Choosing a bank or credit union is a financial decision that requires research and careful consideration. It is a decision we do not take lightly. At SimpleMoneLyfe, we utilize the following rating criteria to accurately evaluate Banks and Credit Unions:
- Account Options (25%): Analysts evaluate the Bank and Credit Union’s account offerings. We value institutions that offer a breadth of financial offerings: checking accounts, saving accounts, certificates of deposits, money market accounts, health saving accounts, loan products, and credit cards. Our analysis will clearly articulate what accounts are available and the associated requirements.
- Customer Experience (25%): Analysts leverage publicly available data and trustworthy sources to accurately assess the customer experience and reputation of the bank or credit union we are reviewing. Additionally, Analysts participate in product demonstrations and use personal experience to fill in coverage gaps.
- Overdraft and Hidden Fees (25%): We read the fine print. Analysts will clearly articulate the bank or credit union’s overdraft policies, fees, and protection. Nothing makes us happier than helping our readers avoid products that charge egregious or hidden fees.
- Security (10%): SimpleMoneyLyfe evaluates the bank or credit union’s security policy, identifies the level of encryption employed, and analyzes the regulatory landscape. We value companies that comply with PCI DSS industry standards, AICPA System, and Organization Controls and are ISO certified.
- Availability (15%): Analysts evaluate the availability of the bank or credit union. Is the institution entirely online, or does it also have physical locations? This guiding question helps us assess the firm’s nationwide availability.
Information and Data Collection
The editorial team and product analysts leverage expert interviews, publicly available data, and reputable third-party resources to collect relevant information and data about the bank or credit union we are evaluating. Sources include:
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Better Business Bureau
- S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- Federal Trade Commission
- Verified Google Reviews
- S. Government Publicly Available Data and Databases
Analysts review banks and credit unions on an annual basis. However, throughout the year, we make timely and relevant updates to the content to ensure its accuracy and impartiality. When a bank or credit union adjusts its fees, rates, or rolls out new products/features, we will update content.
Bank and Credit Union Review Team
The bank and credit union editorial team are financial industry veterans and experts. Collectively, they have helped our content be featured on CNBC, Business Insider, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, and more. All members of the team adhere to our strict editorial guidelines and integrity.