Bank & Credit Union Reviews

All consumers eventually need products and services provided by financial institutions such as banks, credit unions and other cash handling and lending firms during their lifetimes. Yet many people fail to do enough research into their options before they pick a local banking company or sign a financial product or service contract. As a result, they often make bad choices that either fail to best fit their needs or cost them time and money. Bad financial decisions eventually create high stress and even unnecessary debt.

Credit Critics bank reviews was created because we want every person to make better, informed financial decisions. Consider this your one stop destination for detailed financial institution and product and service reviews and tips. There is no one-size-fits-all guide for this process. We can't tell you that X or Y bank or product/service is the best choice for you. What we can do is help you make comparisons and differentiate the good options from the bad ones.

Consumer Reviews

The consumer reviews and related tools on this website are designed to help make the entire process easier. Everyone has unique financial needs based on their situation. Through reviews, you can compare interest rates, service fees, customer service and overall satisfaction related to specific financial institutions.

Why are these four areas important?

  • Interest Rates
    Typically when someone borrows money, they pay interest to the person or business supplying the funds in exchange for the privilege. When you compare financial institutions, you need to find the one that can give you the best interest rate deal possible. If you have decided to keep funds in a checking or savings account, you want the highest rate possible so that you can earn the most money off of your decision to permit the bank to have access to your funds for lending and other purposes. If you need to take out a loan, you want the lowest rate possible so that you pay less in total over time for access to funds.
  • Services Fees
    As with interest rates, a service fees rating can help you find the best services fees possible. Our consumer reviews tell you which banks charge less than others and how you can navigate various financial plans so that you are charged the least amount in fees for using an institution's products and services. For example, some banks offer no surcharge ATM access and only charge a fee on checking accounts when the account balance drops below a certain level each month.
  • Customer Service
    No one wants to deal with bad customer service every time they ask for assistance with setting up or altering their financial plans. Most people certainly do not want to deal with uncaring or difficult customer service representatives when dealing with any type of financial emergency. Customer service ratings help you pick the institution that has the friendliest and most helpful on-site and phone-based employees so that every situation is handled in a quick, efficient and caring manner that leaves you feeling confident that the institution can handle all of your financial needs.
  • Overall Satisfaction
    Some people can tolerate slightly bad customer service now and then because a bank or credit union satisfies them enough in other areas. This ratings category helps you to recognize where on the scale other consumers ranked the overall quality of their experiences with specific institutions.

Every review also includes a consumer summary outlining each person's specific experiences with different companies. Think of these reviews as the modern, virtual equivalent of word of mouth reviews discussed face-to-face or over the phone among family members, co-workers and friends. These summaries give you detailed examples of common and uncommon banking scenarios that might play out for you in the future and the types of responses to expect from a specific financial institution. This type of insight is invaluable in choosing a bank, credit union or other firm that truly values you as a customer and hopes to build a relationship with you that lasts for years and possibly from generation to generation within your family.

As you review all of this information, we recommend that you consider and compare other important banking factors as well, such as the availability of 24-hour customer and emergency services, mobile and remote banking tools and paycheck and ATM deposits. You should also make certain that any financial institution you select to work with in the future has ATMs and branches close to your home and workplace so that you never need to run out of your way and waste time and money on driving or public transportation trying to perform tasks that require access to your accounts and/or financial advisers.

Products and Services

You can also find on our pages detailed information about important things to keep in mind when selecting a wide range of financial products and services, including:

  • Checking and Savings Accounts that are used primarily to safeguard your money as the account depositor until you need it and make it easier for your to transfer money and pay bills. With interest-bearing checking and savings accounts, the financial institution pays you to keep money in the accounts so that it has more money to draw from when lending and performing other actions.
  • Debit Cards that allow you the freedom to access deposited money from anywhere without going to your bank or credit union in person to remove the money as cash. Debit cards make it possible for you to have all of your money available at any time without the risk of carrying a lot of cash in your wallet. You can use debit cards to pay for products and services via safe PIN-based electronic payment or remove cash from automated teller machines. You can also use debit at many locations via signature-based transactions to take advantage of rewards programs offered by your financial institution.
  • A Certificate of Deposit or CD that provides you with an interest-bearing money savings option that is typically risk free because of insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Credit Administration Union for banks and credit unions, respectively. CDs usually give you the ability to save money with a fixed rate that does not fluctuate like the variable rates found through other investment methods. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and some financial institutions are not insured and offer variable rates. CDs are designed with a fixed maturity period, as with other interest-bearing products, as a means for financial institutions to guarantee that you stay their customer and your money stays with them.
  • Loan Products, such as home, auto and student loans, that make it possible for you to invest in your future when you do not have enough cash saved to do it on your own. Loan products can have fixed and variable rates and repayment often occurs via a monthly payment arrangement that lasts for an agreed upon period of time. The descriptions for these loans are usually straightforward: A home loan assists you with buying a new residence, an auto loan makes it possible for you to drive the vehicle that you want or need for personal, business or work reasons and a student loan pays for your courses and other academic expenses like books, housing and food while you study. In most cases, you start repaying the loan within 30 to 90 days. With student loans, you usually begin repayment after you have earned your degree.
  • Small Business and Commercial Banking Products that help business owners at every level, including mom-and-pop shops, big boxes, franchises and corporations, make their deposits and transfers faster and more efficient and achieve success during both good and bad times. These products often mirror non-commercial banking products, but provide much higher loan and credit line amounts and more extensive money handling and security options. Additionally, business financial advisers that work with small business and commercial banking products often supply more-specialized, industry-specific investment support.
  • Credit Cards that supply a line of credit for a prearranged amount that you can use for personal or business spending. Credit card products can have either low or high interest rates. Consumers are borrowers when they set up credit card accounts and must pay for the privilege of receiving access to credit no matter the amount. Credit card companies usually offer a no interest or low interest introductory period. They also usually provide you with a wide selection of reward program options so that you can choose a card that benefits you the most when you use the available credit, such as cash back and discounts on gas, vacation, travel, consumer home and other products and services.

These and many other financial products and services pose different challenges to consumers based on a variety of factors. Your ability to enjoy the financial freedoms that they offer is heavily dependent on your background, which includes your financial history, credit score and credit worthiness, criminal history, age and current job. With certain products, like student loans, your parents' or guardians' income and financial history might also be taken into account depending on your age. We break all of these potential obstacles down for you so that you can go into any meeting with a financial adviser as prepared as possible. If you have had problems in the past with receiving approval for a bank account, loan or other financial product, our reviews can also help you find the banks, credit unions, mortgage firms and other companies that are prepared to work with consumers who have negative elements in their financial profiles and backgrounds that can limit their options.

Exploring Our Reviews

You do not need to be a banking guru to gain access to the money and financial tools you need when you need them or to use money in a responsible fashion and make good financial decisions. The research you conduct through our convenient banking reviews can sufficiently prepare you at basic, medium and advanced knowledge levels for almost any type of financial scenario and decision.

Start reading through our bank reviews today and help others by contributing your own experiences! You will not be disappointed with our comprehensive information and other services.