A recent poll by the Consumers 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.
The Kansas Credit Union Association offers these tips to help ease the burden of switching financial institutions.
Find a new financial institution. Ask your friends and family for banking recommendations. Search for a Kansas credit union or check asmarterchoice.org for a local credit union near you. Findabetterbank.com also lists banks and credit unions. Download a switch kit. Ask your new financial institution if they have a switch kit. Many do and offer consumer help in making the switch. A switch kit guides you through the process of switching financial institutions, helps you gather and organize all the pertinent information you will need to close your account, and open your new one. 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 BEFORE you close your old one. 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.
Do not 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 withdrawals have been cleared, it is safe to close your old account.