De-conversion fees are the last thing you want to think about when you feel trapped in your core agreement. As daunting as these fees may seem they shouldn't stop you in looking for a better solution for your institution. There are a few things you should be aware of before starting your due diligence in evaluating core providers. The decision made at the end of this process is one of the most substantial investments you will decide on for your institution. The following two steps will help you set expectations correctly and gauge the level of difficulty you may encounter before you begin the process. By “working backward” you will save yourself from spending hundreds of hours looking at various providers only to discover you are being held hostage by your current core provider and allow yourself the freedom to efficiently decide on a better partner for your core processing.