Where you bank may seem like a small decision (they’re all more or less the same right?) but actually, choosing the right financial partner can have a big impact on your overall financial wellbeing by giving you access to better services, lower loan interest rates and possibly even more money. Plus, when you choose Summit it’s not that difficult to switch. You just need a few key pieces of information.
When you decide it’s time to switch to Summit, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Switching Banks Checklist
Before you do anything, take a quick inventory of everything that’s connected to your current bank account. That way, you’ll know what needs to be updated when you’re ready to make the switch. Here are some things to consider:
- Direct deposits
- Household bills (rent or mortgage, utilities)
- Recurring payments (student loans, car payments, credit cards)
- Insurance (auto, home, health)
- Family and wellness services (child care, gym membership)
- Subscription services
- Online and mobile banking tools
- Other income sources, like investment earnings or Social Security benefits
Deciding Where to Do Your Banking
The next thing you should do is decide where you want to move your bank accounts. Choosing a credit union like Summit has some nice perks, like Cash Boomerang program* – our member giveback program. Yes – really!
Here are a few other differences between a credit union and a bank:
- A credit union is a financial cooperative owned by its members, whereas a bank is a for-profit corporation.
- Credit unions can give their members higher savings interest rates and lower rates on loans because they’re not beholden to shareholder interests the way banks are.
- Credit union members vote to determine who serves on the board of directors. You can even volunteer yourself. It’s a democracy!
How to Change Banks in 5 Easy Steps
Once you’ve gone through the checklist and decided that Summit’s right for you, there’s nothing holding you back. Time to go for it!
- Open your new account.
This is the easiest part! You’ll want to leave your old account open for six weeks, so you have enough time to transition all your payments and services. Put enough in your new account that you can start using it for some of your recurring payments, while still keeping some in your old account too – just in case. You wouldn’t want to end up with an overdraft fee because one of your automatic payments didn’t get changed over right away.
- Link your old account to your new account.
That way, you can put money from your old account into your new account when you need it. Linking the accounts involves making a transfer to an external account, which you should be able to do through online banking. Look for something that says “add new” and enter the following details about your new bank or credit union:
- Institution name
- ABA routing number
- Account number
- Transition your direct deposits, automatic payments and other services.
Talk to your employer ahead of time about getting your paycheck deposited into your new account. We suggest doing this as soon as possible before your next direct deposit. Meanwhile, start updating your automatic payments to pull from your new account.
- Confirm all your payments are being made from the new account.
There’s no reason to rush closing your old account. You can wait until the next cycle of bills to make sure everything is functioning correctly. There’s always a chance there could be a hiccup in the process or something you forgot, so it’s nice to keep a small stash of cash in the old account just in case.
- Close your old account.
First, withdraw any remaining money from the account. Then, send a letter to your bank letting them know they should close the account permanently. You should receive written or email confirmation from the institution that the account has been closed. When the day arrives, shred your old credit and debit cards.
Changing banks can feel like a chore, but having a financial partner that you can trust and who cares if you succeed? So worth it.
*No minimum balances are required to be eligible for the program. Any fees/charges applied to an account will reduce the account balance and result in less dividends earned. A checking account must be open as of 9/30 of year of payment to be eligible for the program. Only members in good standing at the date of the payout will receive a payout as long as the Cash Boomerang computes to $10 or more, with a maximum of $1,000. Cash Boomerang is not guaranteed. Cash Boomerang is a dividend and subject to tax reporting.