Checking Accounts: Overdraft Policies
Checking account occupies a central position in the lively world of finance. These are the convenience of immediate withdrawals and deposits, paying monthly bills and many others. On the other hand, there is a possibility of going beyond the debit limit. What happens when you overdraw? A comprehensive guide on overdraft policies. kallaste temperature. Checking Accounts: Overdraft Policies.
What is Overdraft?
This is an instance where you have spent more money than what’s actually within your checking account. In fact, the overdraft is normally covered by the bank but with some fees attached.
In addition, most banks levy an overdraft fee if you surpass your account balance. Typically, these fees vary per incident and with frequent overdrafts.
Types of Overdraft Protection
1. Link to a Savings Account
How it works: If there is an overdraft, the bank will transfer an equivalent amount of cash from the associated savings account to bridge the gap.
Benefits: Fewer amounts than normal overdraft charges.
2. Overdraft Line of Credit
How it works: The line of credit is a credit line when your account goes ‘overdrawn’.
Benefits: Instead of a fixed charge, you pay interest on the overdrawn amount. It’s usually much less than the average overdraft fees.
3. Overdraft Protection Service
How it works: The bank charges fees for covering overdrawn transactions to a specific limit.
Benefits: Ensures that checks don’t bounce.
Pros and Cons of Overdraft Protection
- Avoids embarrassment: Saves you from declined transactions.
Emergency buffer: Handy during unforeseen expenses.
Saves money: The overdraft protection may cost less that the regular overdraft fees.
- Can become a habit: May lead to careless spending.
Fees: They may be low but definitely available.
False sense of security: Can create a fiction that one is richer than in fact one’s case is.
How Banks Handle Overdrafts
Some banks will cover any transaction while others limit the maximum amount that they’ll bear the transaction cost.
Certain banks may prefer processing bigger transactions, leading to several small overdraws resulting in numerous overdraft fees. Knowing the policy of your banks is important.
Extended Overdraft Fees
Some banks might impose extra charges if you continue having a negative account balance for a more extensive periods.
Tips to Avoid Overdraft Fees
- Monitor your account: Regularly check your account balance.
Set up alerts: Receive notifications for low balances.
Opt-out: Opt out of overdraft protection if you do not want the bank to pay on the debit card transactions.
Review bank policies: Select a bank whose policy towards overdrafts is consumer oriented, because you will likely overdraw at some point in time.
An overdraft policy is a safety net in case of an occasional slippage- up, it should not replace good financial management. Be aware of your bank’s policies on overdraft protection, weigh the pros and cons of it, and aim at keeping overdrafts as infrequent events in your finance management.
Note: Speak directly to your bank about the policy or fees. Some banking regulation/policy, however, may vary according to the place or a specific bank.