There are times in life when you might wonder if you should merge bank accounts. One obvious trigger is marriage: You and your spouse may decide to combine all or some of your accounts into joint reserves. Or perhaps you simply have a number of bank accounts, and they are becoming unwieldy. Perhaps you opened one in college, then another when you moved to start your first job, and then yet another to get a special promotional bonus.
Whatever your goals, if you’re craving financial simplicity or otherwise need a fresh approach to your accounts, here’s what you need to know about:
• How to combine bank accounts
• The pros and cons of combining bank accounts
• When to combine bank accounts.
How to Combine Bank Accounts in 4 Steps
If you decide that merging bank accounts is the right step for you, here’s how to make it happen:
1. Decide Where to Keep Your New Account
The first step — whether you are downsizing for yourself or joining two individuals’ finances together — might be to decide where you want to open your new account.
If you or your spouse have multiple accounts across different financial institutions, you could evaluate which institution offers the best benefits and lowest fees. You might stick with the one existing account you like best or start a joint account somewhere new.
If you are doing the latter, you could compare traditional vs. online banks or which institutions are offering a perk that appeals to you.
2. Start Shifting Accounts
Here’s the next step in how to combine bank accounts: If you’ve decided you want to combine accounts, you could start moving your direct deposits, automatic credit card payments, and other similar transactions over from your old accounts to the new one. You might also want to make sure any subscriptions or other deductions are switched over as well.
3. Check That Your Account Is Up and Running
After about a month, you might want to double-check and make sure that everything has transferred properly. You don’t want to end up paying a late fee or have a check bounce because you weren’t monitoring your accounts.
You also want to be sure that your direct deposits are on time.
4. Close the Unnecessary Accounts
Once you see the correct payments and deposits coming in and out of the new combined account, then you could take the last step in how to merge bank accounts, which is to start closing your old accounts.
This might involve a trip to a branch in person, and if there is anything left in your old account, the bank will issue you a check or cash payment for the remainder.
Recommended: Guide to Reopening a Closed Bank Account
Benefits of Combining Bank Accounts
If you’re wondering whether to merge bank accounts, it can be helpful to consider the pros and cons of combining accounts. Here, the upsides:
• A shared account gives each person in the relationship access to money when they need it. Joint accounts usually offer each person a debit card, a checkbook, and the ability to make deposits and withdraw money.
This also includes online access to account information, which might help when it comes to paying bills together or other when making shared financial decisions.
• Even those who are not looking to combine finances with someone else could benefit from merging their own money into fewer accounts. How many bank accounts should you have? For most single adults, just one checking and one savings account at the same bank should cover your financial needs.
This could help cut down on confusion and simplify your spending, so that you’re not trying to balance your budget across multiple accounts. Minimizing the number of accounts you hold could mean fewer fees, since many banks charge monthly fees or require a minimum balance.
• Another advantage to a joint bank account is that you are less likely to run into financial surprises with your partner. With money going into (and out of) one account that you both have access to, it might be easier to keep tabs on your monthly budget and spending.
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Drawbacks of Merging Your Accounts
Now, consider the downsides of merging accounts:
• Some couples may prefer to keep their financial independence. In fact, rather than combining all your finances, you might decide to create a new joint account but also keep some accounts separate. Or you might decide to keep your finances totally independent of each other, and instead come up with a budget to figure out which expenses each person will pay.
• Combined accounts may not suit your big-picture financial needs and money goals. Before you decide that a combined bank account is your goal, you might want to have a big-picture conversation about what each partner brings to the table.
For instance, what if one partner is entering the marriage with student loan debt, past loans, or other financial burdens? Will the new shared account be used for those payments? Or is it up to the individual to pay off their own debts?
• A joint account could also become a problem in some states if the relationship ends, because without any other agreement in place, that shared money might get split up evenly in a divorce. Or, even worse, one spouse might clear out the account, leaving the other without money.
If you’re concerned about only having a joint account, you could open a joint account specifically for shared bill management with each person depositing a specific amount every month.
You could even have three separate checking accounts — yours, mine, and ours — maybe if one person is a spender and one is a saver. That way, both people manage their checking accounts on their own.
Opening a Bank Account With SoFi
Whether you decide to combine bank accounts, keep them separate, or something in between, it’s important to choose an account that meets your needs. SoFi offers a checking and savings account with a competitive annual percentage yield (APY) and no account fees, which can help your money grow faster.
Plus, with a SoFi Checking and Savings Account, you can save, spend, and earn all in one place. Plus, joint accounts are available with SoFi.
Bank smarter and simpler with SoFi.
Can you merge two bank accounts together?
Yes, you can combine bank accounts. You might be able to transfer an account into another existing one or open a new account to accomplish this.
When should you combine bank accounts?
You can combine bank accounts when you marry, if that suits your and your spouse’s financial needs and style. You might also merge accounts if you find you have multiple accounts and want a simplified financial life.
How do you link two bank accounts from different banks?
You can link accounts between two different banks without merging them. Typically, you can do this on your financial institution’s website or app. You’ll look for the option that says “link external accounts,” and you’ll need the bank routing and account numbers handy.
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SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.50% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.
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