A step-by-step guide to moving to a Better Banking Option
You’ve decided to move your money to a better bank or credit union? Good for you! And good for the people who will benefit from loans from your deposits in the better bank.
It isn’t difficult to change banks, though you may not believe that when you look at the length of this explanation. The detail here is, perhaps, a bit excessive, but we wanted to walk you through the process as thoroughly as possible to help you avoid annoying missteps along the way.
The potential impact from the one-time change in where you bank is enormous. Using a better bank or credit union can be one of the easiest ways for you to change the world. When we redirect our money into channels that take it to the people that need it most, and encourage others to do the same, it makes a huge difference in who and what is being invested in.
Step 1 – Research your new bank. What fees would you be paying? Do the interest rates and online banking services fulfill your needs and expectations? Essentially, you want to understand what you’re getting from your new bank and what you’ll be expected to pay. Fees at better banks are usually competitive with other institutions, but if your better community bank charges a higher fee, you could consider that as your monthly contribution to good works in your community.
Step 2- Open your new bank account and move enough money to the new account to keep it open with minimum fees.
Step 3- Order a new debit card and checks from your new bank and make sure you have both at your disposal before moving forward.
Step 4- Make a plan for moving all automatic deposits and withdrawals that occur in your old account. It’s important to ensure there’s enough money in each account to cover any money automatic withdrawals; you don’t want to overdraw either account.
Step 5- Now act on the plan. Have any direct deposits redirected to your new account. Make sure you know exactly when this money will be coming to your new accounts, so you can plan accordingly.
Step 6- Move your automatic withdrawals to your new account, first making sure there’s enough money in the new account to cover each payment. Again, make sure you know exactly when these transfers will be taking place. You may want to leave a small amount of money in your old account for a time, just in case there are any automatic withdrawals you’ve forgotten.
Step 7- If you’ve been using online banking with your old accounts, print out or download your statements or any other important documents for your personal records.
Step 8- If your better bank isn’t physically in your community, consider leaving your old account open to get local access to cash. If you don’t need that option, and when you’re sure everything is flowing into and out of your new account, follow the old bank’s process for closing your account to make sure you’re not accruing any fees. Because your old bank won’t want you to leave, it may be easiest to do this in person. Take out any remaining funds in your account while you’re there and make sure you get written documentation that the old account is, in fact, closed.
These last two steps are optional for your personal finances but essential to spreading the word about what better banking can do for our communities.
Step 9- Write a short letter to your old bank’s board letting them know why you left their bank and what they should be doing differently.
Step 10- Talk about your experience moving your money and why you decided to do so with anyone that will listen. Tell your friends and communities and spread the word on your social media pages. When you do so, please tag our Facebook page, or simply get in touch with us through our contact page. We would love to hear about your experience making the world a better place through better banking.
There are other useful articles on this topic out there. Our list includes all the best advice from those sources.
Additionally, here is a printable version of this list that you can easily use and distribute as you please.