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Adding a Joint Account Holder at Ally Bank

Posted By Jim On 06/28/2010 @ 12:13 pm In Banking | 1 Comment

When I opened my Ally Bank account, I set it up as a joint account because it would be easier to manage. While I manage the bulk of our finances, it’s always easier when there is more access because then anyone can make adjustments and changes as necessary. We subscribe to the joint finances philosophy [3] so a joint account is very natural for us.

However, when I started opening certificates of deposit at Ally, I erroneously made them single accounts. This left me as the single account holder on record and only I could make changes to the accounts. Normally, this isn’t an issue but if changing it is easy, I’d prefer it the other way. Here is what you need to do to add a joint account holder to your CDs at Ally Bank.

Why does it matter if my wife is a joint account holder? 99.9% of the time it won’t matter. But let’s say that there’s some reason why she needs to make decisions about those CDs and I’m unavailable, having her as a joint account holder makes that process much easier. There’s also the issue of FDIC insurance, increasing our coverage to $500,000 from $250,000, which may or may not be an issue.

At Ally, you need to provide the following information:

  • Name, date of birth, and Social Security Number of the current account holder,
  • Instructions on what to do – “Add Jane Smith to XXXXXXX11111″ (sanitized account numbers are acceptable)
  • Joint account holder’s name, date of birth, and social security.
  • Who is to be named “Primary” accountholder on the accounts.

Template

Here’s what I wrote, so you can feel free to copy this template, replacing the information as necessary:

Ally Bank,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I’d like to add [JOINT NAME] to the accounts listed below. She is currently a joint account holder on our online savings account [OSA ACCOUNT NUMBER].

[YOUR NAME] DOB: [DOB]
[YOUR NAME] SSN: [SSN]

Please add [JOINT NAME] to these accounts:
[ACCOUNT NUMBER] Account Name
[ACCOUNT NUMBER] Account Name
[ACCOUNT NUMBER] Account Name
[ACCOUNT NUMBER] Account Name

[JOINT NAME] DOB: [JOINT DOB]
[JOINT NAME] SSN: [JOINT SSN]

Please leave [YOUR NAME] as the Primary on all accounts.

[YOUR NAME SIGNED]
[YOUR NAME]

[JOINT NAME SIGNED]
[JOINT NAME]

You can adjust to for your needs, they can figure it out if you spell it out very clearly. The letter must be signed by both individuals (you and the joint) and then faxed to 866-699-2969. I used FaxZero [4] without incident. I realized afterwards that I used their service to fax my sensitive data but the document lacks any specific account data and only the name, DOB, and SSNs are considered sensitive data so I feel fairly confident our data is safe. (incidentally, anyone know of any free secure fax services? )

I faxed the letter in on Monday afternoon around 4:45pm when my wife came home. The CSR told me it would get processed in about 3 business but it was processed the following day. I confirmed this in my account as both of our names are listed in the Account Title. One day service… pretty awesome.


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[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/adding-a-joint-account-holder-at-ally-bank.html

[3] joint finances philosophy: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/how-we-handle-our-coupled-finances.html

[4] FaxZero: http://faxzero.com/

Thank you for reading!