How To Switch Banks: 4 Easy Steps To Change Banks
The relationship you have with your bank is not a fling, but usually, a long term relationship one you introduce to your family and take out with your friends. You will want to make sure you’ve found “the one.” But what if the one back then isn’t the one now? Maybe you’ve drifted apart, and you simply no longer get your needs met. It might be time to move on.
The real question is.
Is your traditional bank still the best banking option available to you?
Some banks are not keeping up with the times and always insist on face to face visits, limited ATM options, and high account associated fees. It may be time for you to break up with the old one and switch banks to find one that meets your needs now.
Why Switch Banks?
People switch banks for many reasons, but the main ones are inconsistent systems and poor customer service, high fees, and a lack of automated options.
There are so many good banking options available so there is no reason to stay with your bank out of loyalty, especially if it’s inconvenient and is costing you your hard-earned money.
How To Choose A New Bank?
Choosing a new bank takes a little bit of research to find the right characteristics for the type of accounts and services that will work for you. Many banks are becoming more and more automated, offering more mobile accessible functions.
Here is a list of service features to consider when trying to choose a new bank:
Zero transaction fees
Online and mobile banking
Mobile check deposit
Online bill pay
Free budgeting services
Peer to peer transfers
Email and text alerts
Bank Service Features
When switching banks, it’s important to know what services are key to managing your finances efficiently. The fastest way to bank shop is to go online and look at what each bank in your area offers.
Key Bank Features To Compare
If you have personal loans through your current bank, you may want to reassess the loan terms. The online lending industry now offers very competitive lending rates. You may be able to find a consolidation loan that reduces your fees and increases your principal payments.
Consider looking at other banking options such as credit unions, online banks, and community banks. These types of financial institutes can offer lower fees; however, they sometimes do not have the range of services other banks provide. If you are looking for a one-stop-shop, they may not include every service you need.
>> Related: Best places to get a personal loan.
How To Switch Banks
Switching banks is easy once you have found “the one.” This step is so important because separating takes time and effort and can be an emotional rollercoaster. So do spend the time researching what you truly want out of a bank relationship before changing over.
Sometimes discussing options with your current bank might entice them to make some changes like lowering fees to keep you in the relationship. However, if they still don’t meet your needs, pack your bags, and move on.
Now that you have found “the one,” follow the four steps below:
1. Open A New Bank Account
You may need to do this in person, but some banks now allow you to open a new account online. It’s a pretty simple process these days.
All banks will ask for your basic identification documentation such as:
Social Security Number
Proof of Address
Personal Documentation Required To Open An Account
The bank will also require a minimum deposit amount when opening a new account. But don’t move all your money over just yet!
You will want to run your new account and your old account for a couple of months to ensure that you have not missed any outgoing payments.
Financer.com recommends making sure you know your minimum balance requirements on your old and new account during the transition period. This will save you paying associated fees.
2. List All Outgoing Payments
Before you cancel your old bank account, make a list of all your outgoing automatic payments. The easiest way to do this is to print out statements for the last year. It may seem like a lot of work, but it will make sure you don’t miss any monthly, quarterly, or annual subscriptions.
Switching banks is the perfect time to go through your bill payments and subscriptions to see if you are paying for anything you no longer use, like that gym membership or magazine or app subscription you forgot about for the last six months. It’s not the most fun way to spend your time, but doing so may save you a lot of money. Need more help canceling automatic payments – click here.
3. Update Your Automatic Payment Information
Contact your employer and give them your new updated account information. After that, go through your list of all payments and begin the process of changing the payment methods.
Generally, your automatic payments will be easy to change online. Most services websites or apps offer a “change payment” tab.
For some payments, you may have to call and speak to a customer service representative. If that happens, be sure to ask for a confirmation email that the services have been changed and keep it on file.
4. Close Your Previous Bank Accounts
Now that your income and automatic payments are all updated, and you have got the gist of managing the new online banking platforms, you can finally say goodbye to your old bank.
Closing an account will be different for every institute. For some banks, you will have to personally go in and close the account, while others will have an online option.
Once you have closed the account, it is important to request a letter that states that your accounts have been officially closed. That way, if the bank accidentally reinstates your account, you have proof of closure.
Banks sometimes reopen accounts if a check comes through. They then charge you late fees, and you don’t find out you owe them money until they call you to tell you that you now owe them money in late fees. You want to cover your butt to avoid any chances of damaging your credit score.
Financer.com always encourages you to get written confirmation from banks and payment companies when opening and closing accounts and services.
Leaving a bank to find a new one can be time consuming, but it can take less time than you think if done efficiently.
If you have changed banks recently, how hard was your process? were there any other steps you found challenging? Comment below: