Overdraft Coverage

Mistakes can happen. You choose. You may opt-in for overdraft to help cover your everyday debit card or ATM transactions that exceed your account balance. However, you will pay an "overdraft" fee for each transaction. Read further for our Overdraft Transfer Protection that links to your savings account.

What You Need To Know

ATM withdrawals and debit card transactions are real time, which means that these transaction amounts are immediately deducted from the available balance on your account. Real-time helps you manage your balance, and we can better accommodate our customers if accounts are accidentally overdrawn. We want our customers to avoid the hassle, costs, and other adverse consequences of having a check bounce or a transaction denied.

In following Federal Reserve rules that give debit and ATM card users options regarding overdrafts, we must offer you the ability to make decisions about overdrafts for transactions made with your debit or ATM cards.

We have available a separate notice, "What You Need to Know about Overdrafts and Overdraft Fees" Opt-In Authorization Form which explains about how we treat overdrafts. See below for how to revoke an authorization. Here are some general key facts that you need to consider about overdrafts.

How Do Overdrafts and Bounced Checks Happen?

An overdraft occurs when you write a check, use your debit card to make a purchase, withdraw money from an ATM, or make an automatic bill payment or other electronic payment but don't have enough money in your checking account to pay for it. If the item is paid by the bank even though you don't have the money in your account, you may be charged an "overdraft" fee. If your check is returned without paying it, you may be charged a "bounced check" or "non-sufficient funds" fee. These fees can apply each time you overdraw your account. In addition, when a check bounces, you usually have to pay a "returned-check" fee to the person receiving the check back, plus resolve the issue and make a second payment. This is in addition to the bank fees. There are ways to help avoid the mistake of overdraft.

How Can You Avoid Overdraft and Bounced-Check Fees?

Manage your account so you don't overdraw it. Only you know how much money is available in your deposit account and what payments have been initiated – whether by check, ATM transaction, debit card or regularly scheduled electronic payments.

  • Keep track of how much money you have in your checking account by keeping your check register up-to-date. Record all your transactions, subtract fees, and review your account statements each month.
  • Pay special attention to your electronic transactions. The convenience offered by today's banking system and the speed of payments brings more chances to lose track of your current balance. Sometimes there are two or more people in a family conducting transactions on the same account.
  • Don't forget about automatic bill payments you may have set up for utilities, insurance, or loan payments.
  • Knowing your balance and what transactions have been authorized but are not yet reflected in that balance are very important to avoiding overdrafts. Even if you don't always keep an up-to-date record of your transactions and balance, it is easy to check your balance by phone, ATM, online banking, or setting up Alerts to receive low balance email or text notifications.
  • Carry a Cushion - Making sure you have more money in your account than you will spend is the best way to avoid overdrafts.
  • Sometimes mistakes happen. If you overdraw your account, deposit money into the account as soon as possible to cover the overdraft amount plus any fees to avoid additional overdrafts and fees.

Your Overdraft Protection Measures

You choose. We must first get your permission to apply our standard overdraft practices to everyday debit card* and ATM transactions before you can be charged overdraft fees. To grant this permission, you will need to respond to the notice and opt in (agree).

*everyday debit card transactions - purchases made with your debit card on a day-to-day basis (excludes all checks and automatic bill payments)

Existing accounts

If you do not opt in (agree), our standard overdraft practices won't apply to your everyday debit card and ATM transactions. These transactions typically will be declined when you don't have enough money in your account, but you will not be charged overdraft fees. If the bank, at its option, covers an ATM or point-of-sale (POS) item when your account is overdrawn, under the rules the bank cannot charge you an overdraft fee if you do not opt-in.

Flexibility

Whatever your decision, these Federal Reserve mandated overdraft rules give you flexibility. If you opt in, you can cancel at any time. If you do not opt in, you can do so later.

Checks and automatic bill payments

The rules do not cover checks or automatic bill payments that you may have set up for paying bills such as your mortgage, rent, or utilities. We may still automatically enroll you in our standard overdraft practices for these types of transactions.

What You Must Do

Opting-In For Overdraft Services

ATM and Point of Sale Debit Card Purchases

As a First Federal customer, you have a choice whether to opt-in to our overdraft program. By choosing to opt-in, the bank can cover your overdraft on point-of-sale (POS) or ATM transactions that exceed your account balance. However, you will pay an "overdraft" fee for each item. This choice is part of Federal regulations which provide certain protections for bank customers when their deposit account(s) are overdrawn.

Standard Overdraft Practices

We do authorize and pay overdrafts for checks and other transactions made using your checking account number and automatic bill payments. We do not authorize and pay overdrafts for everyday debit card and ATM transactions unless you ask us to (opt-in). We pay overdrafts at our discretion, which means we do not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay any type of transaction. We will charge you a fee of up to $25 each time we pay an overdraft. There will be no per item overdraft fee when your account is overdrawn by $5 or less at the end of our business day. If the account is overdrawn by more than $5 there will be a charge of $25 per item paid or returned, with a cap of no more than $100 per day in overdraft/non-sufficient charges.

For example, if you opt-in, we can cover your transaction for a flat fee of $25 each time you overdraw your account. If you make a purchase with your debit card for $75 but only have $50 in your account, your account will be overdrawn by $25 and an overdraft fee will be charged. If you then make an ATM withdrawal for $50, your account will be overdrawn by $75 and you will be charged another fee. In this example, you will pay a total of $50 in fees.

What if I want First Federal to authorize and pay overdrafts on my ATM and everyday debit card transactions (Opt-In)?

Just complete the First Federal "What You Need to Know about Overdrafts and Overdraft Fees" Opt-In Authorization Form. It's simple and easy... and could save you time and money in the long run.

What if I want to revoke my authorization to pay overdrafts on my ATM and everyday debit card transactions?

Just complete the First Federal Revoke Opt-In Form.

Overdraft Transfer Protection

As another way to help cover overdrafts, you can choose to link your savings or another checking account to cover transactions when you overdraw your First Federal checking account. We charge a fee each time you overdraw your account, but this overdraft protection plan may be less expensive than our standard overdraft practices.

We will transfer the amount needed to cover your transaction (once per business day). You must have enough available in your linked savings account to cover the overdraft plus a $5.00 transfer fee for the transfer to occur. Transfers can occur by specific amount or multiples of $100. If you are interested in our Overdraft Transfer Protection, just stop by our First Federal office to complete an Overdraft Transfer Authorization Form.

 

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