How to close a bank account

  • Before closing a bank account, you should check your account status and current transactions.
  • Most national and online banks will require you to call or visit in person to close an account first.
  • You can reopen an account if it is inactive, but once you close an account it cannot be canceled.
  • Find out what you’ll need to open a checking account on Insider.

The first bank account you open doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture in your life.

Maybe you’re moving to a location that doesn’t have a branch of your current bank, you’ve decided to streamline your banking on one account, or you just find a bank account that’s more suitable for you.

Either way, you don’t have to stay tied to your account forever. Closing a bank account won’t negatively impact you in the same way closing a credit card can affect your credit score. You just need to be aware of how the process works so that you can have a more transparent process.

What to do before closing your account

Check if the account is in good standing

Banks won’t let you close an account if you have a negative balance, so you will need to assess your checking account situation. Negative balances will force you to put money in so that you have at least an account balance of $ 0 to close the account.

The status of your account may affect whether you will have to pay fees. If you have an overdraft on your account and your balance is negative, you will be charged an overdraft fee. New accounts opened for a short time – usually less than six months – may be charged a closing fee of around $ 25 or $ 30.

Create a plan for the money left in your account

If your account has a positive balance or is used frequently, you’ll want to put in place another course of action. Your goal should be to leave your bank account with a balance of $ 0 to make the closing process more efficient.

For your checking account balance, you can decide to open a new account, transfer your money to another account or withdraw it all in cash.

If you frequently use your account to pay bills or accept paychecks, you’ll also want to redirect those transactions to another account from the start.

How to close a bank account

You may be able to close it online, over the phone or in person

With most banks, you will not be able to initiate the closing process online.

Most physical national banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, or Chase will require you to visit a branch or call by phone first.

Online banking
like Ally and Capital One will also want you to call.

Some banks will allow you to initiate the process online. TD Bank allows you to close an account through online banking or email if your account has a balance of $ 0. Axos Bank also allows customers to initiate closing through online banking.

Calling a bank will be enough to close an account in most cases, but some institutions may require you to fill out an additional form or write a quick note. For example, if you have a joint account, you might need to fill out a form or write a note that both people want to close the account.

If you’re not sure what the process looks like for your financial institution, try searching a bank’s FAQ section first, then call your bank if you still can’t find the information.

Make sure your account is closed

A bank will verify after your account is closed. This will be done either by phone, email or online banking. Otherwise, it can still be opened and you may still be charged a fee associated with the account.

If your account requires you to pay a service fee on the same day each month, try to close the account at least a few days before you are charged the fee. This gives you time in case it takes a while to close the account and make the necessary adjustments, so you won’t have to pay any other fees.

Can you reopen a closed bank account?

Unfortunately, once you’ve taken steps to close your bank account, you can’t reopen it if you change your mind. You will need to reopen a new one with the bank and start over.

If your account was closed by a bank, you may be able to reactivate it. In this situation, you’ll want to contact your bank about possible courses of action.

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