There are various reasons why you can close your bank account, but there are some important steps you need to take before you sever your relationship with your financial institution. By following the necessary steps to close your account, you can ensure you won’t face any unexpected charges when switching to a new bank.
Once you complete the checklist below, you can keep your old account forever.
Checklist for closing a bank account:
- Open a new account. Most banks allow you to open an account online or at a branch. You’ll need to prepare some paperwork for your application, including government-issued identification, a social security number, and information from another bank account to transfer money.
- Transfer or deposit money into a new account. Always check to see if your bank has a minimum deposit requirement to open an account. You can deposit funds by cash, check or peer-to-peer payment services.Set up new recurring transfers and direct deposits. Once you’ve listed all autotransfers and deposits, make sure to redirect them to your new account so you don’t overdraw your old account or hold payments.
- Check the old account for any outstanding payments, including outstanding payments for goods and services. You must verify that there are no outstanding payments before closing your account.
- Update payroll information with your new account. Contact your payroll provider or Human Resources with updated bank information to ensure your paycheck goes to the new account. If you are receiving benefits such as
- Social Security or Unemployment Insurance, you will also need to update your account information, which can be done on the agency’s website.
- Close the old account. Once you determine that your old account is no longer valid, you can close it online, by phone or at your local branch. You may need to complete and have an application for closure notarized. In this case, there should be a notary at the bank’s location.
- Written confirmation of account closure is required. This document serves as proof that the account has been closed, so you will not be held liable for any charges your bank may incur to re-open the account.
How to close certain types of bank accounts
Not all account closures are created equal. Other circumstances may arise that require additional steps to close a bank account. Below are some examples that may require special attention.
If you are closing a joint account, your bank may require an account closure request signed by both account holders. However, many banks only require the account holder’s approval. Canceling a joint account online may result in both parties having to ask for the account to be closed.
Some bank accounts are automatically converted to regular accounts when the child turns 18. If you are of legal age in your state to have full control over your escrow account, you can close it like you would any other bank account.
If your account is marked as ‘inactive’, you will need to reactivate it before the bank closes it. Please contact your bank’s customer service to reactivate your bank account. There is also an option to do this through your Internet Banking or Mobile Banking.
An overdrawn account may prevent you from closing it. You must bring your account balance to zero or more before the bank can process your closing request.
Account of the deceased
Closing a deceased loved one’s bank account can be more complicated than closing other accounts. How accounts are kept largely depends on how the deceased structured their finances, including whether they listed beneficiaries or had a will. Requirements and documentation may depend on state law. It is best to seek legal advice before proceeding.
Can you close a bank account online?
Many banks allow you to close accounts online. This is especially common with online banking. Some allow you to close your account via online message or email. Others offer a chat feature that allows you to close your account through customer support.
Contact your bank for options. Please make sure your account is in good standing and has a zero balance before attempting to close it.