For many people, the thought of switching to a new bank or credit union is intimidating, filled with several bureaucratic hoops to jump through and disastrous consequences if any of those hoops are missed. The truth is that switching bank accounts isn't as bad as it seems. Here's what you have to do to make the process as painless as possible.
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Step 1: Get Organized
- Open your new account with your new financial institution.
- Review your last few months of statements for the account your closing and identify all automatic payments and automatic deposits.
- If you use bill pay in online banking, take a screen shot or print out the list of your bills.
Remember, not all automatic payments that you have previously established occur on a monthly basis. For example, insurance payments, some utilities and federal and state tax returns/payments can occur on irregular intervals such as bi-monthly, quarterly or even an annual basis.
Step 2: Move Your Direct Deposit & Automatic Payments
- Your new financial institution should have a direct deposit transfer form or letter that you can give to your Human Resources or Payroll Department with the new account information and routing number.
- If you have social security direct deposit, you can either call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or go to their website.
- Set up new automatic payments. Most of the time, you can contact the company and give them to new account number and routing number. Your new financial institution should also have a form that you can use to send to the company.
- Set up bill pay in your new financial institutions online banking system. At First Alliance, it's easy, you can take a picture of your bills and the payments will be automatically set up. There is no reason to re-type all of your billers. Check with your new financial institution to see if they have this feature.
Step 3: Close Your Old Account
- Confirm that all checks have cleared and all automatic payments have been transferred to your new account. Leave sufficient funds in your former account to cover any outstanding checks or pending automatic payments.
- Call or go to your former financial institution and tell them that you'd like to close your account.
- Destroy any unused checks and plastic cards associated with your former accounts.
Step 4: Keep Copies For Your Records
- Remember to keep a copy of all documents, letters and forms for your personal records.
Make Switching Financial Institutions Easy With First Alliance Credit Union
I know it seems like a lot now, but once you start the process of switching accounts you will see that its not as painful as you think. Remember, your new financial institution should be so happy to have you that they will do everything they can to make the process smooth for you. If you'd like more information, check out our guide to switching financial institutions today.