Finances are always at the forefront of our minds. As consumers, we want to make sure we’re getting the most out of our dollar. We price compare and look for the best sales, ask for raises and promotions to earn more and do our best to budget for emergencies and big purchases. What people rarely think about is whether their bank works just as hard to protect and grow their money as they do. First American Bank is a great option for consumers and businesses for this reason.
What Is First American Bank?
First American Bank is a regional financial institution. Because it’s smaller than the big name, national banks have more freedom to make lending decisions and develop benefit-based products and services without the red tape involved in the corporate decision-making processes. It differs from smaller community banks because it holds enough in assets to offer competitive rates and prices that small banks can’t match.
First American Bank is a privately held, meaning it’s owned by a small few shareholders and doesn’t offer its stock for sale to the general public on any exchange. Large banks’ stocks are traded on the stock exchange, which means they have shareholder meetings to decide the board of directors who, in turn, appoint other executives to make broad decisions for the organization. That all translates to slow policy change and decision making—you won't have those problems in a smaller regional bank.
Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
First American Bank takes part in CRA. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 encourages financial institutions to provide lending services to consumers who earn 80% or below the median income. This ensures it can represent every member of a community and give them an opportunity for home ownership.
The CRA relies on members of the community to provide feedback on how a financial institution is living up to the CRA commitment. First American Bank prides itself on taking part in reinvesting in the communities in which it serves.
First American Bank builds its foundation on gaining and keeping loyal customers through its focus on customer service. Employees get specialized service training and are armed with decision making ability to resolve issues on the spot. Problem resolution is a main pain point for consumers at large banks, and finding a company whose employees are trusted to make on-the-spot decisions for the benefit of the customer is a real win all around.
This bank prides itself on making the customer the center of attention as opposed to policy and procedure. They protect your money and the employees work hard to ensure you’re fitted to the right product and highly satisfied with your experience.
Branch Locations & Services
The bank was chartered and founded in 1973 in Illinois. Since then, they have expanded to Wisconsin and Florida. They now have 53 branches across those three states. Equally impressive, First American Bank has joined forces with Allpoint and Presto! ATM networks. They now offer surcharge free ATM services at over 55,000 locations, including ATMs inside Target, Walgreens, CVS, Winn Dixie and Speedway—making accessing cash super convenient for customers.
First American Bank has a large array of products available to its consumer customers. They offer five checking accounts, including one for students and a “fresh start” account for those who may have had financial issues and are having a tough time opening an account at other banks. Two of the five offered checking accounts are interest-bearing accounts.
Customers have two standard savings accounts to choose from: a regular savings account and a money market savings account. Both have minimum balance requirements to avoid their monthly fee. You can also set up a health care savings account to help you pay for medical expenses throughout the year.
First American offers certificates of deposit (CD). Because they are a regional bank, they can offer variable terms and special rates. Their terms run from 90 days to 60 months. CDs are backed by the FDIC. First American will often run specialty, short-term rates as an incentive for consumers to bring money from other institutions to their bank—these rates are highly competitive and earn them customers’ dollars.
For larger balances and higher value clients, First American Bank offers a wealth management service. Some services available to wealth management clients are:
- Trust services
- Land trust
- Tax and estate planning
- Private banking
- Investment management services
First American Bank also has full-service investment services for clients wanting to discuss their overall financial profile. You will work with a relationship manager to understand your risk tolerance and offer your investment choices like mutual funds and indexed asset allocation model portfolios.
First-time homebuyers and property investors alike will find an array of products available to them. The loans available from the mortgage department:
- Fixed and variable rate
- Home equity lines of credit and loans
- Construction loans
Consumers looking to buy a car can apply for an auto loan through the lending department. They have both standard and CarMax auto loans available. First American Bank also has four credit cards to choose from. Your banker will work with you to decide which type is right for you based on your current needs and benefits desired.
Any kind of business will find a solution here. They are committed to helping you grow your business, no matter how simple or complex. Every service is anchored by your business checking account. They have different accounts to fit any business volume or average balance.
Savings accounts also vary from small balance to larger sweeping savings and checking pairings. Their business bankers will work with business owners to build the right foundation from which they can build all other business solutions.
Businesses need to accept payment and the merchant services at First American Bank make it easier to get your money. Merchant services allow businesses to accept payment by:
- Credit card including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club and JCB
- Debit card
- Electronic check
The business bankers can help you, as a business owner, set up your own gift card program and manage your funds and information online. First American offers you next day distribution of your funds while other institutions can take as much as three business days.
First American Bank offers loans to help with every stage of growth:
- Working capital loans
- Equipment financing
- Investment real estate loans
- Asset based loans
- Commercial mortgage loans
- Small business administration (SBA) loans
Businesses also have the convenience of using debit cards instead of petty cash and establishing credit cards that will reward you for purchases you make every day.
Online Banking & How to Login
The shining star on top of everything First American offers is its online banking platform. Customers can see their rolling balance and transactions in real time at home and on their mobile devices. Online banking also provides:
- Account transfers from First American to other institutions
- Secure messaging between you and customer service
- Set account alerts
- Top-notch security
- View check images
- View up to 15 months of statements
- Attach mortgage, auto loans and credit cards to home page for easy management
- Bill pay any bill or individual online and set up to be recurring payments if necessary
Once you’ve logged in for the first time, logging in just requires your login ID and passcode. If you’re logging in for the first time, you must:
- Navigate to online banking’s homepage
- Clink enroll
- Accept the terms agreement
- Fill in personal information
- Choose a login ID and password
- Pick and answer three challenge questions
- Choose a verification image and give it a name
Once you’re logged in, you can set up bill pay and eStatements and personalize your online experience. There are demos you can view on the bank’s main page if you need a refresher on the ins and outs of online banking.
If you forget your passcode, just click the forgot passcode link where you’ll be prompted to answer your challenge questions and then emailed instructions to reset your password. If you’re still having trouble, First American has a dedicated line for online banking support—call 847-952-3700. You can also chat online with a rep to help you with specifics of online or mobile banking.
First American Bank has so many options for both your personal and business relationships you can rest easy knowing you’ve made the best decision for your hard-earned money. The solutions you choose will make you more money and save you time—the biggest commodities you have. This solutions-based bank makes your life easier by offering specialists that help you come up with a comprehensive plan for your finances.
Online banking and mobile banking go where you go and allow you to bank during your hours, not the bank’s. If you want to pay your bills instantly at midnight in your pajamas, these apps allow you to do just that. With easy login and password recovery features, every step of banking will be a breeze.