The housing wealth of homeowners aged 62 and older hit a record high of $7.82 trillion in the third quarter of 2020, the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) reported Thursday.
The association said seniors saw a $121 billion (1.6%) quarter-over-quarter gain in their housing wealth, as the value of seniors’ homes climbed by an estimated $149 billion (1.3%). The increase in home values was offset by a 1.6% or $28 billion rise in their mortgage debt.
The NRMLA/RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index was up in Q3 to 280.99, another all-time high since the index was first published in 2000.
“The reverse mortgage marketplace has greatly expanded over the past year to include more private-label products that offer consumers more options and greater flexibility compared to the FHA-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage,” said NRMLA President Steve Irwin. “While the HECM still accounts for over 90% of the market, we expect private-label reverse mortgage distribution channels to expand over time.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. long-term mortgage rates rose this week in an indication that the long period of record-low rates could soon be over.
Home loan rates touched new record lows last week, as the year opened against the continuing backdrop of damage from the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. and global economies — which suppressed rates through most of 2020.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate home loan jumped to 2.79% from 2.65% last week. By contrast, the rate stood at 3.65% a year ago.
The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans, popular among homeowners seeking to refinance their mortgages, increased to 2.23% from 2.16%.
Long-term bond yields, which can influence interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, are climbing this month amid expectations of higher U.S. government spending on pandemic relief and an economic recovery as more people get vaccinated for COVID-19.
First Community Mortgage (FCM) has announced the appointment of mortgage veteran Eric Holmes as assistant vice president.
Holmes brings 25 years of mortgage industry experience to the role, working extensively across the Worthington, Ohio, region. Most recently, Holmes was sales manager of mortgage banking at The Union Bank Company.
“Eric has a great depth of experience, focusing on home lending for first-time buyers and self-employed individuals, and especially enjoys solving challenging loan scenarios,” said FCM President Dan Smith. “It’s to his credit that those challenging cases are often referred to him by Realtors, financial planners and CPAs to help their borrowers increase cash flow, reduce expenses and save for college or retirement.”
He currently serves on the board of the Columbus Mortgage Bankers Association and is chair of the CMBA’s Ethics Committee. Additionally, he is a founding member of the Community Lenders of Central Ohio, a group of experienced mortgage lenders who work together to help borrowers and referral partners that do not meet traditional lending standards.
“My clients trust me to provide them with honest answers and straight advice on mortgages,” Holmes said. “and I’m fortunate to have many realtors, financial planners, and CPAs who entrust me with their own clients and serve them in the same way.”
Interest Rates Are Low, but Loans Are Harder to Get. Here’s Why.
Banks have tightened standards, becoming more choosy about their borrowers and asking a lot of questions.
Published Aug. 4, 2020Updated Aug. 13, 2020
As public school teachers, Tori Smith and her husband have careers that should survive the coronavirus economy, but their mortgage lender wasn’t taking any chances.
It told them that they would have to put down more money to keep the interest rate they wanted, then dialed back what it was willing to lend them. And Ms. Smith said it had checked their employment status several times during the approval process — and again a few days before the couple closed on their home in Zebulon, N.C., last month.
Ms. Smith said she had never gotten a straight answer about the new requirements, but she ventured a guess. “I felt like we had to bring more just because of Covid,” she said.
The economic crisis caused by the pandemic has driven interest rates to rock-bottom levels, meaning there has hardly been a better time to borrow. But with tens of millions of people out of work and coronavirus infections surging in many parts of the country, qualifying for a loan — from mortgages to auto loans — has become more trying, even for well-positioned borrowers.
set aside billion of dollars for future defaults have also tightened their standards, often requiring higher credit scores, heftier down payments and more documentation. Some, such as Wells Fargo and Chase, have temporarily eliminated home equity lines of credit, while Wells Fargo also stopped cash-out refinancing.
It’s not unusual for lenders to tighten the credit reins during a downturn, but the current situation has made it especially challenging for them to get an accurate read on consumers’ financial health. Borrowers have been able to pause mortgages, halt student loan payments and delay paying their tax bills, while millions of households have received an extra $600 weekly in unemployment benefits. Those forms of government support could be masking an underlying condition.
“It makes it hard for a lender to understand what the consumer’s true state of credit quality is and their ability to pay back a loan,” said Peter Maynard, senior vice president of global data and analytics at the Equifax credit bureau.
Credit card companies, for example, mailed out 57 million offers to consumers in June, a historic low and down from 272 million a year earlier, according to Mintel, a research firm that has been tracking the offers since 1999. Some banks have stopped offering the types of cards that attract people who may be focused on paying down debt, such as BankAmericard, Mintel found.
Issuers are also being careful with cards belonging to current customers, said Mark Miller, associate director of insights for payments at Mintel.
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“Good credit and a down payment are required to get the best rates, with weaker credit increasingly sidelined — particularly for older-model used car purchases,” he said.
Ford Motor said it hadn’t tightened standards on loans through its financing unit, but last month it introduced a program to make wary borrowers more comfortable. Those who buy or lease a car through Ford’s financing unit before Sept. 30 can return it within a year if they lose their jobs. Ford said it would reduce the customer’s balance by the vehicle’s book value, and then waive up to an additional $15,000.
If that measure is meant to stoke demand, no such program is necessary for home buyers.
For the first time in nearly half a century of tracking, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged about 2.98 percent, according to Freddie Mac. The mortgage industry made $865 billion in loans during the second quarter, the highest amount since 2003, when quarterly originations twice topped $1 trillion, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication.
Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
“Employment and income verification for self-employed borrowers is now multiple times more detailed as it previously was,” said Ted Rood, a loan officer in St. Louis who lends nationally.
Income verification is also more rigorous across the board, and Mr. Rood said he was required to do two verifications over the phone. It makes sense, he said: He had just prepared a loan for a married couple — a gym owner whose income had suffered and his wife, a speech therapist with a seemingly more stable position because she was able to work with clients remotely.
“We were set to close on a Monday in early June,” said Mr. Rood, who was working at Bayshore Mortgage Funding, which is based in Timonium, Md., at the time. But when the loan processor called the wife’s employer the Friday before, the processor learned that the woman had been laid off.
You bought a house prior to the pandemic, and now it’s time to move. Even if you didn’t buy a new place but still have to move, the day is here when you have to pull up stakes and go somewhere else. Yes, some moves are unexpected and this isn’t an especially great time to change places for any reason, but some people are left with few choices. But at this time, when the virus has yet to be contained, is it safe to move? It can be, if you take some precautions. The timing may not be ideal, but if you gotta go, you gotta go.
There are three main options you’ll have when deciding how you’ll be moving; with the help of family and friends, hiring a professional, or doing it by yourself. While you can ask friends and family to help you during your move, some of them might be hesitant due to the virus, so make sure you’re flexible and accepting of others willingness, or lack thereof, to help you pack up and get going. If you decide on hiring professional movers, someone is going to have to come into your current residence to see exactly what has to be moved and tell you what it will cost. Either option is going to result in you having to work closely with those you haven’t been self-isolating with, so keep in mind the proper social distancing protocols to keep you and your household safe.
Tips for Moving While Practicing Social Distancing
When your friends, family, or moving professionals arrive, they should wear a mask, gloves and coverings on their shoes. Have plenty of disinfectant spray and hand sanitizer readily available to spray down boxes or high-touch areas or objects. Make sure you also set ground rules before starting the move so everyone is on the same page. Trying to stay six feet apart as much as possible, no contact with one another, put on new gloves if you’ve taken your pair off, are just some examples. Setting boundaries will help make everyone feel comfortable and safe while helping you move.
Another way to stay as protected as possible, is to buy new boxes or use ones that you already own. Now is not the time to try to save some money by scrounging around for used boxes since cardboard can carry the virus for 24 hours, so for the sake of your health, invest in new boxes. Most movers sell them as well as other packing supplies, and they’ll deliver them to your door. Just be sure to spray with a disinfectant prior to the big day. Another option? Sanitized plastic bins, but leave them outside or in the garage for 24 hours.
Before your dedicated helpers arrive, clean all the furniture that you are taking with you. Then, on the day of the move, wear masks and gloves, maintain a 6-foot safe zone, and ask that everyone washes their hands before jumping in. Follow these same precautions once you and your belongings arrive at your destination. Plus, disinfect everything and that has been padded and wrapped once it is unwrapped, and recycle the packing materials, including the boxes, when the move is complete.
And one more crucial tip: Make sure the move can be rescheduled or cancelled outright if someone in your household becomes ill because of the coronavirus.
Precautions to Take When Hiring Professionals
If you’ve chosen to hire a moving company to assist, you can – and should – accompany them as they go from room to room to answer any questions, but do so from a safe distance. There may be another alternative, though. Bellhops, a moving service company, books moves without the need for someone to come to your home, walk around and give you an estimate.
The Chattanooga-based firm is not a moving company in the traditional sense. Like Uber and Lyft, the company uses technology and a vast amount of data collected from performing more than 200,000 moves to base your cost on the time it believes will be involved rather than on weight or number pieces you need to move. Of course, someone has to actually perform the move. But, Bellhops bonded, licensed and insured movers are fully versed with the hygiene and social-distancing practices outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization.
Each mover who arrives at your current location has deliberately chosen to accept the job. Each one arrives independently, wears gloves and a mask, avoids physical contact with his fellow workers, or the client, and cleans and disinfects the equipment used before and after the job.
If this 21st Century company isn’t active yet in your neck of the woods, you’ll have to find another mover. But if you do, make sure you and the professionals you hire take every precaution to protect your family and your things.
Syndicated newspaper columnist, Lew Sichelman has been covering the housing market and all it entails for more than 50 years. He is an award-winning journalist who worked at two major Washington, D.C. newspapers and is a past president of the National Association of Real Estate Editors.
Every small-business owner knows the open secret about business banking: It’s just not as owner-friendly as consumer banking.
There’s a reason our roundup of the best online banks has few truly free business checking accounts — accounts with no monthly maintenance fees (and thus no overly burdensome monthly service fee waiver requirements) or monthly transaction limits. Unfortunately, monthly maintenance fees and transaction limits are par for the course in the business banking world.
That sets up a sharp contrast with the consumer banking space, where the free checking accounts and free high-yield savings accounts have proliferated since the global financial crisis of the late 2000s.
Free checking accounts aren’t entirely absent from business banking. They’re just more difficult to find — which means small-business owners and solopreneurs need to know where to look.
Best Free Business Checking Accounts
These FDIC-insured online banking accounts all waive monthly maintenance fees for all account holders, regardless of account balance, transaction volumes, or cash deposit requirements. They boast other user-friendly perks besides, such as mobile banking, bill pay capabilities, cash flow management tools, and ACH functionality. That puts them head and shoulders above your basic business checking account.
Here’s what you need to know about each.
1. BlueVine Business Checking
1.00% on All Balances With Qualifying Minimum Balance
BlueVine Business Checking is a truly free business checking account that offers a nice yield for higher-balance account holders and waives transaction limits, nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees, and ATM fees within an expansive network. Every new account holder gets two free checkbooks to begin, which makes BlueVine Business Checking an excellent choice for businesses with vendors who don’t take electronic payments.
Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum balance requirement and no ongoing monthly maintenance fee.
Yield: Earn a 1.00% APY on all balances up to $100,000.
Rewards and Incentives: BlueVine has no transaction limits, waives fees at about 38,000 in-network ATMs, and delivers two free checkbooks with every new account.
Overdraft Options: BlueVine does not impose overdraft or NSF fees but may decline such transactions at its discretion.
Possible Fees: BlueVine has virtually no fees.
2. Axos Bank Basic Business Checking
Limited-Time Offer: $100 Account Opening Bonus
Axos Bank Basic Business Checking is a no-nonsense, maintenance-fee-free checking account that offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, a remote (mobile) deposit feature that’s perfect for business owners on the go, and a great welcome bonus offer.
For those keen on Axos Bank but hoping to avoid maintenance fees, Basic Business Checking is an excellent alternative to Axos Bank Business Interest Checking. And you can apply entirely online. Plus, Axos has multiple consumer bank accounts appropriate for business owners looking to manage their personal finances.
Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: The minimum opening deposit is $1,000. There’s no monthly maintenance fee.
Rewards and Incentives: To earn the limited-time welcome bonus, apply for a new Axos Bank Basic Business Checking account by Dec. 31, 2020. Then, maintain an average daily balance of at least $5,000 (new funds only) during the first three months your account is open.
Overdraft Options: Axos Bank offers an opt-in overdraft line of credit that covers overdrafts that would otherwise be returned unpaid. This line of credit has a variable interest rate comparable to a high-interest credit card. Payment of at least 5% of the balance or $25, whichever is greater, is due each statement cycle.
Possible Fees: $0.30 per item processed after the first 200 items each month.
For more information, read our Axos Bank review.
Totally Free Checking With Automatic Tax Savings and Financial Insights
The Lili Account is a truly free, all-in-one checking solution that’s built with freelancers in mind. In practice, it appeals to a much broader audience: side hustlers and gig workers supplementing W-2 income, established solo professionals (one-person businesses), and full-time freelancers.
With Lili, these folks don’t need separate bank accounts for personal and business needs — just Lili. Its signature benefits include a sub-account that simplifies tax savings, early payday for qualifying account holders, instant expense categorization, cash deposits at more than 90,000 U.S. locations, an “emergency bucket” feature that allows savings transfers as small as $1 per day, and a powerful cache of financial insights and expense management tools to help you spend (and save) smarter.
Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: Lili has no account fees or minimums.
Yield: Lili doesn’t pay interest. Check back often for the latest offers.
Rewards and Incentives: Lili’s referral program pays $25 per successful referral and delivers a bonus of $1,000 when you make 10 successful referrals. Plus, Lili makes it easy to set aside funds earmarked for tax payments, has helpful expense management and categorization tools (like quarterly expense reports), promises an early payday for account holders with direct deposit (up to 2 days early), and delivers real-time alerts about transactions and other account activities.
Possible Fees: Lili charges no account fees.
4. Brex Cash
50,000 Bonus Points After Account Approval; No Fees or Minimums
Brex Cash is the perfect replacement for your old business bank account: an easy-to-use cash account with no fees or minimums. New Brex Cash companies enjoy a generous welcome offer and ongoing rewards program, plus value-added perks worth $150,000, a user-friendly mobile app with impressive capabilities, and advance payment scheduling tools built to help you avoid late vendor payments.
Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: Brex Cash has no account fees or minimums.
Rewards and Incentives: After your account is approved and open, spend $1,000 to earn 50,000 bonus Brex Rewards points. You’ll earn points on every purchase, every day, too.
Possible Fees: Brex Cash has no account fees.
*Brex Treasury LLC is not a bank; Brex Cash is not a bank account.
5. Novo Powerfully Simple Business Banking
Opportunities to Earn Thousands in Free Perks
Novo’s Powerfully Simple Business Banking product is another branchless, free business checking option geared toward self-employed users and microbusiness owners. Its key selling points include an easy application process, opportunities to earn thousands in free perks with approved partner vendors, few if any fees, and a host of third-party integrations.
Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: The account opening minimum is $50. There’s no ongoing minimum balance requirement and no monthly maintenance fee.
Rewards and Incentives: See Novo’s website for details on opportunities to earn thousands in free perks.
Overdraft Options: Novo’s overdraft protection policy states that if Novo chooses to honor an overdraft, the insufficient funds fee is $27 per item. The returned-item fee is also $27 per item.
Possible Fees: Novo has virtually no fees besides the insufficient funds and returned-item fees.
6. Citizens Bank Clearly Better Business Checking
No Monthly Maintenance Fee; High Monthly Transaction Limit
Citizens Bank Clearly Better Business Checking is built for established small businesses with no tolerance for monthly maintenance fees. Its high monthly transaction limit (including for cash deposits) and generous overdraft options are perfect for high-volume account holders working on thin margins.
The biggest downside is the fact that eligibility is geographically limited to states in Citizens Bank’s physical branch network, mainly in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. If you happen to live and work in this part of the country, it’s difficult to envision a better free business banking option.
Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: The minimum opening deposit is $100. There’s no ongoing monthly balance requirement.
Rewards and Incentives: None.
Overdraft Options: Citizens Bank offers two opt-in overdraft options. The first is an overdraft line of credit that costs $30 per year and requires a monthly payment of the greater of $20 or 2% of the balance. The second is an overdraft savings transfer program with no annual fee. Both options charge $12 for each day an overdraft transfer occurs, regardless of the number of transfers on that day.
Possible Fees: $0.50 per item above the 200 monthly transaction limit. See terms for information about wire fees and other possible levies.
7. NBKC Business Checking Account
No Minimum Daily Balance Requirements
With no balance requirements, unlimited free transactions (no transaction fees), and fee-free access to more than 34,000 ATMs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, NBKC’s business checking account is ideal for microbusiness owners and sole proprietors without significant cash reserves. Plus, it has one of the best remote check deposit features around: the Desktop Deposit feature, which pairs with a robust mobile app to facilitate seamless deposits.
Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements: There’s no minimum daily balance requirement or ongoing monthly balance requirements.
Rewards and Incentives: NBKC refunds ATM fees charged by other banks worldwide, up to $12 per month, and charges no ATM network fees. In other words, NBKC customers enjoy free ATM use. This account comes with unlimited transactions as well.
Overdraft Options: See account disclosures for details on how NBKC’s courtesy overdraft sweep works.
Possible Fees: NBKC charges $5 to send a domestic wire and $45 to send or receive an international wire. Otherwise, it’s virtually fee-free.
Some of the banks mentioned here serve small-business owners exclusively. If you prefer to work with a bank that’s laser-focused on the needs of entrepreneurs like you, that’s a major selling point.
The other banks on this list are larger institutions that also serve consumers. If you also happen to be in the market for a new personal banking relationship, you’ll want to see what else they have to offer. Some sport rewards checking accounts, competitive CD rates, and attractive money market accounts too — not to mention high-yield savings accounts that can help you keep pace with inflation. There’s a strong case to be made for doing all your banking in the same place, whether it’s a bank or credit union.
It all depends on your financial goals and how you plan to manage your money.
Reasons to save money seem to be never-ending—college, emergencies, retirement, vacation. However, about 20 percent of Americans don’t save any of their annual income at all, according to a Bankrate survey. So if you’ve buckled down, cut your expenses and finally saved up a nice chunk of change, great! Now, the next step is finding a good place to put it.
While researching where to store your hard-earned cash, you’ll probably come across two potential account types: money market accounts and savings accounts. Many banks offer both types of accounts, but deciding between a money market account and a savings account may depend on your particular savings goals and needs, says Jeff Rose, CFP®, founder of the financial education blog Good Financial Cents.
“Both types of accounts have different rules about maintaining minimum balances,” Rose says. He adds that these factors can vary depending on the particular bank.
You may even find that making a decision between a money market account vs. a savings account is too hard and you want both types of accounts. (Don’t worry, we’ll get to that later). For now, asking the question, “How is a money market account different from a regular savings account?” is a good place start.
Here’s what you need to know to decide between a money market account and a savings account:
Money market account: Maintain growth and easy access
Not to be confused with money market funds, which are a type of investment, money market accounts are a type of deposit account.
“A money market account, traditionally, has been a high-yield savings account with higher-than-usual opening deposit requirements and/or monthly minimum balance requirements,” says Brynne Conroy, blogger for the women-focused personal finance website Femme Frugality.
You can think of the benefit of a money market account as a savings-checking hybrid. This is an important piece of the money market account vs. savings account story. On the savings side, with a money market account, you can typically earn interest on the balance you have stashed away. If the bank offering the account is FDIC insured, then your deposits are insured up to $250,000 or the maximum allowed by law.
When you’re thinking money market account vs. savings account, note that one of the unique features of a money market account is that you can access funds with a debit card as well as through an ATM and checks—just like you would with your checking account. It’s important to note that federal law does limit certain types of withdrawals and transfers from money market accounts to a combined total of six per month per account. There are no limits on ATM withdrawals or official checks mailed to you. You can also make an unlimited number of deposits.
Money market accounts may require that you open the account with a minimum amount, as well as maintain a minimum balance. If your balance falls below the required minimum, you could be charged a fee, and your account could actually be closed if you regularly dip below the minimum.
Not all banks have these requirements, though. When considering the difference between money market accounts and savings accounts and shopping for a money market account, you may be able to find one with no minimum balance requirements and with tiered interest rates, Conroy says.
A Discover Money Market Account, for instance, doesn’t charge account fees, including minimum balance fees.1 Plus, a larger deposit can put you in a higher interest rate tier, allowing you to earn even more on your savings. These are all things that can guide you when deciding between a money market account and a savings account.
Still need some help weighing money market account vs. savings account? See if any of the following scenarios jump out as describing your financial needs.
Go with a money market account if…
You want to easily access your funds.2 As you consider the difference between a money market account and a savings account, note that the debit and check-writing capabilities of money market accounts make them great for accessing your money conveniently. “A money market account makes more sense when you want to maintain liquidity and to grow your savings over time,” Rose says. Need to pay the handyman for a new water heater or access cash from your emergency fund? You don’t have to worry about keeping a ton of cash in your checking account—simply write a check directly from your money market account, or stop by the nearest ATM.
You have a large balance. Since money market accounts can require a higher minimum balance than regular savings accounts, it might be a good fit for you if you plan to keep enough money in your account to meet the requirement and avoid fees. Plus, if you plan to make large withdrawals from your account, it’s important that you keep enough funds in it so that you don’t dip below the minimum balance. “Know that if you’re not meeting minimum balance requirements, you’re more likely to have to pay a monthly maintenance fee,” Conroy says.
You want one account with the flexibility of two. If you’re liking the ability to swipe a debit card and write checks—but are also looking to earn interest on the cash you’re parking in the account—then a money market account could be for you. “A money market account may offer you the higher interest rates you would get in a savings account, plus the debit card and check-writing abilities of a traditional checking account,” Conroy explains.
Savings account: Get your nest egg started
Savings accounts are a basic deposit account where you can keep extra cash. Like money market accounts, you can earn interest on the money you have parked in the account. If you have a savings account with a bank that is FDIC insured, you’ll have that same insurance on your deposits as was described above.
Savings accounts are also subject to the same limit on withdrawals and transfers, Conroy notes. Similar to money market accounts, there are no limits on ATM withdrawals or official checks mailed to you.
Now on to the differences between money market accounts and savings accounts. For one, you can’t write checks or pay for things with a debit card when using your savings account. To access your funds, you’ll need to transfer them to another account, visit the bank or ATM to make a withdrawal or withdraw via official bank check.
Another key difference between a money market account and a savings account: The minimum deposit to open a savings account and ongoing minimum balance required for savings accounts may be lower than money market accounts. You may even be able to find savings accounts with no minimum balance requirement.
You earned it. Now earn more with it.
Online savings with no minimum balance.
Discover Bank, Member FDIC
Still deciding between a money market account and a savings account?
Go with a savings account if…
Earning interest is a goal. When debating money market account vs. savings account, know that some savings accounts could offer higher interest rates than you’d find with money market accounts. “Historically, money market accounts have offered higher interest rates in exchange for higher minimum balance requirements,” Conroy says. That’s not necessarily the case anymore, she notes. “The lines are blurring as high-yield savings accounts, typically those offered by online-only banks, get ever more competitive with money market accounts.” The Discover Online Savings Account, for example, offers a competitive interest rate and no minimum balance requirement. Plus, there are no account fees.1
You don’t plan to touch the money often. Though it’s easy to transfer money in and out of a savings account, there are more limitations to accessing your money if you’re considering the difference between a money market account and a savings account. So if you’re working on building up your emergency savings or simply don’t want to be tempted to dip into your funds regularly, a traditional savings account might be the better option. “If you know having access to your funds is not a good thing because [you tend to spend more than you should], then leaving them in a savings account makes more sense,” Rose says.
You are concerned about balance requirements. Since savings accounts can have small or no minimum balance requirements, this account type could be right for you if you’re just getting started building a nest egg and don’t have a ton to deposit yet. If you plan to make a big withdrawal, such as for a down payment on a car or security deposit on your new apartment, you don’t have to worry about dipping below a minimum balance.
How to use both accounts to your advantage
Because savings accounts and money market accounts have some similar features, deciding between a money market account and a savings account can be difficult. You’ll need to look at your banking habits and financial goals when choosing where to put your money, Rose says.
But remember, you don’t necessarily have to choose one account over the other. Having both a savings account and a money market account can help you reach various savings goals simultaneously.
If you decide to use both types of accounts, Rose suggests assigning each a specific goal. For example, you could keep a portion of your savings in a money market account so the money is easily accessible for shorter-term goals (saving for the holidays, anyone?) and more frequent expenditures for which you might use your money market debit card, ATM access or checks.
Rose says you could then consider using a savings account for a longer-term goal (the kids will grow up and go to college some day), where the money can sit and generate interest until you need it further down the road.
“Match the financial goals to the account that will serve you best,” Rose says.
Money market account vs. savings account: The best decision for you
When deciding between a money market account and a savings account, be sure to carefully examine each account’s offerings and requirements closely, “comparing things like APY, monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements and any other fees that may be associated with the account,” Conroy says.
At the end of the day, whichever account you choose (or both!) should help you reach your financial goals and money management success.
1Outgoing wire transfers are subject to a service charge. You may be charged a fee by a non-Discover ATM if it is not part of the 60,000+ ATMs in our no-fee network.
2Federal law limits certain types of withdrawals and transfers from savings and money market accounts to a combined total of 6 per calendar month per account. There are no limits on ATM withdrawals or official checks mailed to you. To get an account with an unlimited number of transactions, consider opening a Discover Cashback Debit account. If you go over these limitations on more than an occasional basis, your account may be closed. See Section 11 of the Deposit Account Agreement for more details.
A checking account is a must-have tool, but these accounts can come with monthly maintenance fees that can quickly add up. Many banks also require that you make a minimum initial deposit when you open a new account.
The following six checking accounts are free to open and don’t require an initial deposit, so they’re ideal if you’re just getting started and don’t have much money to put down. They also come with other benefits, like higher than average interest rates and early direct deposit options.
Chime Spending Account
Chime, a mobile bank, offers a Chime Spending Account that you can open in less than two minutes. This account is completely free and available to U.S. citizens ages 18 and up.
With the Chime app, you’ll be able to manage your banking and can sign up for this Spending Account (and a Chime Savings Account, if you’d like). Your Spending Account will come with a free Visa debit card. You can even set up direct deposit to further streamline your banking.
Benefits of the Chime Spending Account:
No initial deposit
No minimum balance and no monthly maintenance fees
Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit
Access to more than 38,000 fee-free ATMs
Axos Bank Essential Checking
Axos Bank is an FDIC-insured bank that’s been in business for 20 years. NerdWallet recognized Axos as offering the best checking account, and Go Banking Rates awarded Axos the title of the Best Online Bank.
With the Essential Checking account, you’ll be able to bank entirely online. Axos’ innovative banking platform integrates with apps like Mint and Venmo and allows you to aggregate multiple accounts into a single, simplified view. If you invite a friend to join, you and your friend can get $20 for every referral.
Benefits of the Axos Essential Checking Account:
No opening deposit requirement
No minimum balance requirement and no monthly maintenance fees
No overdraft fees
Unlimited ATM reimbursements
Early direct deposit up to 2 days ahead of payday
Free checks and Visa debit card when you open an account
Discover Cashback Debit
While Discover is traditionally known for its credit cards, this online bank also offers a Cashback Debit checking account that’s full of perks. Opening an account is simple and requires no initial deposit.
The real value of this account lies in its debit card rewards, though. You can receive 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in purchases every month. If you open a Discover Online Savings Account, you can elect to have those rewards automatically deposited into the savings account. Or, just opt to get the rewards back as cash.
Benefits of the Discover Cashback Debit Account:
Get 1% cash back on up to $3,000 of debit card purchases every month
No initial deposit
No monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement
No fee for transfers to external banks
No fee online bill pay and no fee check orders
Access over 60,000 no-fee ATMs
Capital One 360 Checking
With its 360 Checking account, Capital One offers many perks and versatile options. It’s possible to open and maintain this account entirely online, but Capital One’s local branches also offer in-person assistance if you should need it. The 0.10% APY on all account balances is above average, and there’s no fee for foreign transfers.
Capital One also offers a network of more than 40,000 ATMs plus mobile check deposit for convenient banking. You can also choose from three overdraft coverage options depending on what’s best for you.
Benefits of the Capital One 360 Checking Account:
No minimum balance or initial deposits
No monthly maintenance fees
0.10% APY on account balance
No fee for foreign transactions
Mobile check deposit with the Capital One app
Multiple overdraft protection options
40,000 fee-free ATMs
Ally Interest Checking Account
Ally’s Interest Checking Account offers some of the highest interest rates in the industry. Balances of less than $15,000 are eligible for 0.10% APY, while balances of $15,000 and up are eligible for a 0.25% APY. With no minimum opening deposit and no monthly maintenance fees, it’s easy to open an account, and
Ally is very transparent about its fees. Be aware that Ally does have an excessive transaction fee. This fee goes into effect if you exceed six transactions with money market accounts (like online and mobile banking transfers) per statement cycle.
Benefits of an Ally Interest Checking Account:
No minimum opening deposit
No monthly maintenance fees
0.10% APY on less than $15,000 minimum daily balance, and 0.25% APY on $15,000 minimum daily balance
Ally eCheck Deposit allows for check deposits from your smartphone
Free use of 43,000 Allpoint ATMs and up to $10 reimbursement for other ATM fees per cycle
Chase College Checking
The Chase College Checking account offers many perks for college students. Designed for students ages 17 to 24, there’s no monthly service fee for up to five years while the student is in college. Alternatively, the account carries a $6 monthly fee, or that fee is waived for a monthly direct deposit or if the account holds an average ending day balance of at least $5,000.
The Chase Mobile app allows for convenient banking, but Chase also has almost 4,900 branches nationwide. Chase also offers many other products that are ideal for college students, like the Chase Freedom Student Card.
Benefits of the Chase College Checking Account:
No initial deposit
Monthly service fee is waived for college students ages 17 to 24
Access to 16,000 ATMs and almost 4,900 branches
Chase Mobile app allows for mobile deposits
Quickly and easily send and receive money to friends and family with Chase QuickPay
Choosing the Right Account
The above checking accounts don’t require initial deposits, and each offers slightly different benefits. When choosing the account that’s right for your needs, consider how you’ll use the account, the type of balance you plan to carry, and what types of features you most value. Be sure to pay attention to details like overdraft protection, fees for excessive transactions, and other potential expenses you could face.
CIT Bank is an online only-bank, so, unfortunately, they do not have any physical locations.
However, if you’re looking to know how to open a CIT Bank account beyond wondering if they have a location what are their current products and offers, then you have come to the right place.
CIT Bank Locations
CIT Bank has one office. It’s their headquarters located in southern California in Pasadena.
The address is: 75 North Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, California 91103. However, you cannot just walk in there to do business, opening an account, etc.
There is also no ATMs. Everything is done online.
With their “echecking” account, CIT Bank will provide you with a card where you can use it at another bank’s ATM.
However, CIT bank does not charge you any ATM fee. And if the bank charges you a fee, CIT Bank will reimburse you up to $15 every month.
CIT Bank’s Products & Current Promotions
While CIT Bank has no physical locations, it’s a great bank for those who are willing to have their savings online.
So, if you’re looking to have access to branches, then CIT Bank is not for you.
CIT Bank offers high yield savings accounts, money market accounts and CD accounts. They also have an “echecking” account.
CIT Savings Builder – Earn 0.85% APY. Here’s how it works: Make at least a $100 minimum deposit every month. Or Maintain a minimum balance of $25k. Member FDIC. Click Here to Learn More.
They offer competitive APYs, especially on their Savings Builder account, which is almost 20 times more than what a typical savings account would offer.
The money market account is also very competitive, but it does not offer checking-writing privileges or a debit card.
Their CDs also provide higher yields, offering both a fixed and variable-rate, including a no-penalty CD.
CIT Bank Savings Builder
Because CIT Bank has no locations, CIT Bank Savings Builder accounts are offered online, where you can earn a competitively high yield.
The CIT Bank Savings Builder will allow you to earn 0.85% APY, but only if you make at least one monthly deposit of $100 or more.
Or, if you keep a balance of at least $25,000. Interest in this high-yield savings account compounds daily to boost your earning.
Click here to learn more about CIT Bank’s Savings Builder.
CIT Bank Money Market Account
The CIT Bank money market account is one of the best ones out there. Currently, the money market account offers a 1.0% APY.
This is very competitive comparing to other MMAs. Moreover, CIT Bank’s MMA has a required account minimum of only $100.
Open a CIT Bank Money Market Account.
CIT Bank Certificate of Deposits (CDs)
CIT Bank has several terms CDs, which range from 6 months to 5 years.
There is also a no penalty 11-month term, where customers can withdraw money with no penalty.
CIT Bank also offers jumbo CDs, ranging from two to five years. You can open a term CD, including the no-penalty CD, with a minimum of $1,000.
The Jumbo CDs require a minimum of $100,000.
Click here to learn more about CIT Bank CDs.
Contacting CIT Bank
Given that CIT Bank has no locations, the best way to speak with a representative is by telephone or online.
For online, simply go through their homepage.
By telephone, call 1) 855-462-2652 (within U.S.) and 626-535-8964 (outside U.S.).
Customer service is available from Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET; on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm ET.
They closed on Sunday.
Advantages and disadvantages of CIT Bank Savings Accounts
No monthly fees on deposit accounts;
a minimum deposit requirement of $100;
Refunds ATM fees — because the bank does not have ATMs, it does not charge customers who use another bank’s ATMs. And if there is a fee, CIT will refund you up to $15 per month.
No CIT Bank physical locations or ATM;
No 24/7 customer support — as with all high yield savings accounts, most inquiries are handled online. While live telephone is available, hours are limited.
How to open a CIT Bank Savings account?
As mentioned above, CIT Bank has no physical locations. So to open an account, simply go online through the CIT Bank homepage, and create the account there.
You’ll need to provide your name, address, phone number, and ID. You’ll also need to provide your social security number.
Note that CIT does not have any branches. Everything must be done online.
If you’re opening a CIT Bank Builder Savings account, you will need to make an initial minimum deposit of $100.
CIT Bank has no locations. So, everything is done online. CIT Bank offers competitive rates on its products. Its Saving Builder account is one of the most popular accounts out there, offering a 0.85% APY. This yield is 15 to 20 times higher than what a regular savings account offer.
Speak with the Right Financial Advisor
If you have questions beyond CIT Bank locations, you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.
Best overall free business checking account – BlueVine
With a 1% APY on business checking accounts it’s as if you can party like it’s 1999.
Number of Fees
4.8 / 5.0
SimpleScore BlueVine 4.8
Free Transactions 5
Minimum Deposit 5
Support Channels 5
Product Variety 4
No minimum deposits or balances
Ultra-high 1% APY on all balances
Online banking with local banking service
No good for developing a personal relationship with your banker
Find Checking Accounts
View our top-rated partners and find the best rates today. It’s quick and easy.
If you need a checking account for business you might want to consider BlueVine business checking. BlueVine was created in 2013 to help small businesses with capital needs. From their three offices in California, Louisiana and New Jersey they are able to service their clients all across the country. While disbursing over $6.5 billion in loans over seven years they launched their business checking accounts in 2019. When reviewing options for a free business checking account we compare the number of free transactions per month, minimum deposit, fees, support and product variety using our proprietary SimpleScore methodology. See the full rundown on best free business checking accounts of the year.
In this article
BlueVine business checking account at a glance
1% APY on all balances
Other Available Products
Business loans Lines of credit Invoice factoring
What we like about BlueVine’s business checking account
Unlike some other banks that limit the number of ATM transactions or other transactions you make each month, BlueVine allows for an unlimited number of transactions, which is how we think it should be. It even provides business owners with two free books of checks when you open your account. Other banks will charge you as much as $50 to order checks, which really boils down to a transaction fee for each check you write.
BlueVine was launched as a financing company for small businesses that have little history or poor credit, offering invoice factoring, lines of credit and loans with very competitive interest rates. Now, the lender has taken that focus on saving money for small businesses to its new high-yield business checking account. The 1% APY offered on all balances is 10 times what most banks are offering currently. And it comes with no fees and unlimited transactions.
Many people prefer to have a personal relationship with their banker and even though you will get the same type of service you’ve come to expect from a local branch at BlueVine, it isn’t the same as when you know your banker, and work with the same individual for years at a time. When you have a personal relationship with your banker it can often help to get things accomplished, and your bank be more trustworthy of you personally rather than relying on cold and impersonal credit scores and other ratings.
BlueVine business checking account vs. the competition
Wells Fargo is a major U.S. bank, and just like any of the major U.S. banks the biggest thing you’ll find is the list of fees with its business checking account. Wells Fargo may be a good choice when your business grows to a level where you require its advanced services, but for a fair business checking account without fees BlueVine will beat Wells Fargo any day of the week. Read our full Wells Fargo review.
Axos Bank and BlueVine have quite a few similarities in their offered checking accounts, such as no fees and high-yield interest rates. However the Axos accounts aren’t strictly business accounts, and unlike BlueVine there is a minimum deposit when you open a checking account at Axos. In addition, Axos Bank has a $25 overdraft fee on several of its checking account products, and the bank can charge that fee up to three times per day. As an online-only bank Axos won’t appeal to those who prefer a more personal banking relationship. The bank can also be problematic for those who need to deposit cash, since it comes with a fee of $4.95 to make cash deposits, but that’s no different from BlueVine. Read our full Axos Bank review.
Azlo is actually quite similar to BlueVine. It features no fees of any kind, no minimum deposits for its business checking account and no minimum balance requirements. It is fully online and that’s the start of the differences between Azlo and BlueVine since BlueVine has three physical locations. The other major difference between Azlo and BlueVine is the interest paid on business checking accounts. Azlo doesn’t offer any interest, while BlueVine has an excellent 1% APY on its business checking. One final difference is the inability to deposit cash in an Azlo account. At BlueVine you can also make cash deposits at over 90,000 retail stores in partnership with Green Dot.
When you’re ready to get started on a business checking account with BlueVine, here’s how to get started and open an account:
Click the ‘Get Started’ button
Complete short form with name, email, mobile number and password. Check the box to agree to registration terms.
Fill in a short form with details about your business. Click ‘Next’
Fill in a short form with details about yourself. Click ‘Finish’
Wait for the verification email and click the link inside to activate your account
BlueVine in the news
BlueVine expanded into business checking in October 2019, as reported on by BankingDive.com, adding to its offerings for small business owners in search of a more democratic banking experience. BlueVine CEO and co-founder Eyal Lifshitz called the move “true end-to-end banking” for small businesses.
As reported in August 2020 by SmallBizTrends.com, BlueVine and DoorDash have partnered to provide custom Paycheck Protection Program loan applications for restaurants. While many restaurants were shut out of the PPP loan application process by traditional banks that focused on servicing their existing customers, BlueVine was able to rapidly provide funding to restaurants that may have otherwise had to shut down.
BlueVine has delivered over $6 million in PPP loans to DoorDash restaurants, such as the $125,000 loan granted within 24 hours to Jazmine Lalicker, owner of the Petaluma, California oyster bar and seafood restaurant called The Shuckery. That’s just a part of the more than $4 billion in PPP loans generated by BlueVine for over 125,000 U.S. small businesses.
Too long, didn’t read?
For small businesses who don’t mind taking their banking online, BlueVine provides an excellent business checking account with no fees, a high-yield of 1% APY and rapid funding of business loans.
We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the business checking accounts we recommend. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions.