How to Know When It’s Time to Break Up with Your Bank
Unless something goes wrong, most of us don’t spend much time thinking about our bank. But even when everything is going smoothly, it’s good to periodically evaluate your bank and the services you use there to make sure it’s helping you reach your financial goals. If not, it’s probably time to break up with your bank.
How Long Has it Been?
Many people end up in long-term relationships with the bank that held their first account. This usually starts in high school or college with a savings or checking account; most often it’s the same bank your parents use. There’s nothing inherently wrong with sticking to the same back for all those years. And in fact, it can be beneficial in some ways. But if they’re not offering the products and services you need, it’s time to break up with your bank.
What to Look For
Once you decide to take a good, long look at your bank, it’s helpful to know what to look for.
You want a bank that offers:
- Low or no service fees for transactions and account maintenance
- Physical branches and ATMs in convenient locations
- Savings interest rate of 1-2% APY
- A range of services, like mortgages, business checking and personal loans
- Excellent customer service
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
If you evaluate your bank’s products and services and decide you’re happy with the way everything is going, great! There’s no reason to change right now and being an established customer in good standing will serve you well. However, if you decide your current bank isn’t giving you what you need, you’ll want to take the following steps to break up with your bank.
- Find Your New Financial Institution
Do some online research and talk to friends, family, and coworkers about where they bank and whether or not they’re happy with the services. Also, many banks offer a cash reward to new customers, so you could end up a little richer for making the switch. And don’t forget to look into local credit unions, too. You may find them friendlier and easier to work with than a traditional bank
2. Set Up New Accounts
Once you decide on a new bank or credit union, it’s time to open your accounts and transfer your assets from your old bank. Be sure you have your new financial institution’s routing numbers and all your current account numbers and information readily available.
3. Ask for a Switch Kit
Many banks offer a “switch kit” which helps to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. You simply fill out a set of documents at your new branch and the bank will take it from there. It helps to ensure direct deposits and automatic bill pays continue without any glitches. Once the changeover is complete, your new bank will also ensure all your old accounts are closed. Remember to include any safe deposit boxes, money market accounts, and other lesser used products so you don’t leave anything behind.