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Banking & credit guide

Banks and credit unions are core financial institutions of the U.S. economy, and their checking, savings, and credit accounts form the foundation of most households' personal finances. But problems, such as the student debt crisis, and evolving technology, such as mobile payments, are now important parts of the mix. Meanwhile, millions of low-income, minority, and Millennial-age consumers can't afford or don't trust traditional bank accounts and often get exploited by alternative financial products, such as payday loans and car title loans.

This guide has everything you need to know, from how to find the best financial institutions, products, and innovations, to how to avoid the worst deals, high fees, and fine-print gotchas.