Back at the end of June, I was tagged in the personal finance confession project. My confession was that I was afraid to take action on things, so I wasn’t banking optimally. Since then, I signed up for direct deposit, put most of my savings money in ING Savings (where it’s earning better interest), opened an ING Electric Orange Checking account, set up transfers between ING Savings/Wachovia, and finally closed my old bank account.
Closing the old bank account was the most recent step and wraps up everything I planned to do.
How I went about closing the old account:
I was nervous that somehow something would be outstanding or automatically debiting from the account, so I didn’t want to close it. What I ended up doing was:
1. Withdrawing all but $500.
2. Removing the debit card from my wallet (so I couldn’t accidentally spend).
3. Leaving the checkbook in my dresser. I found checks the most worrying, since they could potentially be held onto for a while. Didn’t write any since June and all before then were cleared.
4. Then I checked my online record at the end of July. Found only two places which were still debiting that account, some of the few things which I let pay themselves automatically.
5. I called the one place to have my information changed and was able to do it online at the other one. I asked the first people to delete that card entirely from the account and the second place had an option which let me delete cards. So there shouldn’t even be a mix-up with the card still being in the system.
6. Waiting until the next payments went through in August, made sure they didn’t come from the old account.
7. Getting my dad to close the account for me. I would have done it myself, but it’s a local bank in my hometown. That would have required a 4+ hour round trip, whereas my parents still live in the hometown and my dad was my co-account holder. I’m grateful he was willing to take time out of his day. He’ll be bringing me the check for the balance on my birthday (next weekend!) which will make a nice little present.
Closing a bank account can feel overwhelming. But if you break it down into steps and give yourself time, it’s easy enough to do.