They had a long and stressful relationship. But it’s finally time to break up for good.
If this accurately describes you and your bank, it is important that you carry out your breakup the right way. Follow these instructions on how to close a bank account so you can start over with confidence.
Find your new bank
Before you even think about getting the messages on to your bank, you need to find a replacement. This is one time that rebounding immediately after a breakup is a good thing. Failure to find a new bank before ditching your old one can create a huge financial problem for you.
Finding your perfect bank may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. There are numerous resources out there to help you choose a bank, whether you are considering an online-only bank, a brick and mortar bank, or a credit union.
Check out our current list of bank promotions to receive a cash bonus when you sign up for a new bank account.
Start the separation process
Once you’ve opened your new bank account, it’s time to start transferring your funds.
Make sure you have automatic payments covered
Unless you enjoy living off a checkbook, chances are some (if not all) of your bills will automatically get paid each month. These automatic payments are tied to your bank account. So if you close your account before switching your billing information, your payments will go through by default.
At least that means late fees. However, if you fail to pay something like your phone bill, then your service may be interrupted. This can be devastating if you rely on your phone to work.
Transfer your credit
Now that you’ve switched your automatic payments, it’s time to transfer your balance to your new account. It’s a good idea to keep some cash in your old account for a short time to cover any automatic payments you may have forgotten about. The last thing you want is an overdraft on your old bank account.
Make sure to transfer your money from all of your accounts, including checks and savings.
Give him some time
Once you’ve transferred your funds to your new account, you might be tempted to disconnect from your old bank immediately. However, it’s a good idea to keep your old account open for a few months to make sure you don’t have any payments left.
You can also leave a small amount of money ($ 100 to $ 200) in the account to cover surprise payments and avoid overdraft fees.
Which bank you use is more important than you might think. Find out where to keep your money (and more!) In The Penny Hoarder Daily.
How to close a bank account
Once you are sure that everything is fine with your new account, you can start closing your old account.
Online or in person
Depending on the type of account you have (and your personal preferences), you can usually close your account either online or in person at a local branch office.
Your bank may also require you to submit a written request. This should include your name, address and bank account number. If you have multiple accounts with the same bank, be sure to provide separate numbers for each account you wish to close.
Request a written letter
If you have written a request to terminate your bank account, ask the bank to provide you with written confirmation as soon as the account or accounts are closed. Even if you do receive a confirmation letter, it is still wise to call the bank to check that everything has gone through and you have not missed any instructions from them to complete the closure.
Deposit all leftovers
After you close your account, your old bank may send you a check for the remaining balance on that account. Make sure you deposit this check into your new account as soon as possible. Most banks have a deposit feature in their apps, but you can also take the check to a branch to deposit if you are more comfortable that way.
Check your statement
After you officially close your account, carefully review your most recent statement. You want to make sure that there are no unexpected or undetected charges there. If you see anything suspicious, contact your old bank immediately to resolve the issue.
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frequently asked Questions
Throughout the process, you will likely have some questions about closing a bank account or hear some terms that you do not understand, such as:
What are zombie accounts?
Some banks will automatically reopen closed accounts when a fee is charged. This can happen if you forget to change the details of one of your automatic payments, or if your request to change your automatic billing details did not go through properly. If so, contact your old bank to discuss your options.
Will closing a bank account affect my creditworthiness?
You probably know that closing a credit card or loan can have a minor impact on your credit score. Fortunately, closing a checking or savings account has no effect on your balance as long as you don’t have a negative balance.
What if I have a negative balance?
If your old account has a negative balance, you will likely need to pay it off before the bank lets you close. If you manage to close it without paying out your balance, the bank may send it to collections that will appear on your credit report and affect your credit score.
Breaking up with your bank can seem daunting, but if you go down the right track, you can take a clean break and enjoy your new banking relationship with no baggage.
Catherine Hiles is a writer, mother, runner, and avid reader. She enjoys cooking (and eating), drinking good beer, and hanging out with her husband and two young children.