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January 3, 2020

our plan for the upcoming year

A great way to start your year off right is to find a Better Banking Option in your area and move your money there. If you’ve already moved your money, you could also make it a goal to get two or three friends or family members to move their money, as well. But how do you find a better bank or credit union that not only effectively lends to your community, but also one that fulfills your...

December 20, 2019

Make a difference with your deposits this holiday season

As someone who was raised in a small, progressive church, consumerism was a topic I heard a lot about during the holidays, both on Sundays and throughout the week from my parents. They both taught me that the message of Christmas had been lost in the widespread mania surrounding the “presents” part of the holiday, and that the real purpose of Christmas was to ce...

December 11, 2019

A Better Banking Option providing modern technologies and housing lending in the Dallas area

Sometimes, the best banking options are the simplest options. While most people simply default to megabanks because they assume that they have the most resources available to them for the cheapest prices, this is a commonly held misconception, as many smaller banking institutions offer the same technologies, but without monthl...

December 4, 2019

A community bank doing all kinds of quality lending in Dallas

Another great Better Banking Option we discovered while doing research in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, HomeBank Texas is a small institution that started out in a small community, but recently moved into an urban area, bringing their hometown approach to banking in a big city. Like Stockman’s bank which we talked about last week, they’re still a community ba...

November 26, 2019

A hometown bank from Southwestern Oklahoma serving Dallas with incredibly effective lending

When looking for Better Banking Options in Dallas, there was one that immediately stood out to us. You wouldn’t expect to find a bank or credit union in an urban area like Dallas that devotes about a quarter of their assets to small farm loans. However, for Stockman’s Bank, this makes more sense considering the bank was origina...

November 20, 2019

A small-town bank serving the big city market of Omaha with highly effective community lending

While researching Better Banking Options in Omaha, Nebraska, for a research request, we noticed that many of the best banking options available to Omaha residents are actually headquartered elsewhere. They’re often small institutions that have spent most of their time working in more rural, agricultural communities, but beca...

November 15, 2019

A Low-Income Credit Union devoted to seeing their members’ financial goals come true in Boston

Approximately half of Boston’s population is Latinx, although this percentage has fluctuated in the 21st century, due to gentrification, the 2008 housing crisis, and then a recent push for affordable housing. There are a lot of forces at play as development surges in Boston, and it’s important for the banks and credit unions...

November 8, 2019

A tiny local bank with a big impact in the small city of Morehead, Kentucky

While you’re probably not able to bank with this Better Banking Option, we wanted to feature them as a reminder that sometimes, the Better Banking Option is also the most traditional. Usually, “traditional” banking is cautious about lending to low-income households, because these are considered riskier investments and the traditional bank’s ma...

November 1, 2019

A CDFI and MDI in San Francisco investing in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods

In last week’s feature article, we talked about how deregulation in the banking industry has left us unable to get data from more than half of banking institutions about how much they are lending in low- and moderate-income (LMI) census tracts. While this was intended to relieve the small institutions which may struggle to track and re...

October 25, 2019

Plus, a recent banking regulatory policy change and why it matters

One reason why everyone should be paying a little more attention to banking policy is because it drastically effects what banking institutions are required to report to the FDIC and NCUA. Until recently, most banks were required to report what percentage of their housing lending is done in low- and moderate-income census tracts. For us at Better Bankin...

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