Banks Can Make Your Life Miserable if You Try to Leave Them
The recent Occupy Wall Street protests galvanized individuals against big banks. Now, many Americans are considering closing their bank accounts. But be forewarned:
Banks don't exactly make it easy to break up. In fact, it might end up feeling like a messy divorce before it's all over.
What should you consider before you close your bank account?
Direct payments and online payments. Many Americans opt for online payment options these days. And banks readily offer these services. Why? It's easier for them to retain customers since it's not exactly easy to transfer options like online bill pay.
Closure fees. Some credit unions and banks impose closure fees if you decide to clear out your account. Many of these closure fees will go away if you've been a customer for a long period of time.
Your new account could have fees too. If you've decided to close a bank account to escape mounting fees, don't think that you've escaped them entirely. Who's to say that the bank you've switched to won't start implementing fees as well?
Most likely closing your account won't impact your credit score. Your credit score is typically calculated by looking at various accounts like loans, debt and other obligations. Usually, closing an account won't have any effect.
Think about ATM fees. If you switch to a smaller bank, there will be less ATMs around. Unless your bank reimburses or doesn't have ATM fees, you might end up paying extra regardless.
There are other factors you'd likely have to consider besides fees when closing a bank account. Online banks like Ally and ING Direct offer low fees, according to USA Today, but they're lacking in convenience. It's harder to deposit checks without a physical branch. If you're still wondering how to close a bank account, you should contact your bank to find out the exact process.
- #OccupyWallSt: 24 arrested at Citibank, closing their bank accounts (Boing Boing)
- BofA Debit Card Use Fee Will be $5 Per Month (FindLaw's Common Law)
- Will Wells Fargo's $3 Debit Card Fee Come to Your Bank? (FindLaw's Common Law)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.