I started my taxes a few weeks ago to discover that both my business and checking banking accounts were taking monthly fees from me. That’s when I decided to change banks. Here are some tips I’ve learned along the way so that this can help others when changing banks:
- Do Your Homework. I asked 3 different people from different areas of my life about their experiences with a particular bank.
- Save 1 or 2 clients’ checks to open the new account with. Some banks have minimum deposit requirement. By waiting to open my account with those checks in hand, I was able to be well above the minimum.
- Open the new bank account(s) BEFORE closing the old account(s). By opening the accounts first, I got to see how I was treated at the bank, if the rep(s) were able to answer my questions and experience ease of opening the accounts. If I got any bad vibes or anything, I would of stopped the process without disturbing my existing account(s).
- Use the old account to pay current and upcoming (immediate) bills within a couple of weeks. This way when you cancel the old accounts, there will be less to carry over to the new accounts(s).
- Notify companies in which you have automatic bill pay agreement with. Tell them to either cancel the auto bill pay or put it on pause. Depending on the company, it can take up to 2 months to adjust everything so be prepared to either write a check, pay cash or in an emergency, use an empty credit card(gasp!).
- Have cash on hand to tie you over for a week or so until the new account is verified and you receive you ATM card. Some banks take a longer time with new accounts because they have to check over everything and you may not have immediate access to your funds.
- While you are waiting, set up online bill pay with your new account(s). Set-up all necessary bills (Utilities, Telephone, Credit Cards etc) in your new account. This way, when your funds to clear up you are ready to go. Secondary accounts like department store cards, etc. can wait to be entered as you need to pay them.
- Keep a close eye on your new account. Honestly, one should keep a close check on accounts all the time, but a weekly time frame, like a weekend should do just fine. Look at your bank statements and use in conjunction with your online account to make sure everything makes sense and that the transactions are legit.
Basically, I got tired of traveling a 1/2 hour just to deposit a check or make an ATM withdrawal. Now with my new bank, with both my personal and business account in one place, its under a 5 minute walk, which gives me more time to concentrate on getting down to business.