How do I stop automatic payments from my bank account?
You have the right to stop a company from taking automatic payments from your account, even if you previously allowed them. For example, you might decide to cancel a membership or monthly service, or you might want to switch to a different payment method.
How to stop automatic debits from your account
To stop automatic payments from your account, here are the steps you can take.
Call and write the company
Call the company and tell them you are taking away your permission for the company to take automatic payments out of your bank account. The company’s customer service should be able to help you, and there might be an online form you can use. Then, follow up by writing a letter or an e-mail. When you contact the company, you can explain whether you are canceling your ongoing contract or subscription, or only changing the way you are paying them. For example, you might cancel automatic payments and decide to pay invoices when they arrive.
Call and write your bank or credit union
Next, call your bank or credit union and say you have revoked authorization for the company to take automatic payments from your account. Customer service should be able to help you, and your bank or credit union might have a form for this online. Follow up by writing a letter or an e-mail.
After you contact your bank and the company to clarify that you have revoked authorization from the company, any additional payments initiated by that company would be errors, and you can contact your bank for a refund.
Your bank or credit union might use stop payment orders
Some banks or credit unions might recommend you send them a stop payment order, too. A stop payment order is an instruction to your bank or credit union that tells them not to make a payment to a specified company from your account.
Banks and credit unions generally charge fees for stop payment orders.
A good idea is to follow your bank’s or credit union’s suggested process, and keep close track of your requests and the dates you made them. That way, if something goes wrong and a payment goes through after you have given your instructions, you can work with the bank or credit union to refund your account.
Monitor your accounts
Tell your bank or credit union right away if you see a payment that you did not allow or a payment that was made after you revoked authorization. Federal law gives you the right to dispute and get your money back for unauthorized transfers from your account, as long as you tell your bank in time.
Cancelling an automatic payment does not cancel what you owe
To cancel an ongoing contract for a service, like cable or a gym, be sure to cancel your contract with the company as well as telling it to stop automatic payments. If you cancel an automatic payment on a loan, you still have to make payments on the loan using another payment method.
Still having trouble with a bank or credit union?
Companies can usually answer questions unique to your situation and more specific to the products and services they offer. If you have a complaint, tell us about your issue—we’ll forward your issue to the company, give you a tracking number, and keep you updated on the status of your complaint.