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Changing Banks When Moving Out of State: A Step-By-Step Guide

Changing Banks When Moving Out of State: A Step-By-Step Guide
Susan Guillory
Susan GuilloryUpdated July 17, 2023
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You’re in the middle of a major move to another state and your to-do list is a mile long. One thing on that list? Figuring out how to change banks when moving out of state. Obviously, knowing how to switch banks when moving is important because you’ll need to be able to access money in your new home. This guide will make it simple for you to figure out how to open a new bank account in your new state, and whether you even need to do so.

Can You Keep Your Bank Account if You Move to Another State?

Before you go down the rabbit hole on this subject, a question: can you keep your bank account if you move to another state?The answer: absolutely, though if your bank doesn’t have branches in your new state, you won’t be able to conduct business in person. If you want to apply for a loan or deposit a check at a branch, you’ll want to open a new account at a different bank.Also, your old bank might charge you a fee if you use an ATM from a different bank, so this can get expensive over time.If your bank is 100% online, however, there’s no need for you to close this account and open a new one, since location is irrelevant for an online bank.If you do decide you want to change banks when moving out of state, here are the steps to do so.

Step 1: Research New Banks

The first step in how to change banks when moving out of state is to decide what bank you will use in your new home. Start by seeing what banks have locations in your new town. If you don’t need in-person access to a bank, consider opening an account online with an online-only bank.See where the closest branch of a bank is if you need to visit a branch for services regularly. If you’re in a big city, a bank with one branch 30 minutes away probably isn’t what you’re looking for.Banks usually offer several account options, so consider what your needs are. Do you make many transactions each month? Need paper checks? Have a high bank balance? Want a fee-free account?Take your time comparing banks and accounts to find the right fit for your needs. One perk of opening a new account with a new bank is that you may be able to get higher interest on savings accounts or lower fees on a checking account. And some banks offer incentives to new customers, such as a cash bonus if you deposit a certain amount of money.Now, let’s look at how to switch banks.

Step 2: Open a New Account

When it comes to opening a bank account, you may be able to take care of this online before you move. However, the bank may require you to come to a branch in person to open the account. Find out what you’ll need to open the account, which may include one or two forms of photo ID, your new address, Social Security number, and details of your old bank account if you want to transfer funds.While you’re there, consider what other types of accounts you might need, such as a money market or high-yield savings account. It may be easier to open all the accounts you want at the same time.

Step 3: Transfer Funds and Set Up Automatic Payments

The next step in how to transfer banks when moving out of state is getting your money from the old bank into your new account. Start by linking bank accounts so that you can transfer funds. It may take a few days, so allow for the time.Before you transfer all your money out of the old account, check to see if you have any automatic payments scheduled to be debited from that account. The last thing you want is for a debit to process with no money in your account.Don’t forget to let your employer know that you’re switching banks, too, so your direct deposit for your paycheck can find you.Review any websites where you might have saved your old debit card information for payments and update it with your new card details. Don’t overlook your mobile wallet, as well.Once you’re certain you’ve cleared all payments, transfer all the money to the new account.

Step 4: Close Your Old Accounts

The next step, once all transfers have cleared, is closing your old bank account. Find out from your old bank what the process is to close your accounts. You may need to go to a branch in person, so plan ahead before you leave the state. You may also be able to write a letter stating your intent to close the account. Be aware that some banks may charge a fee to close your account.Do you have to close your old account? No, but it could be a good idea, especially if you are charged a fee to use it. Once that fee kicks in and you have no money in the account, you risk going into overdraft and having additional fees. So close the account sooner rather than later.

Tips for Moving Your Money to a New Bank

Get written confirmation from your old bank verifying that your account is closed. And  keeping statements from your last few months of activity with the old bank might be a good idea, in case you lose access to your online account and need to review a past transaction.You might also consider switching to a new credit card with your new bank, though you certainly can keep your old one if you’ve built up a history of using it.Remember to change both your payment information and your address everywhere you shop online. You don’t want items you ordered to be shipped to your old address!

The Takeaway

Now that you know how to change banks when moving out of state, you’ve got one less hassle on your to-do list. The further out you do the legwork to transition to a new bank account, the better prepared you’ll be once you move.Lantern can help you find accounts that can move with you! Get high interest and tons of perks when you open an account today.Compare high-interest savings accounts with Lantern by SoFi.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to switch banks when I move?
What to do with bank accounts when moving out of state?
Can you bank in one state and live in another?
Photo credit: iStock/Prostock-Studio

About the Author

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory

Su Guillory is a freelance business writer and expat coach. She’s written several business books and has been published on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and SoFi. She writes about business and personal credit, financial strategies, loans, and credit cards.
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