Couple Money

How to Seamlessly Switch to a New Bank or Credit Union

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Are you sick and tired of your bank, but you’re worried about dealing with the hassle of switching today?

We’re going to show how you can seamlessly move your money and find a better banking option for you!

rEADY to Switch A nEW Bank?

A bad bank or credit union can not only be a headache, but it can also slow you down as you try to build your finances. 

Between the excessive/hidden fees, bad customer service, and low-interest rates on savings, it’s understandable if you’re frustrated. 

You may be wondering, what’s the point of keeping your money there? 

That’s basically how we felt when we dealing with our old banks. 

When my husband and I first got married in 2006 we decided to open joint checking and savings accounts and keep most of our money there.

We both had free checking with two of the big banks (Bank of America and Wachovia at the time) that we opened when were in college.

Since they were student checking accounts they had no maintenance fees which was a plus. However, they didn’t offer much else so neither account stood out.

Because I would be taking care of the day to day budget and bills, we opened our joint accounts with Bank of America.

I never had a problem with them so I figured it would be alright to use them.

I was wrong.

Within 6 months of opening the joint accounts, we were having problems with them.

Besides getting hit up with bank fees (now we had a monthly minimum to keep), wrong accounts being debited (bills came out of my account instead of the joint), and rude customer service (don’t even want to talk about that).

We had a decision to make – keep dealing with this nonsense or move our money.

Guess which one we picked? 

Looking back, I’m so glad we switched. Our money is actually earning something – even in this low-interest environment.

Fees have dropped significantly, money is coming out of the right accounts, and if a mistake comes up – no one is perfect – it’s quickly resolved. 

Actually resolved by a person and not someone reading from a script or switching us from department to department. 

I wish we had done it sooner, but like most people, we hesitated because of the hassle. 

Making sure paychecks were moved over, having bills come out of the new account, avoiding fees while switching – these were all things we wanted to avoid. 

Maybe you’re in this boat – you’re not happy with where you’re banking, but you don’t want to deal with the hassle. 

So today, I’ll take you through how you can seamlessly switch to a new bank or credit union. 

In this episode, we’ll discuss:

Are you ready? Let’s get started! 

Resources to Get the Most Out of Your Bank Accounts

Are you two ready to master your joint accounts? Do you want to create a system that fits your priorities and styles?

Here are some resources to check out.

Thank You to Our Sponsor Coastal!

Support for this podcast comes from Coastal Credit Union! If you’re living in the Raleigh Durham area and looking to bank better, come check out Coastal today.

We’ve been members for years and love their service and competitive rates on checking and savings accounts!

Why It’s Time to Move Your Money

Where you bank matters. Most couples are checking and savings accounts are the foundation of our financial system.

When it’s not working, it just makes everything harder.

You heard a bit of our story, but sadly, ours is pretty common.

In addition to feeling frustrated with fees and minimum balance requirements, couples are also upset because the other side of the coin, which is when they do deposit and do save, they’re not really earning money at all.

And I understand that a bank has to have money to run and so fees are a part of that.

However, there have been times in the news where you see that banks are chasing profits, increasing fees, and the employees are incentivized to hit quotas that have caused certain things to just cross over to the line with they’re hurting their customers.

Customers find that accounts are opened in their name without their permission.

Withdrawals are reordered so that it will maximize overdraft fees.

When you do have someone call in to try to get things fixed, they get the runaround.

We’ve had this happen with us when we had someone else’s account information showing when we signed in and we tried to report this and get this fixed, the customer service rep one didn’t believe us, which was kind of preposterous.

And two, they didn’t have the authority to fix it.

We couldn’t get transferred to someone who could take care of that. So for us, that was a red flag and that’s why we left, but you don’t have to have something dramatic as ours.

You can simply just review your statements over the past year or so and ask yourself, what value am I getting from my bank?

You could be missing out on money with the low-interest rates on savings and getting hit with fees, but then also wasting time because you’re trying to fix the mistakes that the banks make.

I can understand, not wanting to deal with the hassle, but really if you’re trying to hit some big financial goals, like paying off debt or saving up for a big dream, or maybe down the line, pursuing financial freedom, you have to get your banking system in order.

This is perhaps the most crucial piece that you need to start digging out of debt and building wealth.

How Do We Find the Best Banking Option for Us?

The first step is looking how you currently use your bank and review what’s working and what isn’t.

We’ve seen some great promotions to the mail and online with the signup bonuses for opening new accounts at certain banks and credit unions.

I can understand the enticement, but don’t let that be your main concern after all. It’s what happens after that honeymoon period, so to speak, that matters.

Define Your Must-Have Bank Features

What you need to do is define what features are essential to you so that you’re both saving time and money when you’re banking.

For example, digital banking for us is a must even before COVID my husband and I do most of our banking online and through our phones.

If we were hunting today, we would have to make sure that our new credit union or bank had an app and that their digital banking tools worked smoothly.

Some other features on our list and probably would be yours, include:

I know we’re living in a time of low-interest rates, but we still want to earn something with our savings. So yes, I’d be looking for those banks and credit unions with competitive interest rates.

Compare Your Banking Options

You need to then rank these features in order of importance and know which ones are deal-breakers, and which ones are nice to have.

With that list, it then becomes easier to start comparing your options, uncouple any, I try to highlight what’s available.

You can use the money toolkit or at the bottom of my posts in the banking category. I have a handy tool that pulls up banks with their rates so that you can shop around.

Now, besides the big banks, you may also want to keep these alternatives in mind.

Credit Unions

The first one is credit unions. Credit unions offer many of the same services as banks, checking savings, money market accounts.

In some cases, business accounts and members can apply for auto loans and mortgages. So what is the big difference between them? The main thing is how they’re structured. When you join a credit union, you’re a member and part owner. And while a bank may reward shareholders, credit unions return their surplus income to their members in different forms.

It could be dividends, better interest rates higher with deposits or lower with loans.

In surveys by Bankrate, they found that credit unions tended to be cheaper than banks when you consider overdrafts requiring lower minimum balances and having lower fees for out of network, ATMs.

Community Banks

Another option that you may want to look into our community banks, they can give you more of that personal touch.

And if you have a question, you’re more likely to get someone on the phone instead of being sorted through an automated system.

For many couples, knowing that there’s someone that they could talk to if they have a question and who’s more familiar with their finances is a huge advantage.

Online Banks

And finally, you may want to consider looking at online banks.

Since more people are doing their banking digitally with devices, there’s less hesitation for people to sign up for this option compared to when we first made the switch.

Because online banks don’t have brick and mortar branches that lower overhead can translate to more competitive rates and sometimes benefits such as low or no minimum balances on their accounts.

Now, even though they’re online, you still want to make sure that you’re secure. So please keep your search with those FDIC insured institutions.

Whoever you choose to bank with, make sure that it aligns with your finances and also your values.

How to Switch Banks or Credit Unions: The Process

Let’s start off with the good news switching banks or credit unions. Isn’t complicated. However it does take being organized.

Now, if you use the guidelines that we talked about in the last segment, you have a better idea of finding the best banking option for you. That’s really the most difficult part of the hunt.

So now, you know, Where you want to move your money? How do you start the process?

First? Let’s organize everything. Make a list of all your regular monthly bill payments that you make as well as irregular or semi-annual payments. An example of this could be your life insurance premiums, which may come out twice a year.

If you are using a money app, this is much easier because you can pull that data and see month to month what’s being taken out. And one.

You also want to check in with HR to make sure that you have the right forms so that you can make that transition with your paychecks into the new accounts, but before you sign up and make that transfer, make sure that you’ve opened your new account.

And typically with banks, they’re going to be asking you for identification, such as your driver’s license.

You’ll also need your social security number. And that form from HR so that you can make sure that your paychecks are going to be deposited in the correct accounts.

If you’re joining a credit union, they may have criteria for membership.

To smooth out this transition with opening an account and still having some things in the old account, what you could do is time this.

Something that’s been helpful for many couples, especially if they get paid biweekly is to go for one of those months where they get three paychecks.

They use that extra paycheck to open that new account, put the money in, and then they start switching the deposits, bill payments and transfers over.

You can also time it, if you are anticipating a bonus or maybe a tax refund.

You may be wondering how long should we be keeping our old accounts open and it really does depend on how complicated your financial system is, but you want to wait probably about a month to make sure that everything is taken out correctly before closing.

For the most part you’re done, but if you miss a bill or two, usually what happens is that they contact you about the missed payment and then you can make the arrangements with the new accounts.

I hope he can see here that it’s not as complicated as maybe you imagined switching accounts. It does take a bit of time and organization, but it is well worth it.

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Music Credit

Like the music in this episode? Our theme song is by Gentle Regime. Additional Music from Artists at Audiio

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