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How to quit your bank and switch to a credit union

October 25th 2017 - by Amanda Perkins 

There is no better time than now to leave your bank and switch over to a credit union. With rising service charges, increased sales pressure and poor customer service, it’s no wonder people are angry with their banks and searching around for alternatives. That’s where your local credit union steps in.

With 13 consecutive years of top ranked customer service, no big shareholders and low or no fee accounts, it’s an easy problem to fix.  But what is stopping you from actually closing your bank account and switching over? Time? Effort? Complexity?  We get it, it’s not always an easy process but we are here to help.

Tip #1 – Do not close out your current bank account until everything you need to switch over has successfully been done. Too often people think they’ve switched over all of their automatic payments, closed their other bank account and then a transaction attempts to process on the old account and gets rejected. This ends up being a huge hassle for you to resolve and also costs money in penalties.  Leave both accounts open for a few months to ensure that everything has switched over smoothly.

Tips #2 – Review 6 months of your current usage and write down everything that you have set up to automatically debit and credit your account.  Think of your automated bill payments, utility payments, loan payments, direct deposit of your pay cheque or any type of paypal accounts etc.  All of these need to be switched over to your new account.

Tip #3 - Leave a bit of money in your bank account so if things don’t switch over right away, they won’t bounce as NSF.  

Tip #4 – Do your research.  Look at the alternatives and compare account packages and pricing.  Review how much you are currently paying per month in service charges and shop around for something that is either free or less expensive.

Tip #5 – if you are looking at getting any type of new loan to pay out a previous loan at your bank, make sure you get all of your approvals and payout amounts first before closing out your account or changing your direct deposit. 

Tip #6 – Don’t worry, credit cards are independent of one another. You can have a credit card with your bank and not an actual bank account there anymore.  You don’t necessarily have to close your credit card when you close your bank account.

Tip #7 – Find out what type of fee’s or penalties you would be charged for closing out your account and find ways to avoid them. If you have a mortgage, it is often best to wait until your mortgage term matures avoiding any early discharge penalties. Investments will also be best transferred on maturity.  You will want to make sure you haven’t recently locked in your investments for a new term and find out the charges to transfer your investment to a new financial institution.

Tip #8 – Your new credit union will provide you with all of the new banking information you will need to change over everything smoothly.