My friend asked me to help her move her checking and savings accounts to another bank and organize her finances. She had been unhappy with her bank for a while, but she kept putting it off. My friend was worried about the hassle, so she asked me to help compare some options.
This economy has motivated her to find ways to cut down on her bills, automate her money management, and grow her money more aggressively.
She was looking at finding a checking account will online bill pay, some interest if possible, and with many locations and ATMs around her.
After looking at other national and local credit unions and banks, she decided that state credit union would be her best option.
Here are some features of her interest bearing checking account:
- Current interest rate is 0.75% / 0.75% APY
- $0 required minimum balance
- Dividends-earned compounded daily, paid monthly
- $1 monthly maintenance fee
- 50 checks per statement period free
- Optional overdraft protection
- Online BillPay service
- Debit cards for purchases and ATM transactions
- Automated drafts and deposits
- Online images of most cleared checks
They also had several programs directed to assisting the community that appealed to her and their great reputation in customer service won her over. The maintenance fee goes towards some community projects including scholarships, housing, education, health care and human services.
How to Switch Checking Accounts
1. Open the new checking account. She received a a tax refund and used the money to open a checking account with the credit union.
2. Contact her Human Resources Department. My friend receives direct deposit so she filled out the paperwork to have it switched to the new checking account at the credit union.
3. Contact her bill companies that use auto debit. She made a list of all auto debits coming out of her current bank checking account. She also decided to switch most of her direct debits to automate bill payments.
4. Leave her old account open to catch any missing bills. She wants to make sure the bills get paid and she’ll keep her checking account open with the bank for a bit to see if any forgotten bills (like quarterly bills).
5. She registered and included her accounts into Mint. After finding out she could get easy snapshots of her spending habits and set up email alerts, she opened an account at Mint. It was free and done in 20 minutes.
Don’t let fear of hassle paralyze you from improving your finances.
Have you switched your bank accounts? Why did you choose it? What do you like about it? Do you have any tips on switching?
Photo Credit: jm3