Align your Money with your Values
If you bank with Chase, Wells Fargo, or any other major Wall Street bank, your money is being used to fund climate chaos. But don’t worry. There are other options.
We have everything you need to switch to a better bank and align your money with your values today — including resources for banking, credit cards, and investment ratings, with step-by-step instructions for changing banks. Want to join a group to move your money? Check out THIS! Is What We Did.
Fossil Free Banking Options
All the options below are 100% fossil free. That’s not everything when it comes to picking a bank, though, so use the tool below from Bank for Good to find a bank that aligns with your values while also giving you the features you need.
Resources for moving your money
Speaking of banks — is your credit card backed by a fossil-funding bank? Want to switch to a card supporting community banks and a cause — like protecting rainforests? Check out these credit card options.
Once you’ve moved your money, be sure to tell your old fossil funders why you left. Here’s a sample letter for telling them. You can also take a video of yourself cutting up your cards, or put them aside for a future action.
There are also many tools available to support aligning your values with your investments. Check out As You Sow and The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.
Changing Banks — click to open
Everyone’s finances are unique. Use this checklist as a guide, but be sure to adapt it to your particular circumstances. This information is adapted from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Decide what bank you are going to move your money to.
- Make a list of all automatic debits and payments going in and out of your account
- Pay off any credit card debt associated with the old account
- Open a new account with your new bank
- If you have direct deposit, fill out the papers directing your employer to reroute your paychecks to your new account. Do the same for any other direct deposit, such as Social Security payments.
- Move enough money into your new account to cover your automatic payments
- Change your automatic payments to your new account
- Check for any outstanding checks or other debits scheduled to come out of your old account.
- Leave enough money in your old checking account to cover any checks that haven’t cleared or automatic payments that haven’t been made to avoid any fees. Move the rest of your money into your new account.
- Once you’re certain all direct deposits and automatic payments are coming in to and going out of your new account, transfer the remaining funds from your old checking account into your new account. You can do this fastest electronically or by using a cashier’s check. Using a personal check may be cheaper than using a cashier’s check, but there may be a longer wait before it is available in your new account.
- Once the transfer clears your new account, close the old account. Get written confirmation that the account has been closed.
Preparing to close your account
In general to close your account you will have to pay off any debt associated with the account and bring your balance to zero. However, everyone’s finances are different, and different banks may have different processes. It is a good idea to call your bank and confirm the process of closing your account at the start of the process.
- Open the account with your new bank first
The process of closing your account will likely involve moving automatic debits, direct deposits and other recurring transactions to your new account before closing your old one. The first step is likely opening an account with the bank you would like to move to.
- Make a list of automatic transactions into and out of your account, transfer them to your new account.
Make a list of all automatic transactions going in and out of your account and all outstanding checks that haven’t cleared yet. Transfer enough funds to cover any automatic debits to your new account and change any automatic transactions and direct deposits to your new account.
- Make a plan to pay off your credit card debt
You will likely need to pay off your credit card debt associated with the account to close it. Make a plan for how you will do this and pay off any debt if you are able.
- Talk to your bank and make a plan to deal with any other financial instruments attached to the account.
If you have other financial instruments associated with your account talk to your bank about how they will impact closing your account and make a plan to address them.
- Confirm you don’t have any pending transactions or outstanding checks before emptying your old account.
You should double check your list of automatic and pending transactions, and confirm you don’t have any outstanding checks that have not yet cleared before transferring the remaining balance from your old account to your new one.
In general the process of actually closing your account is simple. You can verify this process by calling your bank prior to closing your account.
- Pay off any debt associated with the account and reduce the balance in the account to zero.
- Contact the bank by calling a customer service line and ask to close the account. Ask for confirmation that your account has been closed in writing. Some banks also allow you to contact them online to close your account.
- Verify your account is closed by receiving written confirmation from your bank.
Customer Service Line: 1-800-935-9935
Customer Service Line: 1 (800) 869-3557
Bank of America:
Customer Service Line: 1 (800) 432-1000
Customer Service Line: 1 (800) 374-9700
- How will closing my account impact my credit score?
As long as your account balance isn’t negative closing your account itself should not impact your credit score. Canceling a credit card or other financial instrument may. Here are some useful articles that can help you navigate your personal financial circumstances:
- There are so many other banks to choose, how do I choose one?
We’ve provided some suggestions on choosing a new bank above. There are a number of fossil-free and socially responsible banks to choose from including local credit unions and online banks. You should consider your financial circumstances and what you need from a bank and then pick one that matches your needs, as well as your values. For example if you prefer to have in-person transactions an online bank might not be right for you.
- Will closing my account really have an impact on my bank?
When customers act together banks feel the pressure. Individually our accounts make up a tiny fraction of a big bank’s profits, but when tens of thousands of us act it sends a clear signal Bank Executives can’t ignore. In addition Stop The Money Pipeline is working to leverage our collective action to generate more scrutiny on the banks from both the media and government, endangering their reputations and further pressuring them to take action.
- How will closing my account impact my credit score?
Report back: Tell us how it went
Fill out this form to tell us how it went and how much money you moved! It may seem small, but we’re aggregating this information with others to show how many customers and how much total money has been moved out of the big banks. It goes a long way towards leveraging the power of our individual actions.