Consumers in the market for new banks will find the most affordable options in the Midwest and South, according to a study from GoBankingRates.
These two regions contain eight of the most affordable banking states, GoBankingRates revealed, with Arkansas occupying the top spot on this list. Other states deemed to be most affordable for banking were Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Louisiana, Kansas and Tennessee.
The other two states that made GoBankingRates' top 10 most affordable bank list were Massachusetts and Rhode Island, ranked fourth and ninth, respectively.
The study evaluated several factors in gauging affordability including interest rates on more than 6,200 bank accounts, average checking and savings fees, and the number of bank options available to a customer.
The report also found that fees can vary widely from bank to bank.
"The easy answer to what makes banking affordable is high yields on bank accounts and low fees, but there is more to it than that," said James Zussman, business development associate at RateWatch, in the study. "Among various institutions, fees can vary quite significantly; for example, a bank or credit union may charge anywhere from $1 to $25 per month for a checking account. This is a huge difference and can impact the affordability of that product."
Meanwhile, GoBankingRates said the least affordable states for banking were: Arizona, Connecticut, Nevada, South Dakota, California, Indiana, South Carolina, Delaware and Wisconsin. Washington, D.C., was also in that mix.
The biggest difference that GoBankingRates found between being a least affordable banking state and an affordable one was the minimum savings deposit requirement. For example, Arizona had an average minimum savings deposit requirement that was seven times that of Arkansas.
"A key factor is that Arkansas is served by many small community banks or mid-size banks, with very few national banks having a large presence," said Jason Kincy, marketing director of Arvest Bank in Bentonville, Ark., in the press release. "This contributes to keeping fees lower than in other parts of the country, where larger banks are more prominent."
GoBankingRates' full list of the most affordable banking states can be found here.