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How to Switch to a Free Checking Account in 5 Steps

From depositing checks to paying bills, as the revolving doors for funds, your checking account should work FOR you and not against you with unnecessary extra monthly fees. If you’re a Florida resident who’s wondering how to switch banks to cut out fees and get better service, why not choose a free checking account with a credit union instead? This article covers why it’s the answer you’ve been looking for!

Why switch to Free Checking at Space Coast Credit Union (SCCU)?

Perhaps you’re tired of dealing with poor customer service at your old bank, looking to save money on fees, moving to a new location, or opening an account with a partner. Our Free Checking account, which you can open online, offers a plethora of perks that will exceed your expectations when you make the switch. 

Savings: According to a MoneyRates survey, maintenance fees for checking accounts are on average, $167.40 a year! Yikes. But good news, you’ll be pocketing that average amount when you have a totally Free Checking account with us—and that'll be a nice chunk of change for extra beach gear or Christmas gifts!

Seriously, no fees: Is it free or “kind of” free? At many other banking institutions, their “free” checking accounts come with a laundry list of fees. No siree with ours! No hidden fees, no monthly service fees, no minimum balances, and no fees if you don’t set up a direct deposit. Plus, no limitations on transactions and transfers.  

Additional conveniences: You also get free eStatements, a free VISA® debit card with unlimited transactions, access to over 20,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide, digital wallet payment options, and fraud protection. You can also make deposits and manage your cards with the SCCU Mobile app.  

Early Direct Deposit: Best of all, you can get your direct deposit up to two days early FREE!42

Direct Deposits: 
Best of all, you can get your direct deposit up to two days early42 with us for FREE!     

Learn more about the features of no-fee checking accounts with this guide.

How to Swap from One Bank Account to Another

While switching your main bank accounts may feel overwhelming at first, we’ll break it down with our step-by-step guide that will make it fast and easy! Plus, it will all be worth it in the end. We also offer a switch kit to give you all the tools you’ll need.

1. Open your Free Checking Account at SCCU

Before you begin the switcheroo, you’ll first need to open a new account. As long as you’re 18 or older, you can apply for a Free Checking account online with us in just a couple of minutes (students age 13-17 can apply with the help of a parent or guardian). All you’ll need to do is fill out a form with your information, provide government-issued identification, and make a $25 deposit. You can also choose to order (and customize) your checks too. 

If you’re currently not an SCCU member, you can become one if you live or work in these counties and make a $5 deposit in a Share Savings (regular savings account) when you open your Free Checking account, which gives you an equal “share” of SCCU. 

We’ll have your account open for you within two business days, and we’ll send you a shiny free Visa® debit card! We’ll also send you an email with information about enrolling in Online Banking and downloading our Mobile app. 

Bonus, if you’d like to put your savings on autopilot, consider linking your Free Checking account with an SCCU Saving Cents account at no extra cost.

Pro tip: Leave enough money in your old account to cover at least one month’s expenses and ensure that your account meets any minimum-balance requirements. 

2. Start funding your new account with your direct deposits

Next, start re-routing your direct deposits to go to your new account, such as regular paychecks (in your payroll provider’s website or with human resources), VA benefits, Social Security, dividends, child support, freelance work, and other regular deposits. Ensure that everything is in ship-shape and ready for upcoming withdrawals.

To make these changes, you’ll need your account number and routing number. SCCU’s routing number is 263177903. To see your account number, click on your Free Checking account on the first screen you see in your Online Banking account or Mobile app. Next, click Statements, and then click your Free Checking account again to see your account number.

3. Make a list of all of your old account’s recurring withdrawals

While most payments are due monthly, some are due quarterly, annually, or semiannually—that’s why it’s a good idea to crack open a year’s worth of your old bank statements or print them out. Then, thumb through them and highlight all of the recurring transfers as well as recurring withdrawals for bills, credit cards, and subscriptions. In many cases, you’ll see an “au” or something similar in the descriptions indicating the payment is automated. 

4. Update your payments with your Free Checking account information

Once your deposits have cleared and your recurring withdrawals list is ready, you can start replacing your old account information with your new account information. Thankfully, most bills are online these days, so it’s pretty easy to update the information directly in account portals on their websites. 

Sometimes you’ll need to call the provider, and occasionally, you’ll need a paper form (see our automated payment change form here). See how to set up Bill Payer and account alerts, make external transfers, and check your FICO® Score on your Online Banking account here. Reward yourself with a pat on the back as you tick off each item on the list! 

5. Say goodbye to fees from your old checking account

Congratulations, you’ve made it! While it’ll probably only take a day or two to switch out all of the information, it’s a good idea to give yourself a month before closing out your old account to ensure that everything is running like a well-oiled machine. Then, enjoy receiving direct deposits up to two days early42 and saving money on fees with your Free Checking account.

How to Close an Old Bank Account

Before you give your old bank account the boot, be sure that you don’t have any outstanding deposits, withdrawals, or any other issues. Also, be sure to save all available statements in a safe place (printed or digitally). Some bank accounts allow you to close your bank account online, but you may need to make a call or live chat with them to confirm that you’re closing the account. Some financial institutions require you to go into a branch and fill out a form

You can request them to transfer the funds first or send you a check with the remaining balance. You can easily deposit the check in your new SCCU account with the Mobile app or at any of our deposit-taking ATMs or 60+ branches near you. 

It’s a good idea to receive a written confirmation that the account is closed and destroy any checks or cards tied to your old account. Don’t forget to close out any safe deposit boxes at your old bank too.

More to Love at Space Coast Credit Union

You can rest easy knowing that with your Free Checking account at SCCU, your money’s central station doesn’t come with a toll booth attached to it. We also offer Free Business Checking for small business offers. Plus, we also offer a free checking account for students between the ages of 13-17 called Student Checking, which automatically converts to a Free Checking account upon their 18th birthday. We’re happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

As the third-largest credit union in Florida with 60+ branches, serving more than 500,000 members in more than 30 counties, we offer a large financial suite of accounts and low-rate loans to help you achieve your goals and dreams. We’re also federally insured by NCUA (National Credit Union Administration) up to $250,000, offering you the same protection as the FDIC.

Plus, as a member of SCCU, you’re helping support your local neighbors and communities, and we offer exclusive rates for all kinds of heroes. And as a member-owned cooperative, we’re also dedicated to arming our members with fraud prevention and financial wellness tips and tricks

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