Banks are doing a crummy job of disclosing fees even as they raise them, reports the LA Times. If you’ve had it with your bank, I share tips to painlessly close a bank account below.
The findings by the Pew Charitable Trusts are an update to their 2011 report. This time, the study looks at the 12 largest banks and the 12 largest credit unions. Really? Credit Unions, as well!
The study revealed that important policies and fee information are not summarized in an easy-to-understand format. The complicated lingo can make closing an account a daunting task, but it’s doable. Note that you should give yourself a one-month lead time to make the transition to your new account.
- Make sure to open your new account before closing your current account.
- Speak with your employer about changing your direct deposit information if you have your check deposited into your current account.
- Once your checks are deposited into your new account, make sure to set up automatic transactions and automatic withdrawals.
- Set up automatic bill pay from your new account, if you use it.
- Stop using your checks and make sure withdrawals and deposits are cleared prior to cutting ties with your bank.
- Many banks have a closing package — it’s all the documents you need to close an account. Don’t forget to ask if there’s a fee for closing your account.
- Leave some cushion money in your old account in case you forgot to all about an automatic payment. You don’t want to miss anything important like a car or mortgage payment.
- Balance your checkbook before closing so you can verify the amount you’ll be getting from the bank.
- Keep an eye out for identity theft. Make sure you shred old bank cards and read any bank statements you receive after closing the account.
- If you’re heading to a physical branch to close your account, call ahead for the bank’s hours as some have a specific person that handles bank closures. They don’t make it easy on you. Do they?
Sticking it out with your bank? Here are how to prevent bank fees.
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