Switching Banks: How to Change Banks
- Suggestions on how to make a smooth transition when changing banks or bank accounts
Perhaps you are moving, getting married, or just unhappy with your current bank. If you are wondering how to change banks so your switch to a new bank and new bank accounts can be smoother, try the following:
- Balance your checkbook and make sure all outstanding checks have cleared before you close your checking account. This will ensure that you and the bank agree on how much money is due to you. Also, you will not get hit with bank fees for checks that bounce after you close the checking account.
- Open a bank account at your new bank before you leave your old bank. That way you can write checks, make ATM debit card withdrawals or otherwise bank without interruption.
- If you have arranged for direct deposit of your pay or benefits, do not close the old bank account until you are sure the next scheduled payment will be going into the new bank account.
- If you arranged with your old bank to regularly transfer money from your bank account, such as automatically to pay your life insurance premiums or your mortgage, make arrangements for future payments through your new bank.
- If you are changing addresses, make sure your old bank has your new address and phone number. Do this in writing. Do not trust a phone call. Your bank may need to contact you weeks or months after you close your bank account.
- Be sure your financial records at home are clear about the fact that your bank account was closed. Otherwise, you or your heirs some day might believe there is money "forgotten" in an old bank account and waste time trying to recover it.
- Do you have anything in the bank's safe deposit box? Remember to clean it out and return the keys.
- Keep a copy of the list of helpful bank employees we suggested you compile. They still can help with a question or problem about your relationship with the bank, such as if you need assistance gathering old bank records.