 – Reputation and relationship

The reason word of mouth advertising is so successful is because it is devoid of any marketing hype or spin, and simply tells the true story of a real personal experience with a service provider. When you are shopping around for anything new, chances are you’ve asked your friends and family which product or service they use, and whether they are happy, to help you narrow down your search and choose a reputable and reliable product. However, the danger when relying too heavily on word of mouth advertising when it comes to banking products lies in how different your financial situation is to that of your friends and family.

There is usually a lot more going on with other people’s finances than they’ll let on, so one person’s experience with a bank may not necessarily reflect another’s. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t rely on word of mouth advertising at all when looking for a lender, because you can ask yourself about your experiences with your current bank, and receive an honest and relevant answer. Ask yourself whether you are happy with the service, whether it is easy to do your banking with your current bank, and whether the products are reasonably priced and fully featured. This will give you a good indication of whether it is worth you taking out a new loan product with your current bank – whom you already know everything about.

Plus, when you have an existing relationship with your bank, it is often possible to have loan application fees waived, and you may even be able to negotiate on any ongoing fees, or qualify for a lower interest rate because you are known to the lender.

Alban has been blogging about personal loans for the last 3 years. He has also contributed several articles on savings accounts and credit cards.

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Date:
February 29, 2012 um 9:29 am
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