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About Joanna

is a Polish American living in Arizona with her husband Tim. She is a founding partner of JTR Tech and she is proud to be a professional geek. She had dreamt of living abroad for many years. So, she and Tim created AbroadDreams.com to document the process of making their dream of moving abroad come true. They spent 2 years in Puerto Rico and several months in Spain and Poland. Now they are exploring the American Southwest.

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  1. We opened a Banco Popular account the first try and haven’t had any issues. Rarely any lines that I’ve noticed (in Rincon) but when there are I usually see a friend and we start up a short chat. To transfer money we do as you have found to be the fastest way, to write yourself a check. They usually clear half of it immediately then the other in a few days.

    We chose Popular because it is in every city in order to avoid ATM fees when out and about.

  2. Oriental Mortgage is better. You can even negotiate CD rates up. Always courteous and no sitting around waiting while they ignore you. When we Bought our house in Moca we went with the owners and had all the paperwork and the Aquadilla Scotia bank would not accept the money to pay off,their loan. Had to go to San Juan. They also screw you if you want a cashier’s check. Oriental was far better and actually “efficient” if yIu can believe that! Moneyhouse is the place to,get a house loan. They actually run things like a real mortgage place.

    • Hi Katrina,
      Thanks for commenting. We have seen a few Oriental buildings in the area. Do they do only loans or are they also a bank? I’m not familiar with Moneyhouse… is that a bank?
      How long have you been living in PR?

  3. Joanna, thank you for such valuable information. I am a native Puertorrican whom has been residing in the mainland for 45 years. Those are enough years to forget all those details. Specificaly, PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with your banking agents. Here in the states, (I am talking California), it is different; the “institution” shuffles around the employees all the time so they prefer that you “marry” them rather than any one person. In the Island personal contact is everything. Thank you again for your report.

    • Hi Ruben,
      Totally agree! Many years ago, the states were the same way as PR but since the few big banks bought out the many small ones, it’s all about cooperate and money, not the people. I love that in Puerto Rico relationships do matter. On the down side of that, of course is, that if you’re new here, it takes some time to develop those relationships 🙂

      • Thank you, Joanna. I know, when you are a native, you are born into it. Everybody knows your family. On the other hand, when I came this side I was the same as you. Right now I happen to live in a community that is 90% latinos, mostly mexicans and we sort of keep our own traditions. I sit down with my branch manager even if we are not conducting “negocios”, just a visit. You got to start some place. “The longest journey starts with the first step” – (from the American Indian lore) LOL, Have a good day. And keep the good work. The Island is beautiful, you made a good choice, enjoy it! (Luquillo, ah!, you really went for the throat, perfect location. And can you believe that the whole island can fit into de Los Angeles Metro area?