Although you typically can cash out your bank account in a single trip to the bank, it pays to do a little planning before you withdraw your cash. You will need to pay the bank any outstanding fees and make sure all uncleared payments are covered before you can close your account.
Check your bank’s policies. Some banks require you to visit a branch in person to cash out and close an account, while other banks allow you to close your account online, by letter or by phone, and will mail you a check for the balance in the account.
Pay any outstanding fees. If your account is subject to termination fees or you have other unpaid fees, such as account maintenance fee, you will need to pay these before you close your account.
Account for uncleared payments. If you have have checks, automatic withdrawals or other debits that are outstanding, you must either wait for these items to clear or leave just enough cash in the account to cover them. If you close your bank account before the outstanding payments clear, vendors will be notified that the account is closed or that there are insufficient funds, which could leave you facing bounced-check fees from the vendor and the bank. If you leave cash in your account, be aware that you will need to formally close the account at another time.
If you want to avoid the hassle of waiting for payments to clear, stop any direct payments from the account and spend a few weeks winding down other spending on the account.
- Mrs. Micah - How to Close a Bank Account Without Being Overwhelmed
- Financial Web: How to Close a Bank Account
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is the Best Way to Move My Checking Account to Another Bank or Credit Union?" Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. "Answers About Automatic Withdrawals." Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. "Regulations - Savings Deposits Frequently Asked Questions." Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Wells Fargo. "Account Closing Letter," Page 1. Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Republic Bank. "To Shred or Not to Shred?" Accessed March 24, 2020.
- If you want to avoid the hassle of waiting for payments to clear, stop any direct payments from the account and spend a few weeks winding down other spending on the account.
Lily Welsh is a freelance writer from North Carolina, though she has spent much of her adult life living abroad. She is the About.com Guide to Music Careers, and her work appears frequently in other Web-based and print publications. Welsh has worked in the music industry for 15 years and counting and holds B.A.s in international studies and economics.