How do you change your bank account information at Treasury Direct?
What follows details my own experience with the process. Hopefully, giving you some insightful that’ll be of use.
To begin, I had to change my account information because I had suspected fraud in one of my bank accounts. My credit union was afraid someone might have my account information (yikes!). Therefore, the old account was closed and a new account number issued. Now, I already knew going into this that I’d have to deal with the Treasury the moment I changed my bank account. I had read the stories online, how it wasn’t an easy process. In fact, some people called it a “nightmare.”
Luckily, my credit union was super easy to deal with. (Visit my article where I talk about the differences between a credit union vs. banks )
Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as going to the Treasury Direct website, clicking on a few things and editing your account information. No, you won’t get the typical, “we’ll send two payments into your account for verification” either. Lucky you!
What you need to do is download form- FS Form 5512:
You have to fill this form out the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper. On the form, you’ll input stuff like your account name, account number, social security number, and so forth. It takes about two minutes. However, where this gets tricky is, in order to complete the form you have to get a MEDALLION SIGNATURE GUARANTEE from your bank or credit union. Most importantly, you have to wait and sign the form in from the person who stamps your form.
What is a Medallion Signature Guarantee?
Straight from Wikipedia:
“It is an assurance by the financial institution granting the guarantee that the signature on the transaction is genuine and the guarantor accepts liability for any forgery.”
In short, this is SERIOUS business.
**Super important** This is NOT a notarized signature. You can’t get a notary to do this. Don’t make that mistake.
I’ve read reports online of some people having trouble finding a bank to do this for them. You’ll have to call your bank and find out if they offer it, not all of them do. Some people end up having to go to another bank besides their home bank. I’ve heard that Bank of America does it, maybe Chase as well.
Fortunately, my credit union was great at dealing with this. They even had a place online where I could make an appointment for a “Medallion Signature Guarantee.”
My suggestion- Type the words “medallion signature guarantee + ( name of your bank)” into Google. See if they have a webpage already concerning it. You might get lucky like me.
Did I run into issues?
There was some initial confusion as to how I was supposed to prove I owned these I-bonds. The only proof I had was on a computer screen; Treasury Direct doesn’t send you a paper certificate.
After my credit union manager saw that they were only signing for the ability to DEPOSIT the funds into my account, they were OK with it. I personally took screenshots of my TreasuryDirect account and emailed the credit union the pictures for their own records. It might be a good idea to do this. I’d call your bank and ask them what types of documentation you need to have. You don’t want to make two trips.
After the form is filled out with the seal, you mail it in and wait to hear back from the Treasury. Once it’s approved, they send you an email. Nothing in your Treasury direct account is removed; therefore, you have to log back in, find your old account information and delete it. We are talking about some OLD SCHOOL STUFF here!! I guess they are super strict with everything for security reasons. Given the way the Treasury Direct website looks, none of this comes as a surprise.
Summary-For me, the process wasn’t anywhere near as bad as some people made it sound. For that, I’m thankful. It wasn’t a nightmare at all.
Why am I still buying i-bonds? They are paying almost 10% and you are limited to 10K a year. Might as well stack them-especially with the way the stock market and inflation is looking these days. Lock the money in while those rates are hot. Sure, the money is locked up for a year; however, you can do a ladder. Put $500 a month into i-bonds or whatever you would like. Then you’ll have given amounts you can withdraw whenever you’d like. For me, this is “house money.”
I hope you found this helpful; please check out my article on HOW TO BUY I-BONDS.