Bank customers fed up with fees are showing their
dissatisfaction with their feet: Some 10% switched banks last year,
according to the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates Retail Banking
Study. Most of the traffic is from big banks to small banks and
credit unions, where fees (and, often, the employees) are
friendlier. If you're ready to act, here's what you need to do.
The Kip Tips iPad App
Open your new account, but don't close your old account yet.
With an account and bank routing number, you can arrange for direct
deposit of your paycheck, Social Security benefits or pension. Give
the authorization form to your employer or whoever sends the check.
to update Social Security, VA or other federal benefits. (If you
get those benefits by paper check, you'll have to switch to
electronic payment by next March.)
Don't forget to switch any other automatic deposits, such as a
monthly check from your brokerage, as well as any automatic debits.
Some experts recommend keeping both bank accounts open for at least
three months to make sure all the changes are made.
Most banks have a switch kit with a form for each task. Citibank
even offers a "Balance Your Account" form that helps you calculate
how much money to leave in your old account to cover outstanding
checks. If you are overwhelmed by the task, a bank employee should
be willing to offer a hand.
This article first appeared in
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
magazine. For more help with your personal finances and
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