Five Steps to Switch Banks Painlessly

The New Year's resolution that should be on the top of nearly everyone's list: drop a bad banking relationship. Here's a checklist that will help you get switched over to your new bank account as seamlessly as possible.

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to ditch a bad bank account and switch to a more favorable bank, you’re not alone. Many long-time banking customers are suddenly seeing an increase in fees as banks scramble to recoup lost revenue. If you’re unhappy with your current banking situation, it can make sense to switch accounts. Sometimes, however, it can be hard to get enough motivation to act. As previously reported on, people in Briton are more likely to get divorced, even when they are highly dissatisfied with their bank’s service. If you’re one of those people who want to switch banks but haven’t yet made the jump, here are five steps to follow that will make your transition as easy and painless as possible.

Step 1: Choose the funding amount for the new account.

After you consider your individual needs and choose a new bank that benefits you best, the first step is to consider how much initial funding you want to put into your new account. It’s prudent to start with a modest initial deposit, while still keeping funds available in your old account. It can take some time to receive your checks, new bank card, and change over direct deposits and reoccurring payments, so you want to keep both accounts active during this transition period.

Step 2: Order checks and a get a temporary debit card.

Once your new bank account is open and adequately funded, order new checks and debit cards. Most banks will provide you with a temporary debit card (and some can even provide temporary checks) while the permanent ones are being manufactured and mailed.

Step 3: Move your automatic payments

Next, make a list of all of your automatic bill payments, automatic debits, and direct deposits. In this list, include the dates for the next anticipated billing/deposit for each item, so you’ll know when to watch for it to hit on your new account.

Then, one-by-one, start changing over the bill payments, debits and direct deposits to your new bank account. If your paycheck is direct deposited, you will likely need to contact your employer’s Payroll office or Human Resources office to fill out a form to authorize them to deposit your paycheck into your new account. You should now stop using your old account, but still keep it open.

Make sure you have enough money in your new account to cover the bill payments and debits. As each payment hits your account, check it off the list you previously created.

Step 5: Close your old account.

After you have confirmed that all outstanding checks cleared your old account, all automatic debits and bill payments are clearing your new account, your direct deposits are all going to your new account, and you’ve received your permanent checks and debit card, you can then close your old account.

The last step is to celebrate! You’ve just made an important move to help ensure you have a sound financial portfolio.

Find a local bank close to you.

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