Moving Your Money to a New Bank: 5 Step Checklist

November 13, 2013

new bankBank fees. They’re no fun. If fees are weighing you down, it might be time to change banks. There are many fantastic options out there, including online banks and local credit unions.

If you are one of those looking to move your money to a new financial institution, here are some steps you can follow:

1. Find a new bank.

The first thing you need to do is find a new bank. Consider what is most important to you in a banking relationship. Do you value low fees? Do you look for competitive yields on savings products? Do you want competent customer service? Figure out what would make for an improved banking relationship, and look for a financial institution that fits your needs.

If you go with an online bank, make sure you understand how depositing checks would work. For online banks and credit unions, find out about the ATM network so that you can avoid fees.

2. List your automatic obligations.

Chances are that you have a number of automatic obligations that need to move along with your money. List out the automatic withdrawals coming from your account: from your TV payment to your monthly gym membership to your automatic transfers to your emergency fund. You should also list out your direct deposits.

You don’t want any of these obligations to fall through the cracks!

3. Open your new account and fund it.

Now that you have a new account, you need to fund it. This is important, since you will need to make sure that your new account has enough money to cover obligations that get switched over.

At the same time, you need to take into account the fact that some of your automatic obligations will take longer to switch over, so you’ll want to make sure there is enough cash in the old account to cover any obligations that are slow to switch. Find out what documents you will need to open your account.

4. Make the switch with your automatic obligations.

With your account open, you can contact the companies that automatically withdraw from your old account and let them know about the switch. Find out how long it will take them to start withdrawing from your new account (it might take an entire billing cycle to make the switch). You will also have to update all of your information on linked sites like Amazon, PayPal, and your emergency fund savings account.

5. Close your account after everything switches over.

Keep track of which bills have made the switch. Watch your accounts, and check off the accounts as they beginning drawing from your new bank. (And pay attention to make sure the direct deposits are going to the new account.)

Once all of your automatic debits are switched over, and your direct deposits are going into the right account, you can finally go in and close your old account. When you do, make sure that you let the teller know why you are switching your bank accounts over – especially if it is for the fees.

Are you switching bank accounts? How easy or difficult is this process for you?

This article was originally published October 15, 2012.


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Miranda writes about personal finance almost every day. An experienced freelance writer, she's covered your money online and in print from every angle and is always looking for new ones.

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