An overdrawn checking account is a gift that keeps on giving -- to the bank. Lots of banks charge fees on checking accounts, particularly with deposits below a minimum level. Closing the account lets you escape the fees. Unfortunately, as long as your account is in the red, the bank can keep it open.

Closing an Account Once it's Back to Black

The only way out is to settle the account. If you have any money you can deposit in the account to bring it into the black, do it. Then contact customer service, tell them you've deposited the money and ask them to close the account. Banks aren't always prompt about settling problems, so stay on top of this. If the customer service representative can't help you, ask for another rep or someone higher up. If someone says she'll take care of things, check back to confirm it actually happens.