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7:59 am 14/10/2011

How you can painlessly switch financial institutions

Bank of America announced last week that it will soon start getting its customers a fee every month for using debit cards. Other banks are considering similar moves to be able to counter new federal laws that limit the fees banks may charge retailers for debit card transactions. In a recent AP-GFK poll, 66 percent of Americans surveyed said they would consider switching financial institutions in the light of such a shift. However, if not done carefully, a bank switch can present its own risks. Article resource: How to painlessly switch banks

Successful switching

Here are seven steps that will get you changed to a new bank without any additional fees or problems.

1 - Pick a financial institution

You have to figure out what you would like in a new bank. What exactly are the services that need to be provided? What services do you not need? Are you going to earn more in interest than the bank will charge in banking fees? Are you in a good location? Do your research to determine which bank or credit union best serves you and your needs. It is easy to compare services and fees at financial institutions with online tools. These could be discovered at Bankrate.com, Google Adviser and MoneyRates.com.

2 - A brand new account

Before you close your old account, make sure you do this. You have time to get a new debit card from the brand new bank also. Richard Barrington of MoneyRates.com recommends letting the two accounts overlap for an entire statement period.

3 - The new account works best

Before closing the account, all payments have to go through. This will contain automatic payments, checks and charges.

4 - The new account should get direct deposits

In order to make sure your paycheck goes into the new account rather than old account, talk to your payroll department. You'll need to supply all the new banking information, including account and routing numbers.

Before you move to step 5, you need to wait an entire pay cycle.

5 - Transfer any automatic payments to the new account

The new banking information should be given to any person that does direct billing. Make sure you contact every person. All insurance premiums and IRA contributions count.

6 - Old account should be done in writing

Taking all of the money out of an account won't automatically close it. Most cases require you to do this yourself. Fees could turn out to be charged to the account. This could be a problem if the balance is at zero. To be able to leave a paper trail, close the account in writing. The closing date and account number should be copied. Write these things down. Keep records. Put this copy in them.

7 - For security

Finally, shred your unused checks from the old bank and ruin any debit cards.

Information from

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/10/03/a-five-step-plan-for-dumping-your-bank/

http://www.ehow.com/how_5530211_change-bank-accounts.html

http://www.money-rates.com/

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