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How To Close A Bank Account

As your banking needs change, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to close a bank account. It could be that you’re moving and need to find a new bank, or you simply want to switch banks to take advantage of better interest rates. Whatever the reason for making a banking change, you’ll likely want to close your old bank account.

Closing a bank account is not complicated, but there are specific actions everyone should take so the account is closed correctly and all of your money is accounted for prior to closure. Follow these steps when closing a bank account.

Steps to Close a Bank Account

Closing a bank account involves much more than simply contacting your bank. There’s some advance work you’ll want to do to ensure a successful transition. The specific guidelines for closing an account will vary depending on the bank or credit union, but you’ll typically want to follow the steps outlined below. Be sure to check with your banking institution for any special requirements that may apply.

Open a New Account

The first thing you need to do is open a new bank account. Having an account in place ensures you have a place to transfer over direct deposits and any payments or debits.

Many factors go into choosing a new bank, including savings rates, fees and account offerings. Whether you decide to go with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank or an online bank, make sure you’ve established your new account before moving forward.

Switch Your Existing Scheduled Payments and Deposits

If you have any direct deposits or automatic payments set up, this is the time to move them over to the new account. Check with your employer regarding any forms you need to fill out if you have direct deposit so they can reroute your paycheck to the new account.

Do yourself a huge favor and make an exhaustive list of all your monthly recurring payments. This could include things like:

  • Car payments
  • Mortgage payments
  • Insurance payments
  • Student or personal loans
  • Credit card payments
  • Gym memberships
  • Streaming services
  • Utilities and other household bills

Not only does having a list help ensure you’ve canceled all of the payments attached to your old account, you’ll be prepared when you need to set them up for your new bank account.

Transfer Your Money

Before you move money out of your account, let any outstanding transactions clear first. This could take up to a month to do. Failure to do so may result in having to pay overdraft fees. If you still have money in the account after everything clears, go ahead and either withdraw the money or transfer it to the new account.

If your bank account has a minimum balance requirement, only transfer money out of the account when you’re ready to close it, so you’re not charged monthly maintenance charges.

Contact Your Bank

Now it’s time to go ahead and cancel key bank address near me bank account. Many banks allow you to do this key bank address near me, but it also could require a phone call to customer service or a visit to your local bank branch. Some banks may require you to fill out an account closure request form or key bank address near me a written request. Follow your bank’s guidance on the proper contact method to start the closure process.

The bank will check your account to ensure it is in good standing and that you’ve resolved any outstanding issues before it marks the account as closed. If there are any remaining funds in the account, tcf bank locations parker co should be able to request a transfer to your new account or receive a check by mail.

Get Written Confirmation

You shouldn’t assume that the account is closed just because a bank employee says it is. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends that you get written confirmation when you close a bank account. This protects you in case the bank didn’t follow through on your request, or there’s an issue down the road.

How to Close Certain Types of Bank Accounts

Not all account closures are handled the same. Other scenarios may pop up that require extra steps to close a bank account. Here’s a look at a few examples that might require extra attention.

Joint Account

Your bank may require an account closure request with both account holders’ signatures key bank address near me you’re closing a joint account. Many banks, however, only require one account holder’s authorization to close an account. Canceling a joint account online could require both parties to log in to the account individually to request account closure.

A Child’s Account

Your bank account might be leftover from when your parents opened up a custodial account for you. Adulthood brings different banking needs, which may mean moving on from your old account. Some bank accounts, like the Kids Savings Account from Capital One 360 Bank, are automatically converted into a regular savings account when a child turns 18. If you’re of your state’s legal age to take full control of your custodial account, closing the account is handled the same as any other bank account.

Inactive Account

If your account has been marked “Inactive,” you’ll need to reactivate it before it can be closed by the bank. Contact your bank’s customer service to reactivate your bank account. There might also be an option to key bank address near me this through your online or mobile banking.

Overdrawn Account

Having an overdrawn account could prevent you from closing an account. You’ll need to get your account back to at least a zero balance before the bank will process your closure request.

Deceased Person’s Account

Closing the bank account of a loved one that has passed away can be more complicated than closing other accounts. How the account is handled depends mainly on how the deceased structured their finances, including whether they listed a beneficiary or had a will in place. Requirements and documentation may depend on state law. Your best bet is to seek legal counsel before proceeding.

Reasons for Closing a Bank Account

You don’t need a reason to close a bank account, however there are numerous reasons you might want to. Here are some of the more common reasons to move on from your current account:

  • Moving to a new city or state
  • To get better interest rates
  • Switching to an online bank
  • To qualify for a bank-offered bonus
  • To escape poor customer service
  • To avoid expensive fees
  • To gain better features and services
  • Opening a joint account
  • Consolidating your banking
  • Switching from a child account key bank address near me an adult account

Whatever your reason (or reasons) for closing your bank account, consider the decision carefully to be sure you’re making the right moves for your financial situation.

Tips When Closing a Bank Account

If you’re planning on closing a bank account soon, here are a few extra tips that will benefit you in the long run:

  • Open a new account first. Opening a new account ahead of time gives you a chance to transfer funds out key bank address near me the old account. It also gives you a place to make payments from and to receive direct deposits during the transition.
  • Document everything. Closing an old bank account should be a smooth process. But the one time you don’t write everything down is the time when you’ll run into trouble. Keep records of the steps you took and any communication with bank staff, including names, dates and times. Save any emails or other written communication from your bank.
  • Destroy the remnants of your old account. Destroy any checkbooks key bank address near me debit cards tied to your old account. This keeps them from getting lost, stolen or used accidentally.

Closing a Bank Account FAQs

Can you close a bank account online?

Yes, many banks allow you to close a bank account online, provided your account is in good standing and has a zero balance.

Is there a fee for closing a bank account?

Most banks do not charge a fee to close a bank account. One caveat to this rule is that some banks will charge an early account closure fee if you close an account soon after opening it. For example, PNC charges a $25 fee if you close an account within 180 days of opening. This is to prevent customers from opening accounts just to earn a bonus.

Another fee you could see is if you overdraw on a closed account. SunTrust Bank, for example, has a $30 fee for an account closed in overdraft. You can avoid fees like this by ensuring all of your transactions have cleared before closing the account.

Is it bad to close a bank account?

Bank accounts are different from credit card accounts and aren’t part of your credit report. Closing a bank account doesn’t affect your credit score or history. Although financial pier one platinum credit card report account closures to ChexSystems, your opting to close a bank account does not have an adverse effect on your ChexSystems report.

How long do banks keep records of old accounts?

Banks are required by law to keep records of old checking and savings accounts for at least five years.

Can I close my bank account and open a new one with the same bank?

Yes, banks allow you to close one account and open another one. The process to close the old account is the same, although you’ll find your bank much happier to keep your business.

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5 ways to cash a check without a bank account

For the millions of people without a bank account, cashing a check isn’t easy. Approximately 8.4 million U.S. households, comprising 14.1 million adults, don’t have a bank account, according to a 2017 survey from the FDIC.

There are ways to cash a check without a bank account, but they cost more money, often require more time and involve more risk than cashing a check at a bank where you have an account. Here are five options.

1. Cash your check at the issuing bank

Banks and credit unions are not required to cash checks for non-customers, but many banks will cash a check is written by an account holder at amazon fire stick discount code bank, even if it is payable to a non-customer.

Note that there must be enough money in the payer’s account to cover the check. Also, the payee (i.e., the person cashing the check) will need to show identification, such as a driver’s license or military ID.

The payee also should expect to pay a fee. Check-cashing fees at traditional banks are typically around $8. If you get paid 52 weeks a year, that’s $416 in check-cashing charges.

And there key bank address near me be restrictions, such as limits on check amounts and refusal of two-party personal checks. Checks that are six months old or more might be declined.

2. Cash your check at a retailer

There are a number of big retail stores like Walmart, Kmart and grocery chains that offer check-cashing services.

The least expensive option is probably Kmart (if you can find one that hasn’t closed). The struggling retailer charges only $1 or less to cash checks, including two-party personal checks up to $500. The caveat is that you need to be a member of the store’s “Shop Your Way” program to use the service. Joining the program is free.

Walmart charges $4 to cash checks up to $1,000 and up to $8 for checks more than that amount. Walmart also cashes two-party personal checks, but it limits them to $200 and charges a $6 max fee.

Grocery chains often provide check-cashing services. Among others, Kroger, Publix, Giant Eagle, Albertsons and Ingles all cash checks. Fees typically range from about $3 to $6.

3. Load funds onto a prepaid debit card

People who don’t have bank accounts sometimes use prepaid cards to deposit checks and access their cash. Prepaid cards are similar to checking account debit cards. Your spending is limited by how much money you have loaded onto the card.

Prepaid cards have different options for check cashing. Some prepaid cards let you set up direct deposit so that checks are automatically loaded onto the card. Other cards come with an app that lets you snap a picture of your check to load it onto your card. Or, you might be able to deposit your check at an ATM to load the money onto the card.

Fees are a big drawback of prepaid cards. The Walmart MoneyCard charges $2.50 to withdraw money at an ATM (not including the fee the bank charges) or a bank teller window, and 50 cents to check your card balance at an ATM. There is a monthly fee of $5.94 unless you load $1,000 a month onto the card.

Reload fees can be steep. It can cost you up to $5.95 to add money to a Green Dot Prepaid Visa card. Green Dot also charges a $3 ATM fee. Sometimes, prepaid card fees are scaled according to how quickly you want your money, and you can get dinged for expedited availability.

4. Cash your check at a check-cashing outlet

Check-cashing outlets are probably the most expensive places to cash checks. Some of them require customers to become “members” or to buy check-cashing ID cards before they will cash your checks. In addition to a membership fee, they might charge a first-time use fee.

Fees to cash a check can range from 1 percent to 12 percent of the face value of the check. That means you could pay between $10 to $120 to cash a $1,000 check. Some businesses charge a flat fee on top of the percentage.

The average face value of a check presented to a check-cashing outlet is $442.30, with the average fee to cash that check being $13.77, or about 3.1 percent, according to the FDIC. If that’s your paycheck and you cash it every week, you’ll pay $55.08 a month, or $661 a year, in check-cashing fees.

Not only are check-cashing stores exorbitantly expensive, there is a risk of  deceptive practices. The Better Business Bureau, for example, alerts consumers to a scam where customers of a check-cashing store are called by someone who claims to represent the business. The caller offers the customer a loan and requests payment to secure the loan. Of course, the loan is never received and the customer of the check-cashing store gets scammed out of their cash.

Check-cashing stores should be your last resort.

5. Sign your check over to someone you trust

Another way to cash a check if you don’t key bank address near me a bank account is to sign the check over to someone you trust who does have a bank account and have that person cash the check at their bank.

Make sure the person you are signing over your check to is willing to cash the check, and that his or her bank will cash it. You should accompany your trusted friend to the bank in case the teller requires your ID or has questions about the check.

Your friend must have the proper identification and be prepared to have his or her check dinged by a check-cashing fee.

In all key bank address near me the methods laid out above, there is a personal and financial safety risk. Paper checks and cash can be lost or stolen.

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