If you originally had an account with Scottrade®, in 2017 you became a TD Ameritrade customer. As with any transition, this means getting used to new policies and procedures. With most brokerage firms, closing an account is a similar multistep process, but it's important to know those steps before you get started.
Move to a Standard Bank Account
If you plan to transfer your funds to your bank account, you likely won't have to do anything in this step. But it's important to remember that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation covers only $250,000 with one bank, so if the amount you're transferring will put you over that, consider setting up an account with a different bank. Keep in mind that this $250,000 is not per account. If you have $250,000 in savings and $50,000 in checking, only $250,000 will be covered. You'll also likely be unable to get a decent interest rate on the money you deposit if you put it into a standard account.
Transfer to a New Broker
If, on the other hand, you simply want to go with a different brokerage firm, you'll need to put some work into getting that set up on the front end. Contact your broker of choice and let him know that you're interested in transferring your funds. Be aware that although TD Ameritrade doesn't charge a fee for closing your account, there is a $75 fee for transfers. Some brokers either offer to pay the fee or give a signing bonus of $100 or more, which is good to know if you're still shopping around. You'll work with the new broker to get the funds out of your TD Ameritrade account and into its new home.
Initiate the Transfer
Your new broker will hand over a Transfer Initiation Form, which you will complete to begin the process. You won't need to do anything from this point, but the two brokers will have plenty to do. Your new broker will enter all your information into a system called the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service, which handles moving money between trading accounts. ACATS notifies TD Ameritrade that a transfer has been requested and, as long as all the information is provided and accurate, the transfer will begin. In total, the process takes approximately one week to complete.
Close Your TD Ameritrade Account
Once the transfer is complete, contact TD Ameritrade at 800-669-3900 and ask to have your account closed. You can also send a written request to your home TD Ameritrade branch. Include your name, your account number, your request to close your account, your current address and your signature.