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Want to Try a New Bank?

6 steps to making the switch an easier process

4. The Web service BankSwitcher.com goes a step further. For $14.95, it can help you through the process — you enter the names of the companies you deal with for automatic debits and deposits (you won’t be asked for account information) and the service then emails you a customized switch kit that includes other resources such as paper forms for the institutions that you need to contact, phone numbers and website addresses.

5. Stop using your old account.

6. Wait to close the old account until you’re sure every automatic transaction has been switched. Some of the firms making automatic credits and debits will be slower than others — so look at your checking statements or monitor your account online to confirm that each firm has completed the switch. Make sure that all paper checks you’ve written on the old account have cleared. (You’ve kept good records of your checks, right?)  Close the old account.

Your work is done. You can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Also of interest: 8 ways to avoid bank fees. »

William J. Lynott is an author and freelance writer who specializes in business and financial issues.

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