How do I close a checking account?
Closing a checking account doesn’t have to be a monumental task, but it does require some careful monitoring in order to avoid accidental fees and declined transactions. These steps should help:
- Before you close your checking account, stop using the account and allow all checks and other transactions to clear, or go through your account. This is important because if a transaction is presented against your account — for example, an outstanding check you forgot about — it probably won’t go through and you could find yourself facing fees from both the bank and the entity you wrote the check to.
- To avoid this potentially expensive scenario, it’s a good idea to check your bank statements from the past 12 months for any recurring payments and transfer all of those to your new account. Look for automatic payments (insurance, utility bills, loan/lease payments, mortgage payments, credit cards, student loans, etc.) and subscriptions (e.g., Netflix, Apple Music, Spotify, gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, etc.), as well as payments set up through your bank’s online bill pay system. Just to be safe, you might want to leave some money in the old account for one month or so just in case there are any outstanding checks or electronic withdrawals.
- Also, you’ll need to transfer any direct deposits from your job or Social Security to your new account. We make this easy with a Direct Deposit Form you can send to your Human Resources Department or the Social Security Administration. Check with your company and other income sources to see if you need to submit anything in addition to the Direct Deposit Form. Some might require a canceled check or some other kind of documentation.
- Finally, you can close your bank account. You can go to a branch location, call customer service, or send an Account Closing Request Form to your bank to let them know you want to close your account. If you have a joint account, check to see if both account-holder signatures are needed for closing. Destroy any ATM cards, debit cards, unused checks, and deposit slips associated with your old account.
- You should receive a letter from your former bank confirming the account has been closed. The remaining funds in your account can be transferred to your new account or the bank can send you a check.
How do I switch banks?
People often don’t change banks — even if they are dissatisfied — because they believe switching banks is too much of a hassle. At BBVA Compass, we have a handy Consumer Switch Kit that contains all the forms and instructions you’ll need to make changing banks easy.
Need help opening a new checking account? We’ll guide you through the process with our Open a Checking Account Online page.