How to close a bank account

Whether you’re moving out of town, worried about the future of your bank, or just found a better option, you may want to close your bank account.

Closing a bank account can be more challenging, depending on the situation. In some cases, you may want to get started right away. Here’s the breakdown of how to close a bank account and overcome potential hurdles.

Open a new savings or checking account

Before you close a bank account, open a new account for your money. Open a new savings or checking account right away. You can find a bonus offer from an online bank or local credit union, take advantage of the best rates on a high-yield savings account, or find a checking account with fewer fees and restrictions.

Opening a new account is much easier than closing one, and you can often open new accounts online in a few minutes. Make sure the new account is active and working so you can start using it for your regular banking needs once your old account is closed.

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Stop any automated payments and deposits

Your checking account is probably the main center of your big money decisions.

  • If you have automatic payments for bills like your rent, mortgage, or car loan, transfer them to your new account once you’re financed. This will help you avoid insufficient funds or late fees when you transition to a new account.

  • Change account information for payments withdrawn by your creditors, such as online subscriptions, in the account settings of the site or app.

  • If your paycheck is automatically deposited via direct deposit, make sure your employer has your new account information.

You may not have automatic payments set up for your savings account, but it’s still important to check to see if you have scheduled incoming or outgoing transfers before closing the account.

Contact your bank to close your account

Each bank has different rules for closing your bank account. While some may make it as easy as opening one online, others may require you to call your bank or visit a branch.

If you have pending charges or a negative balance, you may need to bring your account to zero or a positive balance before closing the account. If you currently have pending transactions, you must wait until they are settled to close your account.

Download your most recent statements, as you will likely lose access to them once you close your account.

One thing to keep in mind is that closing a bank account does not affect your credit score or history because it is not a credit or loan product.

Close a joint account

In most cases, if you have check writing or withdrawal privileges, you should be able to close the account without anyone else being on the account.

Some banks may require the presence of both parties or an affidavit signed by one party releasing their ownership of the account or giving the other party permission to close the account.

Closing a bank account for someone who died

Most banks require a copy of the death certificate and other identifiable information, such as a Social Security number or government-issued ID (sometimes for you, sometimes for the deceased, and sometimes for the executor handling the affairs). of the deceased person). Then, depending on the estate plan the deceased had, the funds can go to different places:

  • If it was a joint account and the other person is still alive, the money will go to them.

  • If the account had an assigned beneficiary, those funds will be disbursed to you.

  • If the deceased had a will or other plan for the account, the bank may also need copies of those documents. Contact the bank about the next steps so you know what to do.

get confirmation

Make sure you receive electronic or letter confirmation that your account is closed. If your account is in good standing and you don’t have any outgoing payments scheduled, the bank may be able to close your account immediately. On the other hand, a negative balance or co-ownership can slow down the process. If you do not receive the confirmation on time, please contact the bank to check the status of your account. If the account has been closed and you never received a notice, please request one for your records.