Personal Finance Advice: Switch Banks

Do you ever find yourself wistfully daydreaming about switching your checking account to another bank? Do you figure that there must be a financial institution out there somewhere that doesn’t charge you ridiculous and costly fees all the time? Do you wonder if there might possibly be a bank or credit union somewhere that has customer service representatives who aren’t so incredibly rude and inept? If you have these thoughts running through your head then it’s very likely that these thoughts are quickly followed by another thought: “Forget it…it’s too much of a hassle.”

If you are like most people there are plenty of things going on with your checking account.  You probably have your paycheck directly deposited into the account, and there is a good chance that you have more than one automatic payment that is directly debited from the account on a regular basis.  You have checks printed up, you know your PIN, and your bank’s website is on your Internet Favorites list.  This obviously means that breaking up with your bank would probably be a big deal and would be a great inconvenience to you, right?

Not necessarily.  Financial institutions are constantly courting new customers and they try to make it as easy and seamless as possible for someone to open an account and switch over.  Some banks will even have you fill out paperwork that allows them to act on your behalf and request a transfer of funds from your old bank.  In other words, they make it as easy as possible.

What about those pesky automatic deposits and payments that go in and out of your account? Those can be switched relatively easily, but don’t close out your old account until all your recurring transactions have made it over to the new account otherwise you may wind up with some hefty insufficient fund fees.

So at what point are you justified in moving your money into a new institution?
1.  You pay a lot of money in fees and find a different bank that doesn’t charge so many fees.
2.  You don’t get a very good interest rate return on your savings and find a different bank with impressive interest rates.
3.  Your bank has no local branches and you want to be able to walk in and talk to a representative face to face.
4.  Your bank has horrible customer service.
It’s your money! At no point should you feel loyalty to your bank or credit union if they aren’t providing you with the service you need.  Pack up your metaphorical financial suitcases and move your money to a different financial institution.  You can save a lot of money and erase one hassle out of your already hectic life.

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