Moving States? Here's What to Do with Your Bank Accounts
Among the many considerations you need to make before moving states is whether or not you'll keep your current bank. No matter how big or small your move, the expenses add up and you'll want easy access to your funds. Think about your needs and carefully weigh your options.
Keep Your Current Bank
Many larger banks have branches and ATMs in multiple states and offer online banking services; therefore, you may find that your current bank covers everything you need. While you'll want to update the mailing address your bank has on file, this could also be a good time to go paperless. Receiving information, like your bank statements, online reduces the chances of your personal information getting into the wrong hands.
Even if you want to stay with your bank, it's a good time to revisit your finances and make sure your accounts — including any fees and terms and conditions — still align with your needs. You may find that it makes sense to switch the type of account you have with your bank.
For example, maybe you first opened your account because it had no monthly service charge. However, now you make enough transactions or meet minimum monthly deposit amounts for an interest-bearing checking account. Why not make money on the balance in your checking account? You also want to look at checking accounts that refund other banks' ATM fees, especially if your bank has no ATMs in your new state.
If your bank doesn't offer online banking, reimburse ATM fees (or have ATMs), have a branch where you're moving to, or if you think you'll need in-person services, you may want to switch banks.
You'll want to open your new account before closing your old account in order to minimize disruption and ensure that you have access to funds during your move. Many banks allow you to open a new account online. Check how much money you need in order to open an account, as well as how much money you need to keep in your old account to avoid any fees.
As soon as you have access to your new account, stop using your old one, but leave some funds in it to ensure that you don't get hit with overdraft fees from any transactions that haven't posted. Move automatic transactions, such as direct deposits and any regular bills, to your new account. Make a list of these transactions and add to it as you set up any additional auto payments. This way, if you move again, you'll know everything that needs updating.
Before you move, visit your bank and ask what you need to close your account. If you're not going to close the account in person, many banks may require a letter for verification. Ask about the process for any linked accounts you have, too.
If you have Certificates of Deposit (CDs), you'll want to wait until the money matures before transferring it into your new bank. Your bank should notify you before the maturity date, but keep track of it yourself, as the window to make changes is often short. See if your bank allows you to put instructions in writing for what you want to happen once your CD matures. You can take your funds out of the CD early, but there's often a fee.
When you decide to close your old account, make sure all transactions are cleared and that you have no negative balance.
With so many different account types and services, it's important to take the time to find the bank that makes the most sense for your financial situation. Consider fees, terms and conditions, and branch and ATM convenience. While it may feel like a chore, switching banks or accounts can set you up for long-term financial success.