Switching Banks

It’s been about a year now since Gabe and I switched all of our money from a bank (Chase) to a local credit union. I know that it was a big topic at this time last year, due largely to the Occupy Movement encouraging people to take money out of the banks. Even though it’s been a while, I think it was a great move, and I’d encourage everyone at a big bank to do the same.

Part of the reason we switched was due to the fees. I’ve talked about our personal finances before, and my personal account would often get charged if I didn’t spend enough from it. What is that? And, we actually get more interest on our savings account. If you’re at a bank that charges you for checking for any reason, I’d consider switching.

While now I’m very happy with the set up, the initial switch was a little rough. Here are some of the tips I’d give if you switch:

  • Don’t move all the money at once. We got really gung-ho and tried to do this, but then our money took a while to clear at the credit union so we only had access to a small amount. Move enough to establish the account first, and then the rest later.
  • Make a list of all of the bills you have that get withdrawn automatically. Switch them over when you have your new account number
  • Stop using your old account when you first make the account, so when your money does clear from the credit union you can close your old account without any lingering charges.  

Do you bank at a credit union? I know some people have accounts at multiple places, but that seems complicated to me.

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