By Joy Geerkens
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
1. It is far more accessible and necessary than you may realize. Anyone, at any age, is eligible to have a personal banker. It’s always wise to begin tracking the trajectory of your spending habits and savings, especially if you have goals in mind for the future, such as buying a house. You can interview different personal bankers within your current bank in order to find one that you believe understands your situation and where you wish to go. If you feel as though you may be ineligible for these services because you are someone with a low or moderate income, you can still receive financial advice and assistance from personal bankers. Many banks are now partnered with nonprofits that offer financial education classes and other resources.
2. It can save you money. Alice Coday of the Financial Empowerment Network explained the importance of people who are unbanked or underbanked having access to mainstream banking. They may not have a bank account or who are underutilizing it. This is important because these individuals “are using alternative financial services that may cost more than what they would need to pay with a bank relationship.”
3. Having someone you know by name and who you’ve established a relationship with, to address any financial issues and emergencies that may arise, may relieve stress and help you and your family by feeling more secure and prepared. This long-term relationship is also beneficial as the banker will know you personally, and can guide you through unexpected financial strains and choices. Carmen Martilla, vice president and senior relationship manager at KeyBank, said that having a personal banker means that you can avoid “walking in and not knowing who that person is, who you will be sitting with, having them perhaps miss some things just because they don’t have the ability to know your financial picture. If your personal banker stays with you through that journey, they will be able to identify things that you might miss.”
4. Personal bankers can introduce you to other experts within that banking institution who can help you achieve your goals. They can also recognize other products and services that you might benefit from, such as ways to improve and upgrade your current relationship with your bank, to continue to grow and change with your financial situation and lifestyle, which would help you gain prefered pricing on loans. There are also financial wellness tools to help you keep track of where you are in relation to your goals.
5. They can help identify your spending habits by looking at your expenses, credit card balances and income, and help you with a budget to live within your means.
6. A personal banker decreases your odds of having your identity stolen. In the event it does happen, your personal banker can help you sort through the situation, by requesting a fraud alert, helping you file a police report, and working to gain control of the situation as best as possible.
Joy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.