How to Size up Banks and Savings and Loans

Six factors to consider when selecting an institution for your daily banking needs.

Man waiting in line for bank teller
(Image credit: (c) Comstock Images)

Banks and savings and loan associations (sometimes called savings banks) have different histories and different traditions. But they are virtually indistinguishable from the consumer's point of view, so we'll consider them together. (Having an account at what's called a mutual savings bank makes you part owner of the bank and means you earn dividends instead of interest, but otherwise mutuals operate the same as conventional S&Ls.)

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