Sometimes it’s necessary to switch banks because of a life change. For example, you may need to find a new bank if you move to a different city. In other cases, switching may just be a matter of finding one that offers lower fees or better interest rates on savings. Although it’s never an easy decision, there are several situations where it makes sense to move your account to a new financial institution.
When You Move
While many financial institutions have online banking and mobile apps that will let you access your accounts no matter where you are, it’s probably a good idea to open an account at a local credit union. This gives you the flexibility to deposit cash and coins and talk with a financial service representative face to face if needed.
You Want Better Interest Rates
Obviously, interest rates go up and down depending on what the Federal Reserve does, but some financial institutions offer better interest rates than others. If you realize you can get a better interest rate on your loans and/or deposit accounts, you should make a change.
You’re Paying Too Many Fees
Nothing eats away at your account balance like fees, including monthly fees, maintenance fees, ATM fees, and of course overdraft fees. If you’re paying fees for the privilege of using your money, it may be time to find another financial institution. Better yet, open an account at a credit union where you will find fewer and lower fees.
If saving money is one of your New Year’s resolutions, we can help with our Free Checking Account!
- No monthly service charges
- No minimum balance requirements
- No per-check fees and unlimited check writing
- FREE Online Bill Pay
- Debit Card
- Optional Overdraft Protection (from savings)
- Plus, you’ll have all the technology you need to manage your account with our free mobile app, online banking, and bill pay!
Pro-Tips for Moving Your Account
Whatever the reason for opening a new bank account and leaving your old bank behind, there are certain things you need to do to make a smooth transition. Switching banks isn’t difficult, however; keep these tips in mind to avoid any pitfalls.
Transfer Direct Deposit and Automatic Payments
The beauty of direct deposit and automatic payments is that they happen AUTOMATICALLY so it’s easy to forget.
If you forget to transfer your direct deposit to your new credit union, you could be racking up overdraft fees and living off your credit card for a few days while you transfer your paycheck from your old financial institution to your new one.
Pro Tip – Make a list of your direct deposits and other automatic payments. Then reach out to the companies or individuals on that list and work with them to get those payments transferred to your new account. Be prepared to transfer money between your old and new accounts (by writing a check or making an electronic transfer) several times before you’re done switching banks because it may take several pay periods or billing cycles to switch payments to a new bank account. Ask your employer how long the process takes, and schedule accordingly.
Make a List of Bill Payments
If you are using online bill payment, it’s important to take inventory of all the bills that you automatically pay from your old account so that you can easily set up your new bill pay account.
Even though you may think you know all the bills you have set up in electronic bill pay, forgetting even one of them can lead to late fees, suspension of service, or even a company reporting your late payments to a credit bureau.
Pro Tip – Write down everything that you pay via electronic bill pay, including loans and credit card bills, as well as how much you paid each month. To be safe, download at least two months of bank statements and review them to make sure that you’ve not only listed the companies to whom you send money each month, but also companies to whom you send money irregularly.
Keep Your Old Account Open (for a while)
Once you’ve opened an account at your new financial institution, set up electronic bill pay, and transferred your direct deposits, you may be tempted to close your old account, especially if you’re paying a monthly fee. But don’t move so fast! It may take longer than you expect to update direct deposit and automatic bill pay instructions.
Pro Tip – Keep your old account open for a couple of months with a bit of a balance to pay any outstanding checks and bills. This will give you a cushion to avoid any returned checks and late payments to damage your credit history. If you’ve missed any automatic payments/deposits, it will be a simple transfer rather than a manual process. Before you close your old account, balance your checkbook one last time to make sure there are no outstanding checks or electronic payments.
Members Trust Makes Switching Easier
If you need help switching financial institutions, we can help you make the move to Members Trust! Give us a call at 800-683-6455 and we’ll do the heavy lifting so you can start saving! Download our free Switch Kit today or apply for membership here!