Best Tips for Preventing an Overdraft

Tagged as: Banking Basics
No matter how diligently we manage our accounts, overdrafts happen to the best of us. Unfortunately, an overdraft could result in fees and further overdraw your account, sometimes making it difficult to catch back up. The good news is that we provide many tools and resources that can help you avoid these unnecessary fees. Here are a few to get you started:

Set up a low balance alert

Set up an account alert that notifies you by text or email when your balance falls below a specific dollar amount – such as $100. This way, you can act quickly and transfer money into your account before an overdraft occurs.

Link another account for overdraft protection

Linking your 1st United savings or money market account, personal line of credit, or credit card to your checking account can help. If your checking balance goes negative, we will automatically transfer money from your linked account to cover it.

There is a $5 fee for every overdraft transfer from savings or money market but it’s much lower than the $29 overdraft or courtesy pay fee. If, however, you make a transfer yourself to cover the negative balance prior to the automated transfer, you can avoid paying the automated transfer fee. There is no fee for an overdraft transfer from a credit card or line of credit but you will incur cash advance fees or interest.

Turn off auto payments

If you find that you forget about automatic payments such as utility charges, loan payments, or gym memberships and they tend to overdraft your account, consider turning those off. Instead pay your bills using our free bill pay service. You can even set alerts when your bills are due so you don’t miss a payment. This can give you more control over your account.

Turn off overdrafts altogether

We offer the option for you to turn off courtesy pay altogether. This means that if you attempt to use your debit card or a transaction comes through and there aren’t enough funds in the account, the transaction will be declined and you can’t spend more than what you have.

Set up direct deposit

If you haven’t already, have your paycheck deposited directly into your checking account. The funds will be available sooner than depositing a check.

Pay with cash

When all else fails, consider paying with cash. This way, you can only withdraw money that’s available in your account.

Get help

If you need help with budgeting, money management, or setting up alerts, let us know. We are here to help and can offer additional resources to help you live your best financial life. If you do overdraw your account, try to deposit or transfer money as quickly as possible to cover the overdraft and any potential fees. And as always, call us at (800) 649-0193 and let us know how we can best support you.