Today is Bank Transfer Day! This grassroots event has already encouraged 650,000 Americans to move their money out of the corrupt, for-profit banks and into smaller, non-profit credit unions or community-owned banks.
Even if this is the first you’ve ever heard of Bank Transfer Day, you can still participate! Any day is a good day to take back your money.
If you’ve been with your Big Bank for years, you might not be certain how to move your money without disrupting your personal finances. The Move Your Money Project has been working to educate people about the difference between banks and credit unions, and the best way to transfer money out of the Big Banks ever since they took billions of dollars in bailout money from the American taxpayers.
Watch the video below, then follow the checklist to show the Big Banks you won’t support their million dollar bonuses and dirty investment practices any more!
1. Open Your New Account
In most cases, you should be able to open a checking account with an initial deposit of $35 to $100. At a credit union, you’ll also become a member and co-owner at the same time.
2. Order New Checks and an ATM/Debit Card
These typically arrive within 1 to 2 weeks. You should also consider applying for a credit card from your new local bank or credit union at the same time.
3. Ask Your Employer to Reroute Your Direct Deposit
When you open your new account, ask the bank or credit union for a direct deposit authorization form that includes your new account information. Give this form to your employer and anyone else who makes direct deposits to your account. It may take one or more pay cycles for the change to be made, so keep your old checking account open and watch for the swith.
4. Contact Companies that Direct-Debit Your Account
Using your last bank statement, make a list of any businesses that you’ve authorized to directly debit your account. Ask your new bank or credit union for an automatic payments authorization form that includes your new account information. Send this to the businesses on your list.
5. Set-up Online Bill Paying for Your New Account
If you like to pay bills online, set up bill payment information for your new accoutn. Also, top automatic, recurring payments you have established through your old account.
6. Close Your Old Account
Once you have started receiving direct deposit into your new account and are sure that there are no outstanding checks or automatic debits that need to clear, close your account. Warning: do not just withdraw the last dollar and assume the account will fade away on is own. Your old big bank may start chargin you fees for having an empty or inactive checking account. Instead, follow the bank’s procedure for closing out the account.
7. Enjoy Your New Local Banking Relationship!
This checklist was produced by the New Rules Project’s Community Banking Initiative. Visit newrules.org/banking for articles, graphs, studies, and more.
Image Credit: Flickr – fibonacciblue
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