Dave Ramsey Says to Ask These 2 Questions Before Switching Savings Accounts

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KEY POINTS

  • It's important to keep your savings in the right account.
  • Sometimes, changing to a different savings account makes sense.
  • Dave Ramsey suggests asking yourself these questions before switching accounts.


Don't make a decision about your savings account until you read this advice.

Keeping money in a savings account is important so it's accessible when you need it. But you'll want to make sure you have the right savings account that pays you a generous amount of interest and that has rules you can live with.

In some cases, you may decide you want to switch your savings account. Before you move forward with doing that, though, personal finance expert Dave Ramsey recommends asking yourself these two key questions.

1. Is there a minimum deposit or minimum balance requirement?

The first question that Ramsey suggests asking when deciding whether to switch accounts is whether you must deposit a certain minimum amount of money or maintain a certain minimum balance.

Minimum deposit requirements mandate you put a certain amount of money into the account when you first open it. And minimum balance requirements mandate that you keep a certain amount in the account on an ongoing basis. If you fail to fulfill the first requirement, you may not be allowed to open an account at all. And if you don't fulfill the second, you could end up getting paid a lower interest rate or paying a monthly fee.

"You don’t want to get hit with any unnecessary fees (banks can be sneaky like this)," the Ramsey Solutions blog warns.

Unfortunately, even if you have the money needed to open the account, you could fall below the minimum balance requirement if you need to take money out down the road. This is a huge risk, so you may want to steer clear of accounts with minimum balance rules even if you think you can meet them.

2. Are there any monthly maintenance fees?

Second, the next key question to ask yourself is whether the savings account comes with any monthly maintenance fees. These are ongoing fees you would have to pay every month just to keep the account open, regardless of what your balance is in the account.

"Avoid those," Ramsey says of monthly maintenance fees. "They could easily eat up all your interest earnings."

The good news is, it's easy to find a great savings account that does not have any minimum balance requirements or minimum monthly maintenance fees -- and that will allow you to open an account without depositing a set amount of money in it right away. So if you are interested in switching savings accounts, it should be easy to find a bank that fits Ramsey's criteria of not charging you to be a customer.

The key is to shop around and compare different offerings from a wide variety of local banks and credit unions, as well as national banks and online lenders. By comparing the fees and interest rates that different financial institutions offer, and by asking the questions that Ramsey urges you to ask about minimum balance requirements and maintenance fees, you should easily be able to find the ideal account for your financial situation. While it may take a little bit of effort, it's worth it to make sure you make the most of your savings.

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