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An Introduction to Better Banking Options

A short introduction to why this blog exists and who it's meant to help.

Those of us at the Better Banking Project have spent an enormous amount of time trying to figure out the best way to tell a better bank or credit union from a mediocre one. We’ve looked at statistics, websites, and online databases. We've talked with people in the banking industry as well as people looking for a better bank.

We know what a better banking institution should look like: it should be loaning money to individuals and projects working in low- to moderate-income communities to help grow those local economies.

After all this time and research, we’ve concluded that unfortunately, there’s no one answer to the question, “Where should I bank?” because before asking that question, you also should ask, "What do I want in a bank?" It should provide the types of service you need in a bank, of course, and be accredited and function proficiently. This stating point applies to everyone, but from there, a better banking option isn't going to look the same for everyone.

At the Better Banking Project, we feel like the most impactful banks are those that work in giving housing and small business loans in low-income communities, as these are the groups commonly underserved in traditional banking. However, you may want to invest your money in a bank which reflects your interests, e.g., one that has an environmental focus or does a large amount of small farm lending. Depending on where you live and where your interests lie, your better banking options may be significantly different from someone else’s.

This topic is so vitally important to us because in the world today, money seems to control everything. Where we bank is one of the most direct and simple ways we can use our money to help those who need it, without even needing to give our money away. When you decide to move your money to an impact bank and away from a megabank, you are essentially voting with your money for an economy that includes everyone. While one vote may not make much of a difference, as more people change where they bank, big changes can be made.

This blog was created to help visitors find the best better banking option for them. We will continue to write informative articles and share resources on better banking, how it shapes the world and how you can shape it. As this blog continues to grow, we will describe more banking institutions with a history in providing great service and doing great works, and support as many people as possible on how to find better banking options on their own.

To learn more about how we choose Better Banking options, check out our explaination of our research process here.


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