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Wells Fargo is one of the most well established and leading U.S banks, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that a Wells Fargo account is the right choice for you.
If you have an account and have decided that you no longer need it, here we’ll delve into the process of how to close a Wells Fargo account.
Should I Close My Wells Fargo Checking Account?
Checking accounts are essential for managing your day-to-day finances, such as paying bills and receiving a direct deposit for your salary. Some people may even have multiple checking accounts to manage the various aspects of their finances.
However, there are some situations when it may be a good idea to close your Wells Fargo checking account. These include:
- You’re Paying Maintenance Fees: One of the downsides to Wells Fargo accounts is that they often have monthly service or maintenance fees. So, if you’re not fully using your account, it can end up costing you a great deal.
- You’re Struggling to Manage the Account: If you’re juggling multiple checking accounts and you’re struggling to keep them all in the black, it is likely to be a good idea to simplify things and stick to just one or two accounts and close the others.
- You’re Getting Terrible Customer Service: If every time you have any kind of issue with your bank, you dread contacting customer support, the chances are that this is not the right bank for you. Although no one enjoys dealing with a problem, if you have to wait forever on hold or the branch staff are always rude, it may be good to switch to another bank and close your existing checking account.
Ways to Close a Wells Fargo Checking Account
Although Wells Fargo is keen to retain its customers, it does make it quite easy to initiate the account closure procedure. There are a number of ways that you can close your account including:
- Call the Helpline: Wells Fargo has a toll-free phone number that you can call to speak to a representative about closing your account or any other general account queries. The number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Visit a Branch: Wells Fargo has over 4,700 branches throughout the U.S. So if you have one in your local area, you can visit a branch and speak to a team member about closing your account.
- By Email: This is perhaps the most convenient option, as you can visit the “Contact Us” section on the Wells Fargo website and send a closure request via email.
- Mailing in a Request: This is not recommended unless you are outside the U.S, as it is the slowest method. But, if you have no other option, you can download the account closure request form from the Wells Fargo website, complete it and mail it in.
5 Steps to Close a Wells Fargo Checking Account
If you’ve decided that closing your Wells Fargo checking account is the right decision for you, you can complete the process in just five steps.
1. Set Up a New Bank Account
Before you start the ball rolling on closing your Wells Fargo checking account, you’ll need to have a replacement account set up.
If you’ve already opened a new account or your Wells Fargo account is surplus to requirements, this should be simple, but if not, you’ll need to ensure that your new account is fully opened and set up ready for your everyday transactions.
Make sure that you have your new account details to hand and that you’ve transferred any automated payments have been moved across to your new account.
2. Check Your Wells Fargo Account is Still Active
If you’ve not used your Wells Fargo account for a while, it may have become inactive.
If this is the case, you will need to reactivate your account before you can request closure. The easiest way to check if your account is still active is to try logging on to your online banking portal.
If you can’t log in or you get an error message, you will need to call the helpline or speak to a member of the support team in your local branch.
3. Check Your Transactions Have Gone Through
Ideally, you would stop using your Wells Fargo account several weeks before you want to close it. If you still have activity pending on the account, Wells Fargo will not authorize a closure.
Also, you may run into problems with your credit accounts if you have auto-pay set up and a company tries to claim a payment on a closed account.
It is a good idea to check back on previous bank statements and make a list of recurring payments and deposits. If you have direct deposit with Wells Fargo, you need to update your employer. You can check that these transaction details have been moved across to your new account.
If you have a payment that is due to come out of your account, it is best to make sure there is sufficient funds in both accounts and wait to see if it is processed through your Wells Fargo account.
4. Check Your Checking Account Balance
Wells Fargo does not allow customers to close an account if it has a negative balance.
So, you’ll need to check your balance to make sure that it is either at zero or has a positive balance. Bear in mind that there may be account fees and charges that may be charged to the account, so you’ll need to have sufficient funds in the account to cover these.
If your account balance is zero, you are ready to request an account closure, but if you have funds in the account, you will either need to transfer the remaining funds out of the account or request reimbursement via wire transfer or cashier’s check on your account closure request.
If you’re closing the account in a branch, you may be able to withdraw any remaining money in cash via the teller as part of the closure.
5. Contact Wells Fargo
Once you’ve completed the above steps, you’re ready to contact Wells Fargo via your preferred method to request an account closure. As we discussed above, you can do this by calling the helpline, visiting a branch or filling in a closure request form.
How to Close a Wells Fargo Joint Bank Account
If your Wells Fargo account is co-owned with someone else, the account closure process will be a little more complex. Wells Fargo requires that both holders of a joint bank account consent to the account closure, so they will need to speak to both of you, either by phone or in a branch.
However, other than this point, you’ll be able to follow the above steps to close your account. You will still need to ensure that everything is moved over to your new account and that your Wells Fargo account does not have a negative balance.
How to Close a Wells Fargo Savings Bank Account
Closing a Wells Fargo savings account is a little more straightforward compared to a checking account, but don’t become blazed about the process.
Although you don't need to worry about automated payments, you will still need to ensure that your savings account is in good standing and there are no maintenance fees or other charges pending on the account. You can transfer the remaining funds into your designated account and when the account balance is at zero, submit a closure request.
As with a checking account, you can discuss your account closure in your local branch or by calling the helpline.
What Happens If Wells Fargo Closes Your Account?
Wells Fargo may close your bank account for a number of reasons and if the bank does close your account, you should receive notification of closure via mail or email. If this happens to you, there are several things that you need to do:
- Establish the Reason for the Closure: Typically, the written notice of your account closure will not detail the reason why the decision was made. So, you need to try to establish the reason for the closure. If it is a simple matter such as not being able to verify your tax information, you may be able to update your information and have your account restored.
- Stop Your Auto Payments: If you have automated deposits such as your paycheck or automatic bill payments linked to the account, you’ll need to stop them. It can take several days for the money to be returned from a closed account and you could incur fees from creditors if your payment is not received on time.
- Resolve any Negative Balance: If your Wells Fargo account had an overdraft facility, make sure that your negative balance is resolved to avoid the debt being passed to a collection agency.
- Get a Copy of your ChexSystems Report: ChexSystems reporting collects bank account information and it is used for reference when banks are assessing account applications. So, a mark on your ChexSystems report could prevent you from opening a new checking account. Head off any potential problems by getting a copy of your report and reporting any incorrect information.
- Open a New Account: Finally, you will need to consider your options to replace your Wells Fargo account. If your ChexSystems file has no major problems, you shouldn’t have any issues with a different bank. However, if you have issues, you may need to consider a basic bank account or an account with a credit union.
Most Wells Fargo promotions require that you maintain the account for a specified timeframe to qualify for the bonus. So, if you close the account prematurely, you may need to repay your promotional bonus.
There can be any number of reasons why Wells Fargo may have closed an account from inactivity to consistently having a negative balance without repayment. You’ll need to speak to Wells Fargo to find out the specific reason for closure.
You can follow the steps in the Wells Fargo credit card section on the website, call the helpline or visit a Wells Fargo branch.
Yes, it may be possible to reactivate a closed account, but you’ll need to speak to the Wells Fargo team.
You should receive confirmation from Wells Fargo that the account closure request has been processed.
Your account needs to be active to initiate a closure, but if you want to close an inactive account, you’ll need to speak to the customer support team.
You can’t use the app to close your account, you’ll need to use the methods we’ve detailed above.