USE Credit Union
Checking & Savings

Overdraft Protection

When Overdrafts Happen, You Need A Strong Back-Up Plan.

When life creates an “uh-oh” moment, chances are you won’t have to worry. That’s because we give you a number of different options to help ensure sure overdrafts don’t become big, expensive problems.  Overdraft protection links your USECU checking account to another USECU account such as savings, a credit card or a line of credit. You may also qualify for additional protection if these options aren't available on your account.

Choosing Your Overdraft Settings
At USECU, you have the option of covering overdrafts -- including Debit/ATM Card transactions that exceed your available balance -- with another approved source of funds. You can link your checking account to one or all of the USECU accounts listed below if available. We also give you the option of selecting the sequence in which funds are advanced to pay overdrafts. You can add overdraft protection or change your Overdraft Settings at any time.

  • Credit Card and Line of Credit. Either account is mostly likely your least expensive option for managing overdrafts. That’s because you don’t pay overdraft fees for using your USECU savings or line of credit as overdraft protection, although interest is charged per your credit card or loan agreement on the amount of your advance for the number of days you’re overdrawn.
  • Savings Account. You can also link your checking to any USECU savings account for a $10 fee per overdraft item, subject to a maximum of six electronic savings withdrawals per month.

Courtesy Pay: An Additional Safety Net
We realize you may not be able to link your checking account to savings, a credit card or a line of credit.  Or you may not always have available funds in these accounts to cover overdrafts. That’s why we also offer Courtesy Pay – a fourth way to minimize the inconvenience and cost associated with overages. While the fee is higher for this type of protection, it helps you avoid expensive merchant returned check fees. With Courtesy Pay, we have the option of covering overdrafts on checks, ATM withdrawals and Debit Card transactions for a limited number of occurrences each month. Please note that Courtesy Pay is not available on Debit/ATM transactions unless you opt in for this protection. 

Special Rules For Debit/ATM Card Transactions
Recent legislation requires that we get your approval to apply Courtesy Pay to your ATM and everyday (non-recurring) Debit Card transactions. If you don't opt in for this coverage, these types of transactions will be declined when you don't have enough money in your checking account or a linked Overdraft Protection account at the time of the transaction. You won’t have access to Courtesy Pay, even if in an emergency, unless you opt-in.

To elect Courtesy Pay coverage for Debit and ATM transactions:  Login to Online Banking, click the Secure Forms link and select the Overdraft Election Form. Questions? Call us at 866.USE.4.YOU.

Overdraft Protection:  Your Checking Account’s Protection

Have you ever experienced the embarrassment of having a check or electronic transaction returned?  If you haven’t yet, do you think the chance exists? While we enjoy the conveniences of automatic bill payment, direct deposit and electronic transfers, keeping your checkbook balanced can sometimes be challenging.  All it takes is one minor mistake and you could be looking at an NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) fee.  But there’s a way to prevent this – Overdraft Protection.

Overdraft Protection is a service to help you avoid the cost and embarrassment of returned checks or overdrafts on your checking account.  Available funds from your savings account, line of credit or credit card are transferred automatically to your checking account if you find yourself overdrawn, allowing your transactions—and your life to go uninterrupted.

USECU offers an overdraft protection program that allows you to use your own funds in the case of accidental overdraft, ensuring that your payments and debits are processed without interruption as long as there are available funds in your overdraft protection account.  This program is extremely flexible, and allows you to choose what kind of overdraft protection account you would like to link to your checking account.

How does it work?  Let’s say that you have a checking account balance of $500. You have authorized a bill payment for $350 to cover your electric bill. That same night, a debit of $200 for car insurance is presented for payment but the account is $50 short.  Your overdraft protection service automatically transfers enough money in increments of $100 into your checking account from your line of credit, savings account or credit card (whichever you have dedicated as an overdraft protection account), allowing both transactions to clear.  A $10 overdraft usage fee applies for each overdraft item, which is debited from your checking account.

Without overdraft protection in this example, the car insurance would not have been paid, possibly causing you to incur a late charge or return payment fee with the insurance provider.  Overdraft Protection is designed to help you to avoid these kinds of costly and stressful oversights.

Of course, Overdraft Protection should only be used in the case of emergency. How can you avoid having to use Overdraft Protection?  Here are some ideas to help you stay in “check” with your checking account:

  • Balance your checkbook on a regular basis.  Keep track of all expenses, especially automatic debit charges that may sneak up on you.
  • Keep your check register up-to-date.  Record your ATM withdrawals, debit card and online purchases when you make them, and don’t forget about payments and account fees.
  • Set up direct deposit.  No more forgetting to make your deposit or trying to get it in before cut-off.
  • Keep an account cushion.  Maintain a “cushion” of money in your checking account as your own “overdraft protection.”
  • Check your account and review monthly statements.  Make sure deposited funds are credited and available for use in your account before you make a debit card purchase or write a check.
  • Set up account alerts.  Take advantage of e-mail or text message alerts to stay on top of your account.

Additionally, USECU offers Courtesy Pay Overdraft Services, where we will pay the amount you overdraw on your checking account, above and beyond the Overdraft Protection amount.  A $27 fee applies to each item for this service, but it does allow you to make the payments and avoid returned payment fees from the payees.  Here’s how it works:

You make regular automatic payments of $500 to your children’s college funds.  One month you do not calculate correctly and there are not enough funds available to cover this transfer, and your overdraft protection line of credit only has $400 available to cover the overage.  Unfortunately, you are $100 short in this instance.  Because you have opted in to use Courtesy Pay Overdraft Services, USECU will cover the $100 and complete the automatic payment. A $27 fee applies for use of the service. 

This service is intended to be used only occasionally as an added layer of security to ensure your payments are processed without interruption. It is nice to know that if you run into any type of difficulty, we are there to make your life a little easier.

For more information about Overdraft Protection, or our Courtesy Pay Program, please click here, contact one our representatives at 866.873.4986, or stop by any of our branch offices.

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