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Bank, and Barclaycard, among others. Three of the most popular alternatives are online banks, credit unions, and small local banks. While switching financial institutions is a good idea in the long run, the initial choice can be intimidating and overwhelming. People worry that they are sacrificing the security of a larger bank, along with the convenience of having a branch on every corner.

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Closing an account and making large transfers is time consuming and inconvenient. Use the following checklist to cover your bases and reduce your stress level when changing banks. This means you should stop using the account as your primary source for cash and payments. For the time being, leave your direct deposit, Paypal account, and other online payment systems tied to your bank account. To make the process of moving your money go smoothly, do this before closing your existing account.

Do your homework and select a bank that has the features that are most important to you. Moving to a smaller bank may require some sacrifices, like the lack of a branch on every corner, an ATM in every city, or 10 different rewards credit cards to choose from. Rest assured that every bank, regardless of size, is FDIC insured.

Once you find a new bank or credit union, make sure you look into their account requirements and deposit preferences. Two of the most important things you need to know are:. Either transfer the funds or make a cash deposit, leaving just enough in your old account to keep it open until the new one is set up. Getting this taken care of will be a huge monkey off your back. If you have no outstanding payments or credits, make a trip to the bank and close your account.

Call the bank ahead of time to find out what forms of ID you should bring. Your old bank will probably make a last ditch effort to convince you to stay. Stick to your guns! After all, your accounts are already transferred and your automatic bill pay is set up.

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  8. You might be concerned that closing a bank account might end up hurting your credit score. The only way your credit score will take a hit from all this money-moving activity is if you apply for overdraft checking. That being said, if your new bank runs a credit check, your credit score might get dinged by 5 points for about 6 months. Your finances are among the most important, private, and sensitive aspects of your life.

    Have you made the decision to change financial institutions? Why did you choose to do so? Was the process smooth or rocky? Share your experiences in the comments below. All Rights Reserved. Money Crashers. First thing's first, you need to choose the bank account you want to switch to. Make sure you don't get too distracted by the 'freebies' on offer, and focus instead on the interest-free overdraft you can apply for, as well as the experiences of other students.

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    These are the things which will affect your day-to-day banking. Open a new account Once you've chosen your bank account, head to the bank website and apply. Make sure to specify that you want to switch from another current account when given the option to do so. You'll need some form of ID , proof of address your home address, not your term-time one , and if you're applying for a student account, proof of your student status usually your UCAS status code , to complete your application. Start the switch Credit: Windows. Once your application has been accepted and your current account has opened, you'll receive a confirmation email.

    These basically confirm that you're happy to switch from your old current account to your new one, and you're happy for your old bank account to close once the switch is completed. The Current Account Switch Service is completely free, but you will have to pay any fees that come with your new account although many don't have any. Choose your switch date Under the CASS, the switch from your old current account to your new one takes just seven working days.

    However, to make things even more convenient, you can choose the exact date on which you want the switch to take place as long as it's not a Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holiday, and is at least seven working days after your new account opens. Once you've chosen a date, your new bank will have to agree and confirm it. If you want to cancel the switch, you must do so at least seven working days before your switch date. Continue using your old current account as normal While you wait for your switch date to roll around, you can continue using your old current account as normal.

    Everything will move across automatically on your switch date Credit: NBC. When the big switch date arrives, you don't have to lift a finger.

    Your new bank will move all incoming and outgoing payments such as Direct Debits, standing orders and salary payments across to your new account, as well as your account balance. Once they've done that, they'll automatically close your old account for you, and the switch is complete! This should all happen seamlessly. If you do have any problems with your switch, or you don't think your new bank has abided by the Switch Service Guarantee, you must first complain directly to the bank. If you're unhappy with their response or don't receive a response , you can make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service within eight weeks.

    For 36 months three years after your switch, any payments that get sent to your old account will be automatically redirected to your new account.

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    The bank will also provide the sender with your new account details, to prevent the same mistake from happening again. Applying to switch your account from one bank to the other takes about five minutes. You simply apply to switch online and hey presto, you're sorted in just a couple of clicks.

    It may take a little longer if you're overdrawn as you might need to get in touch with your current bank regarding repayment arrangements. The actual process of transferring your cash and direct debits if any between banks and closing your account takes seven working days. Easy peasy! If you're in your authorised overdraft, you'll likely still be able to switch your account as normal, taking your overdraft with you — however, this is not guaranteed. However, if you're unable to take your overdraft with you, you'll have to make arrangements with your old bank to pay this money back. The short answer is It depends! Very helpful, we know. It depends whether or not your bank is signed up to the Current Account Switch Service whereby your new bank takes care of closing your account, handling your payments and transferring your balance. Most UK banks have have signed up to this service.

    You can double check whether the bank of your dreams has here! If you're overdrawn, you might not be able to complete the process online. You may need to speak to your current bank and your new bank over the phone or in-person to find out what your next steps are. Switching to a new current account will only affect your credit rating if you're rejected based on your credit rating, or if you're opening a number of new accounts in a short space of time.

    When opening a new bank account, and specifically applying for an overdraft, banks will conduct a credit check. This will leave a footprint on your credit file. This is perfectly normal and won't have a negative impact on your credit rating, but it's not a great idea to be opening a new bank account every month.