Here are five steps you can take to reduce or eliminate overdraft fees:
- Track your balance as carefully as you can to reduce the chance you will overdraft. Also, sign up for low balance alerts to let you know when you are at risk of overdrawing your account. If you have regular electronic transfers, such as rent, mortgage payments or utility bills, make sure you know how much they will be and on what day they occur. Track the checks that you write and note when the funds are deducted from your account, so that you do not accidentally spend money you have already paid from your account. The funds from most deposits to your account with us are available immediately but you should verify this when the deposit is made.
- Check your account balance before making a debit card purchase (or ATM withdrawal), and then pause to ask yourself if you have any payments coming up. Just because your account has enough funds when you’re at the checkout counter doesn’t mean you’ll have the funds later when the transaction finally settles. If you’ve recently written checks or made online bill payments that have not yet been deducted from your account, these could draw down your funds in the meantime, leaving you without enough funds to cover your purchase. Debit card overdraft fees can occur on transactions that were first authorized when there were sufficient funds to cover them but took the account negative when the transaction settled.
- Don’t opt-in. You can avoid paying overdraft fees when using your debit card for purchases and at ATMs by not opting-in, or by opting-out if you are currently opted in. This means that your debit or ATM card may be declined if you don’t have enough money in your account to cover a purchase or ATM withdrawal at the time you attempt a transaction. However, it also means you won’t be charged an overdraft fee for these transactions.
- Link your checking account to a savings account. If you overdraw your checking account, we will take money from your linked savings account to cover the difference. We do not charge a fee for this type of transfer. Contact to us to link your savings account.
- Ask us if you are eligible for a line of credit to cover overdrafts. We do not charge a fee for this type of transfer, but you will owe interest on the amount you borrow, but this is a much cheaper way to cover a brief cash shortfall. If you have a credit card with us, you can use this to cover overdrafts, too.