How to Change Banks When Relocating

Consider your banking style when you choose a new bank.
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Moving is usually a time of ambivalence. Looking forward to new surroundings, new friends and a new routine can be exciting, but relocating often requires you to change your bank and other accounts. While television providers and cell phone companies will typically transfer your accounts to your new location, you will have to find a new bank and establish your account yourself. It can seem overwhelming, but fortunately, changing banks when relocating is easy to do.

Step 1

Assess your banking needs to determine what services are important to you. If you use the ATM several times a month, you will likely be happiest with a bank that has many local machines and offers free usage or low fees. If you're a heavy traveler, you may be happiest with a bank that has branches in the places you visit most often. Find out about the services you use most often and the fees associated with them to help you choose the bank that best meets your needs.

Step 2

Wait until all checks and debits on your old account have cleared, balance your checkbook or confirm your balance electronically, and ensure you and the bank agree about the total funds you have on deposit. Withdraw enough money to open your new account as well as enough to live on for the two weeks it typically takes to receive your new checks and debit card. If your current account requires a minimum balance to avoid fees, leave sufficient funds on deposit to defer those fees or cover them.

Step 3

Open your new bank account before you close the old one. If you have automatic payments withdrawn from your current account or receive automatic deposits, transfer them to your new account with enough lead time for them to be switched over. Once you are certain all your automatic transactions will be processed by your new bank, close your old account. Ask your old bank to deposit the balance into your new account electronically; if they charge for that service, have them mail a check to your new address.

Step 4

Send your old bank your new address and phone number in writing and update it through its website as well. There are several reasons your old bank may need to contact you after your account has closed, including unexpected deposits or attempted fraudulent use of your account or information.

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