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Tips to Help Avoid Overdraft Fees

 

Keep accurate records
Monitoring and reconciling checking account transactions are important for knowing your balance, avoiding overdrafts, and managing personal spending. Keeping accurate records helps ensure someone isn’t using your checking account for fraudulent purposes.

Use direct deposit for your paycheck
You can have access to your paycheck immediately, which is faster than a paper check. Ask your employer or benefits provider about direct deposit.

Don’t write a check if you don’t have the funds to cover it
Customers who rely on ‘floating’ checks, which is the time it takes for a check to clear the bank, will likely find themselves overdrawn as technology and transaction processing practices continue to improve.

Transactions don’t necessarily clear ‘in order’
Customers should be aware that account transactions, including checks, ATM transactions, and debit card purchases, may ‘clear’ an account at different times, and not necessarily in the order they were made. Keeping good records of all deposits and withdrawals is essential to knowing the actual, usable balance in your account.

Consider Online Bill Pay as an alternative to Automatic Payments

Having the cable company or other service provider take payments out of your account automatically is a convenient option but can cause serious issues with your account balance. For example, different companies have different procedures for how they handle a payment due date that falls on a holiday or weekend. It is your responsibility to know and understand your service providers’ authorizations with respect to the timing of your payments.

Online Bill Pay is a convenient alternative and allows you to schedule the specific date of the payment.  Repeat payments can be set-up allowing the convenience of automatic payments but keeping you in control.

Utilize email balance notifications  
Your Online Banking allows you to set up a variety of email notifications.  You can arrange to receive notifications if your balance falls below a certain level chosen by you.  To set up your notifications, log-in to your Online Banking account and click the "notifications" button.  

Check your balance and account transactions often
First State Bank offers many free and simple ways for customers to check their balances and monitor account activity—online, by telephone, at an ATM, and in-person at one of our branches. Customers are encouraged to take advantage of these options to stay in touch with their account activity and balances. Keep in mind, however, that those balances will not reflect transactions that you may have authorized which have not yet been processed by the bank.

Link your checking account to a savings account                       
Overdraft protection plans are an attractive alternative to overdraft fees. First State Bank offers options that let customers use the money in their own accounts to cover transactions in case of emergency or ‘just in case’. Contact First State Bank for additional information about our overdraft programs

 

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