Recent news of rising bank fees seems to have hit consumers right in the pocketbook, causing many to think about their financial options. But switching financial institutions is no easy task.
A recent poll by the Consumer Union shows one in five consumers considered moving their money to another financial institution, citing fee increases, better rates at a different financial institution and poor service for the top reasons for wanting to switch financial institutions.
But most did not make the switch because they said it was too complicated and time consuming.
We've put together a resource for you, a general guideline of all the steps you need to take when switching to a different financial institution.
Download a switch kit.
The switch kit will guide you through the process of switching financial institutions, help you gather and organize all the pertinent information you’ll need to close your account, and open your new one. Ask your new financial institution if they have a switch kit, as well, as many do and offer consumer help in making the switch.
Find a new financial institution.
Ask your friends and family for banking recommendations. Search for a Kansas credit union or check asmarterchoice.org for credit unions nationwide. Most people are eligible to join at least one credit union near them.
Research products and services.
Make sure your new financial institution has all the products and services you need or want. How much is a checking account? How much is the minimum balance you must keep in your accounts? Are there credit card and ATM options? What about online or mobile banking?
Open your new account.
Open your new account, before you close your old account. Make sure you have your credit and debit cards and new checks. Ensure your account is fully functional before closing your other account.
Set up direct deposit and switch automatic payment options.
Setting up direct deposit is an easy process. Just make sure you have your new financial institution’s routing number and your new account number. Your new institution can help you with this direct deposit process.
Don’t forget to switch your automatic payment options to your new financial institution. This includes mortgage payments, utility bills or automatic transfers from your checking account to another account. If you close your old account before doing this, you might miss important deadlines and be slapped with additional fees.
Close your account.
Once your new account is functional, and all your outstanding withdrawls have been cleared, it is safe to close your old account.