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Moving On: Switching Your Bank Account

Is your bank account just not doing it for you anymore? If you’re over monthly fees or you know you deserve a better interest rate, it might be time to move on. Breaking up is hard to do, but with the right steps, you can achieve a clean break from your future ex-bank account.

Find Your Dream Account

First thing’s first: ask yourself why you’re considering leaving your current financial institution. Have you found another bank that better suits your lifestyle? Have you run into problems with your account? Are you looking for a savings account that offers a higher yield? Is banking with your current bank inconvenient?

Next, with your reasons for leaving in mind, evaluate what you’re looking for in the next bank. Odds are, if you’re a blossoming business professional, you might want to find a bank that offers business accounts. If you’re looking for accounts that offer higher interest rates, you’ll want to focus your research on that.

While you’re conducting your research, it’s crucial to keep track of factors such as:

  • Monthly fees
  • Minimum balance
  • requirements
  • ATM fees, access, and locations
  • Apps and other digital services
  • Interest rates
  • Overdraft policies
  • Branch locations/availability

The last thing you want is to switch banks only to find that their monthly fees are undesirable or that their branch is tricky to make a trek to—it’s hard to make a long distance relationship work.

Sort Out Automatic Payments

Now that your heart is set elsewhere, it’s time to begin organizing any automatic payments that are associated with your old account. Make a list of subscriptions, direct deposits, and recurring automatic monthly or annual fees. Once you switch over to your new account, you’ll want to cancel existing/scheduled payments with your old account and re-establish them with your new account.

Fill Out a New Account Application

Either visit your new bank in person or online and fill out an application for your prospective new account. Keep some money in your old account just in case something falls through. Once your application is approved, transfer your money over to your new account and make sure you set up your automatic payments and direct deposits. Always review any actions taken with your account to ensure that the changes you’ve made are correct.

Send Your Old Account Packing

Now that you’re set up with your new account and are sure that you’ve transferred all of the correct information, it’s time to close your old account. It’s recommended that you close your account in person at the bank’s branch, if at all possible. Closing your account in person ensures that you will walk away with documented proof that your account is closed. Once you’ve shut the door on your old bank, it’s time to enjoy the perks of your new account. Breaking up is hard to do, but moving on with a new bank account opens up a world of new opportunities—one that might have fewer fees and heightened interest rates. All you’ll need to do is have a little patience, conduct some research, and buckle-down with your organizational skills to make the switch successfully and bank happily ever after.

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