If you’re considering changing to a new financial institution (FI), here are some tips to help you switch safely!
Ask your new FI if they provide a “Switch Kit.” This should provide all the steps you’ll need to take, as well as useful information such as the FI’s routing number, prefilled on the forms.
Open your new savings and/or checking account at your new FI. Make sure you verify with the teller or Finance Rep what your new account number is and what the FI’s routing number is. You’ll need this information later.
Establish Direct Deposit at your new FI. Do this early, as it can take a week or two, depending on your employer and how often you get paid. To do this, you’ll need to provide your employer with
- The routing number of your new FI
- Your account number for the account you want the money flowing in to. Often you can split your pay into more than one account: checking for your bills and expenses, savings for your future!
Get set up in Online Banking at your new FI. This is useful because you can monitor your new account to make sure your direct deposit is coming in and your bill payments and debits are going out—in that order!
Order checks and a debit card from your new FI. As soon as you receive these, stop using the ones from your old FI and securely destroy (shred) your old debit card and checks to prevent fraud.
Transfer all automatic payments/bill pays. Make a list of all payees attached to your old account: cable, cell phone, mortgage or auto payments, credit card, utilities, etc. You can switch all these to your new account by informing the payees (e.g. Verizon, Comcast) online at their websites or by phone. You’ll need to provide them with your new account number. Monitor both your old and new accounts to make sure the switches are happening correctly.
Watch your old account to be sure all checks have cleared and all debits have been debited before you close your accounts. You should leave a “slush fund” in here for 2-3 weeks, just to be safe. Once that account has been without activity for a period of two weeks, it’s probably safe to close.
Useful information: if you need your checking account number and/or your FI’s routing number, those can be found at the bottom of your checks: the first nine digits are the routing number for the FI; the next group of digits is your checking account number, and the final group of digits (usually four) represents the number of the check (you can generally ignore these).
Salal CU has a switch kit on line, but if you want personal assistance, you’re welcome to call or drop by a branch. Remember—anyone who lives, works or worships in the state of Washington is eligible to join Salal! If you’re not in Washington State but you’re interested in joining a credit union, you can find one here.