You’re Moving – Can You Keep Your Bank Account?


Short answer: Most likely. But take these thoughts into consideration….

With moving comes the great anticipation of new beginnings and excitement for what's to come.

While you may be thinking about the best ways to save money when moving, questions can arise that you may not have thought about considering. One of those thoughts that would come up is whether or not you should switch your banks during your new chapter.

We'll take a look at some of the factors you should consider before taking the leap to switch your financial institution.

When To Switch Bank Accounts When You Move

1. There are no branches available to you.

If you are the type of account holder that enjoys the brick-and-mortar experience of a bank or credit union, you should first check to see where the nearest branch is to your new location. If you are moving to an area where your current financial institution is not physically available to you, this may mean you should seek some different options that are available in your area.

Keep in mind that while it is easy to assume there will be a physical location near you if you bank with a national financial institution, this may not always be the case. No matter who you bank with, check the nearest locations to help you make your decision.

2. If the fees are too high.

If you are finding yourself battling with your current bank or credit union about monthly fees, now would be a great opportunity to check out some alternate financial institutions that may not charge those. Research local credit unions and banks in the area to compare and contrast the fees they charge to your current account and if there's a way for you to avoid monthly maintenance fees altogether. If switching can help save you some cash month-to-month, why not give it a go?

3. Your financial needs aren't being met.

Aside from physical locations and fees, it would help if you also considered whether or not your current account actually fits your financial needs the best. It's important to look at the whole financial picture, including fees, interest rates on both loans and savings accounts, and additional products your institution offers. If you're finding that rates on loans are too high, you're not getting a great return on your funds with investment options, or they simply don't offer products that are important to you like IRA's, credit cards, and more, it's a good sign that you're not with the right bank.

4. You can get better perks elsewhere.

Once you've completed your research on the available options in your new area, you may find that some local options have great perks that you're not getting with your current account. Some credit unions or banks offer member cashback, lowered interest rates, specialized events, and more!

Keep Your Bank Account When You Move

1. You're not moving far.

If you're not moving states or even just hours away from your current location, you may not need to switch your financial institutions. If you have a great relationship with your account and don't mind having to potentially commute a bit further to your nearest location, the steps to switching your account might not be worth it.

2. You don't need the brick-and-mortar experience.

If you're moving far away, you may be wondering, "Can I keep my bank account if I move out of state?" For many banks and credit unions, once you become a customer, you're a customer for life -- even if you move out of the main area they serve. If you find yourself seldom going into branches and are confident you can conduct your banking remotely, keeping your current account could be a great option.

3. You don't want to refinance your loans.

Switching an account that is just a savings and checking is much easier than one that includes other products like a mortgage or car loan. Unless you could be getting a much lower rate at a different institution, it probably isn't worth switching over all of your accounts to a new financial institution. Especially when you consider the hard credit pulls that refinancing would require that would affect your credit score.

Keep in mind that you do have the option to switch over your checking and savings accounts if that makes regular banking easier for you while keeping your loans at your current bank. Additionally, make sure you are getting information on fees with both your old and new financial institutions if you choose to do this.

4. You love your financial institution.

If you are in a situation where you are getting great perks and have a wonderful relationship with your bank or credit union, it probably won't be worth it to switch over to another account where you may be getting less. Make a pros and cons list about your current financial institution to determine whether the pros outweigh the cons.

If You Choose to Switch...

Be sure to follow these steps to ensure a smooth transition to your new bank or credit union.

1. Research new financial institutions in the area you are moving to.

– Check out factors such as fees, interest rates, dividend rates, products, and perks.

2. Once you've selected your new institution, open up an account in a branch or online.

– Open up all relevant accounts -- checking, savings, etc.

3. Work with your current institution to move funds over.

4. Switch over direct deposits.

5. Switch over automatic billing.

6. Work with both institutions to move funds over.

7. Close your old accounts.

The Bottom Line

Moving can be both wonderful and stressful, but the hope of a fresh start can make it all worth it. Make sure you're taking a look at your entire financial picture to determine whether or not switching your institution should be on your to-do list.

If you’d want to consider online-only banks as an additional option, Monorail may have the features you’re looking for. With direct deposit, a debit card, and dedicated savings, see how you can reach your financial goals while banking with Monorail at the same time.

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