How to Change Bank Accounts

If you close your old account before stopping a bill payment, you could be penalized.

If you close your old account before stopping a bill payment, you could be penalized.

If you're moving to another city or are unhappy with your current bank, it is easy to change to another bank account. Just be careful to handle everything properly. A rushed account change can create unexpected fees and problems. By taking a few steps to get prepared, you'll be able to change bank accounts without any problems.

Open your new bank account. You should have your new account up and running before closing your old account so you don't get stuck without a bank.

Review the checkbook on the account you want to close. See what outstanding payments have not cleared. You need to keep your old account open until all these checks clear so you don't get charged an overdraft penalty.

Stop all automatic withdrawals from your bank account. These are things like bill payments, investments into retirement accounts and insurance payments. Contact creditors and let them know you are switching to a new account. Be sure to switch all these payments to your new bank so you don't miss any payments.

Contact your employer and switch the direct deposit of your paycheck into your new bank. Make sure they have all the correct information, including the routing and account numbers.

Wait a few weeks until you are sure that all payments and deposits into your old account have stopped.

Contact your old bank and let them know you want to close your account. You can do this in person or over the phone.

Transfer your remaining account balance into your new account. Rather than cashing out the account, transfer your money through a direct deposit or a cashier's check.

Tear up your old debit card and any remaining checks so no one can steal them and use your old account illegally.


  • If you had a credit card with your old bank, consider leaving it open even after switching accounts. Your credit score improves if you have older credit lines so there is a benefit to keeping this card active.

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About the Author

David Rodeck has been writing professionally since 2011. He specializes in insurance, investment management and retirement planning for various websites. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in economics from McGill University.

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