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Illustration of a purple house with a grassy green yard and trees around the house.
Illustration of a purple house with a grassy green yard and trees around the house.
Illustration of a purple house with a grassy green yard and trees around the house.

Changing banks: A guide for moving your money

Published June 2024. 

How to seamlessly make the switch.

Making the move from one bank to another can feel overwhelming and tedious. But there are probably fewer steps than you think.

Maybe you’re breaking up with your old bank because they aren’t meeting your needs. Maybe great features and friendlier fees have you thinking about parking your money somewhere new. Whatever your reasons are, we have some steps you can take to make the process smoother.

1. Shop around.

Before you dive into the deep end, think about what you’re looking for in a financial institution. That could include how easy their website is to navigate, what kinds of accounts they offer, do they have financial education programs, or does their marketing make you laugh? (It does, right?)

Once you know what’s important to you, explore your options. Compare the differences of a few places that fit your needs. Also, consider checking out what other people are saying. Ask friends and family who bank there what they think and read online reviews.

2. Open your new account.

Yay! You found the one. It’s time to open your new account.

The process is usually straightforward: fill out an application, provide some ID so we know you are who you say you are, and make an initial deposit.

Make sure you save your new account details somewhere safe. You’ll need them for the next steps.

3. List your regular payments.

Break out the pen and paper, spreadsheet, or whatever you prefer to use when you make a checklist. Your next step is to list out all the payments that come out of your account. That includes your gym membership, streaming subscriptions, and all your bills.

Don’t forget to update your direct deposit. You want to make sure your paycheck is going to the right account.

Pro-tip: While you have everything listed out like this, it’s a good time to check in on your budget. Some things you have set to autopay may have changed their pricing without you noticing.

Don’t have a budget? This is a great foundation to start on.

4. Start the switch to your new account.

With your list in hand, start the move. Update your payment information for each service.

Some places make it easy, and you can quickly change your information online. Others might require a phone call. Either way, once it’s done, you can check it off the list.

You’re one step closer to having everything moved to your new account.

5. Transfer your balance.

Move the funds from your old account to the new one.

We recommend you leave a small buffer in your old account just in case there are any straggling payments.

Want to make it extra easy to pay all your bills on time? Enroll in billpay. It's one of the best money management tools around.

6. Close your old account.

Once you’re sure all payments have successfully switched and your balance is zero (or close to it), it’s time to bid adieu to your old bank.

Some banks allow you to close an account online, while others may need you to visit a branch or send a written request.

Follow their procedure and keep a copy of the closure confirmation for your records. It’s your official breakup letter–short, sweet, and final.

For the next couple of months, you’ll want to keep a close eye on both accounts. To make sure all transactions are happening as they should.

Change is hard, but switching financial institutions can be a fresh start for your finances. It’s all about finding the right fit for you.