Closing a checking account, should you decide to do it, is a fairly painless process. However, closing an account is not one-size-fits-all for banking customers. How you close a checking account will ultimately depend on the financial institution you bank with and its guidelines for proceeding.
See the List: GOBankingRates’ Best Banks of 2023
Experts: Here’s How Much You Should Have in Your Checking Account
Learn: How To Calculate the Exact Minimum Amount You Should Have in Your Checking Account
Do you feel like it’s time to close your account? Take these steps.
Make Sure Closing the Account Is the Right Decision
Ajha Tucker is the product manager for deposits at Georgia’s Own Credit Union, the third-largest credit union in Georgia. Before closing a checking account, Tucker recommends making absolutely certain this is the right decision.
Some financial institutions may encourage customers to call or visit a branch to talk it over first. If you have questions or concerns, Tucker said you may solicit advice from a customer service representative before proceeding with a closure.
Take Our Poll: How Big of a Sign-Up Bonus Would It Take for You To Change Banks?
Determine How You Want To Close the Account
Banking customers have a few options available for closing their accounts. Tucker said account closures are usually accepted through all channels for convenience, including in-person visits to branches or online. How you decide to close the account will ultimately depend on your preference.
Review Any Items That Could Delay Closure
Generally, Tucker said, a checking account can be closed immediately during an in-branch visit. Some financial institutions have the ability to close an account if it has a positive or zero balance and if all deposits, outstanding and pending items are posted.
It is possible for certain conditions to delay the closure of your checking account. Tucker said these may include debit card holds or outstanding drafts.
“Review the account to make sure all expected debits have cleared,” Tucker said, “at which point you can contact a representative to complete the account closure.”
Consider Account Conversion Options
Some financial institutions may offer customers the opportunity to convert their existing accounts.
Bank of America, for example, provides customers with the chance to find a new account or convert an existing account to a different account. If this option interests you, talk it over with a customer service representative.
Why Should You Close a Checking Account?
Some customers may wonder if it’s truly necessary to close a checking account. Would it be bad to leave it open with a zero balance?
Unfortunately, Tucker said, open accounts, even those with a zero-dollar balance, are at risk of fraud.
“If there is no use for an account and you don’t plan to monitor it, closure will eliminate the vulnerability to fraud,” Tucker said. “It is highly recommended.”
More From GOBankingRates