A Guide to Switching Banks
Are you unhappy with your bank’s interest rate or customer service? Switching financial institutions can seem like an overwhelming and time-consuming process, but with a little planning and preparation, it doesn’t have to be. Here are five easy steps to make your transition smooth and painless.
- Start Your Search
With so many financial institutions available, it’s important to do your research to find a financial partner that meets your particular needs. Make sure to check out both credit unions and banks. Unsure what type of financial institution is right for you? There are two key differences between banks and credit unions. First, a credit union is a non-profit organization. Second, banks are large corporations owned by shareholders, while credit unions are member-owned. Credit unions are operated for the benefit of those using their services. Banks, on the other hand, try to maximize profits for their shareholders. So if you like supporting small businesses and more personalized customer service, credit unions may be the right choice for you.
- Open Your Account
Once you choose a financial institution that aligns with your interests, it’s time to get your new account up and running as soon as possible. To open an account online, you’ll need to provide personal information to verify your identity. Before heading into your new financial institution, gather the following items:
- A government-issued ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
- Social Security Number
- Routing and account numbers
You’ll need to decide on the type of account you choose to open. Are you in need of a single or a joint account? With a single account, you are the sole owner, and the account is only in your name. A joint account is one you co-own with another person, typically a family member or spouse. Consider if you’d like to open a savings account as well. Savings accounts are critical for helping you to establish and maintain a proper budget.
- Transfer Recurring Bills
Make a list of your recurring payments, then check them off once you’ve canceled them through your old account and set them up with your new account. If you’ve set up your account to pay bills automatically, you’ll need to update your bill-pay information by providing your new routing and accounting number(s). We recommend keeping enough money in your old account to cover these payments until you’ve successfully made the switch to avoid any missed payments or excess interest fees. Typically, this process can take a billing cycle or two, depending on your new financial institution.
- Redirect Your Income
If you have a direct deposit set up to go into your account, ask your employer to switch your deposit to your new account. To ensure there are no lapses in your income flow to your accounts, consider all of your income sources, including investment earnings, social security benefits, pension income, etc. All you’ll need is your new financial institution’s routing number and your account number, both of which will appear on your new checks or the documents you received when you opened your account. Deseret First’s routing number is listed at the bottom of every page.
- Close Your Old Account
When you decide to switch accounts, you’ll need to go through the proper steps to ensure you close your account correctly and don’t incur overdraft charges or other fees. Once your checks and payments have cleared your old financial institution, it’s time to close the account officially. Give your financial institution a call to get your account closed.
Is a Deseret First Membership Right for You?
When you open a checking account with DFCU, you gain access to our network of nearly 30,000 ATMs. Did we mention those are fee-free? Here’s how you can qualify to join us:
- Be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
- Have an immediate family member who is eligible to join DFCU or is a current DFCU member
- Work for one of our Select Employer Groups
For more information on switching to Deseret First Credit Union, contact us. We’ll help you make the switch seamless.