I lately launched into a big life change and moved from the Huge Apple to the Huge Simple. Everybody who has moved is aware of what a ache it’s, and I’d argue that stress (each psychological and monetary) is considerably heightened if you happen to’re transferring into or out of a significant metropolis.

For essentially the most half, my transfer from New York Metropolis to New Orleans was fairly straightforward. As a substitute of holding tight to my giant valuables like my tufted headboard (my first large woman buy) or my TV, I made the choice to promote this stuff and simply ship my clothes and different small valuables, and make use of Southwest’s two free luggage. I’ve to say, I used to be patting myself on the again for being so fiscally sensible with my transfer… or so I believed.

Quick ahead two fantastic weeks in New Orleans, and I noticed I wanted to seize some money to take the bus residence from work. To my dismay, it was then that I came upon that my beloved financial institution of seven years, Wells Fargo, was nowhere to be discovered. The closest location was in Mississippi.

Me: Not a giant deal, proper? There are many banks in New Orleans and the web world makes every part simpler!!

The universe: Unsuitable. Altering banks is definitely not very straightforward.

After working at a tech startup for greater than a 12 months, I assumed our banking system needed to have seamless capabilities for transferring cash round and went into this gorgeous blind.

I’ll spare you the gory particulars, however I can inform you the ensuing state of affairs was a little bit of a multitude that revolved round combating overdraft charges and all my cash being tied up in a wire switch for greater than per week. To not point out the stress of not with the ability to “contact” my cash. It’s a little bit unnerving – particularly while you’ve simply moved and must entry funds. However not each particular person has been taught methods to change banks when you’ll want to, however then once more it’s not one thing you assume you’ll must know.

Since nobody bestowed this knowledge upon me, I’d like to assist the following cross-country mover (or financial institution changer) correctly deal with this case.

Cancel All Your Auto-Funds

A minimum of 30 days out, cancel all of your auto funds into and deposits out of your present checking account. Assume: the paycheck deposited out of your work each two weeks, your automotive mortgage fee, pupil mortgage fee, cable invoice, electrical invoice, and many others.

The explanation I say 30 days out is as a result of it could take time to course of this auto-payment. And, in the event that they’re not processed in time, the funds will likely be faraway from an empty account, which is able to end in overdraft charges, or deposited into an outdated account you thought you simply closed. The latter can be actually heartbreaking. Extra coming quickly on that topic.

With me, I made a decision to wire my funds instantly from the Wells Fargo account to my new Chase checking account. Nonetheless, I used to be too late to get the minimize off date for canceling my pupil mortgage auto-payment. Due to this fact, the cash was going to be eliminated it doesn’t matter what and would end in me incurring overdraft charges. This won’t look like a giant deal, however the cash I wired was basically frozen for seven days (till it was posted). I couldn’t change the quantity I used to be sending to have 150 much less {dollars} as a result of I didn’t need to make the method of depositing my funds to Chase any slower than it already was.

Luckily, my important different wrote me a examine for my mortgage fee that I deposited into my Wells Fargo account instantly upon realizing my mistake.

Consolidate Your Cash

Some folks would possibly disagree with me on this one, however I believed this made my life quite a bit simpler. Via Wells Fargo, I had three accounts: checking, financial savings and a Manner-to-Save account.

To simply (ha-ha) wire my cash, I put every part into my checking account and as soon as it was “posted,” closed my financial savings and Manner-to-Save accounts. It was type of a ache as a result of you possibly can’t shut these different accounts till the cash is formally posted into your checking account. Took a couple of day.

As soon as I had every part in my new Chase checking account, I opened a financial savings account and disbursed every part accordingly.

The explanation I appreciated this feature was as a result of I solely needed to cope with one wire switch as an alternative of obsessively checking a number of transfers. Moreover, there will be charges related to wire transfers (ugh), so this limits the quantity of charges you’re paying to maneuver your personal cash. Wells Fargo did me a stable and didn’t cost me a wire switch payment, however I’m unsure all banks can be this beneficiant.

Analysis What Type of Account You Need Beforehand

Similar to while you’re opening a model new account, you’ll need to resolve which sort of account you need earlier than switching financial institution accounts. I didn’t do the analysis however was fairly ready to see a fundamental account with stipulations about direct deposit quantities (to ensure that the account to be free) or some type of fancy account that had annual charges however “perks” like limitless free (?!?) checks.

Nonetheless, if you happen to hate being placed on the spot, look on their website and discover out what your choices are. I went with the essential account, which was free as a result of I get my work paychecks direct deposited into my account. I’m no monetary planner, however I don’t know who would want one of many fancy accounts with free checks — except you want to gather artisanal checks.

For many banks, you possibly can simply go browsing and open an account. Looking back, that’s 100% what I ought to have carried out. Nonetheless, I believed stepping into particular person would offer me with extra hand holding on methods to shortly switch my funds since I used to be in a pinch.

I used to be incorrect…

If You’re Going Into the Financial institution, Make An Appointment

I type of snicker that I even must make this a degree. Like I discussed above, I’m actually dangerous about scheduling appointments upfront.

For instance, if I resolve I desire a haircut, I want to get it both that day or the following. I don’t imagine in reserving an appointment per week upfront. I do know that is bizarre, but it surely’s a quirk of mine.

The identical will be stated for the way I dealt with this case. I noticed I wanted to get this banking challenge out of the way in which and determined to indicate up at Chase an hour earlier than they closed on a Friday to get it dealt with ASAP. I additionally did this as a result of I believed I may get money instantly to take the bus residence. Please don’t do that. I needed to wait half-hour after which didn’t have sufficient time to open a financial savings account too. I additionally left with no money.

If you wish to go the in-person route, name the financial institution you’re going to modify to, make an appointment and ask them what you’ll want to deliver to seamlessly open a brand new account and get your funds deposited shortly.

They’ll seemingly say:

  • Two types of ID
  • A examine or money to deposit into the account to formally open it. For Chase, you needed to make a minimal $25 deposit into the checking account.*

*This half was an enormous mistake on my half. Like I discussed above, I had $0 in money. Due to this fact, I used my Wells Fargo debit card to deposit a $25 money advance to open my Chase account. This resulted in a payment **shocking** that I didn’t account for in my wire switch quantity. Once more, Wells Fargo did me a stable and as an alternative of charging me a overdraft payment AND this $3 payment, they pardoned it from the account.

Write A Examine

That is necessary. Whereas I utterly lucked out with having a free wire switch, it took a very long time (per week with my funds mainly locked!!) to get the cash posted, and it actually confused me out. I obsessively checked my account each day to see if possibly it will submit to my Chase account a pair days early. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.

If I had a time machine, I’d return, and write a examine from my Wells Fargo account to my new Chase account for the precise quantity I had consolidated into my checking account. As you recognize, checks solely take a pair days max to submit.

Get Money (!)

I do know this would possibly look like a “duh” piece of recommendation, however we’ve change into so reliant on our bank cards and debit playing cards for fee. Nonetheless, there are conditions in life the place money is totally crucial. And, ATM charges ought to at all times, at all times be averted in any respect prices. To this present day, nothing hurts my monetary coronary heart greater than if I’m in a pinch for money and must pay an out of community financial institution and my financial institution charges for taking out MY cash.

If you recognize you’re going to be within the means of switching banks, and transferring, take out a pair hundred {dollars} to carry you over for per week to 10 days. Your bank card is one factor, however you don’t need to use your debit card while you’ve written a examine or wired cash that hasn’t been withdrawn but. Whats up, overdraft charges! And, like I discussed above, when you’ve picked an quantity to wire, you’re married to that quantity so you possibly can’t simply take out $20 right here or there.

Your Guidelines

For those who’re within the means of switching banks, you in all probability already know that it’s not the simplest factor you’ll must do. Let this guidelines information you on methods to change banks:

30 days previous to switching banks:

  • Cancel all direct deposits and auto-payments from outdated checking account

A minimum of two weeks out:

  • Analysis which sort of account(s) you’ll want to open
  • Open your new checking account ONLINE


  • Consolidate your cash into one account
  • Get money out to carry you over for per week
  • Have a clean examine useful whether or not you select to open your new checking account in particular person or on-line
  • If you wish to open an account in particular person, schedule an appointment


  • Transfer with out checking when you have ample entry to your present financial institution in a brand new metropolis 🙁
  • Don’t do a wire switch except you’re snug having no entry to your cash for per week and you’re OK with potential switch charges

Whereas I finally was capable of efficiently shut my outdated financial institution accounts, keep away from financial institution charges and begin recent with a brand new monetary establishment, I do know unquestionably that I didn’t plan correctly or take the straightforward route.

Now, It’s your turn. Go this knowledge on.

Have a good friend or member of the family that’s transferring someday quickly? Ask them if their present financial institution is of their new metropolis. That straightforward query will get the wheels turning if they should undergo the bank-switching course of.

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