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How to Change Banks: Switching from a Bank to a Credit Union

By: iTHINK Financial | Jul 31, 2018

Why You Should Consider Changing from a Bank to a
Credit Union

Feeling like it’s time to change banks? We understand. It’s not you…it’s your bank. You and your bank have had a good run, and you know it’s time to let go. If you’re ready to say goodbye to big banks and think more locally, credit unions are the way to go.

Like any break up with a less-than-perfect match of a partner, switching to a credit union can give you the freedom you need to be who you want to be—in this case, financially. Here are the big two steps you’ll need to take to make the big jump and call yourself a proud credit union member.

Close Your Current Bank Account

When closing a bank account and moving to another financial institution, you’ll want to have a good amount of past bank statements ready for reference during the process. It’s recommended that you review about a year’s worth of bank statements to document any and all automatic transactions that have been coming out of the soon-to-be-closed account.

Ensure that those automatic transactions are properly transferred over to your new credit union account. This may sound tedious, but this ensures that you won’t miss a month of your favorite automatically billed streaming service, an issue of your staple coffee table magazine and especially a car or insurance payment.

When you’ve pored over all your statements and you’re ready to finally pull the plug, make sure that you have written documentation of your account’s closure from your old bank. Just like how those 12 months of bank statements were suddenly super handy, that written documentation may come in handy one day, too. 

Open Your New Credit Union Account

First, you’ll have to find your perfect credit union fit. There are over 7,000 credit unions across the country who might love to have you join their family.

Sites like CULookup.com can help you find the credit unions near you that you’re eligible to join. This is one of the bigger differences between large, commercial banks and smaller credit unions. Certain credit unions restrict membership and only serve residents of local areas, employees of certain companies or other limited demographics. For these organizations, it’s what keeps that local feel that credit union members love (and what you may be hoping to find when you switch from your bank).

When you know you’ve found your credit union home, make the required initial deposit to be a member-owner, and you’re ready to start using your account. This amount (usually $5 to $25) is the first and biggest step into becoming one of America’s 100 million credit union members.

For iTHINK Financial Credit Union (IiTHINK Financial), a small deposit of only $5 is required to open an account and begin your lifetime membership. To be eligible for a membership, you must work for or be retired from a member company, live in an approved county, worship or attend school in an approved county or be an immediate family member of/live in the same household as an existing member.

Interested in making the switch today? Check out iTHINK Financial’s online switch kit to make a smooth and seamless transition.

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