How Can I Avoid Insufficient Funds Charges
What is an overdraft?
An overdraft occurs when you don’t have enough money in your account to cover a transaction. You can overdraw your account through checks, ATM transactions, debit card purchases, automatic bill payments, and electronic or in-person withdrawals. The transaction will either be declined, paid into overdraft or returned. Paid into overdraft or returned will result in an insufficient funds charge to your account.
How Can You Avoid Insufficient Funds Charges?
- Open a First Fed Bank On Checking account. This checking account offers no insufficient funds charges, an affordable service charge, and electronic access. We keep it simple with no checks, no complicated pricing structure, and no minimum balance requirements.
- Do not Opt In to Overdraft Privilege for ATM transactions and everyday debit card transactions. This means if you try to make a purchase with your debit card or withdraw money from the ATM when you don’t have enough funds in your checking account, the transaction will simply be declined and no fee will be charged.
- Check your account balances regularly. We offer multiple ways to monitor your available balance using Telephone banking, the ATM, Online Banking, Mobile Banking, and you can also call any of our 8 offices. The available balance will tell you how much money you currently have but it does not include checks that haven’t cleared yet and transactions that have been authorized but not posted yet.
- Sign up for low balance alerts. You can receive a low balance notification through text or email alerts. Set up alerts in Online Banking under Service Center or on the Mobile App under Banking Services. A text or email will be sent to you when your available balance reaches a low limit that you determine. For example, the limit can be set for $50. Anytime your available balance falls below $50 you will be notified.
- Use our Overdraft Protection products. You can link your checking account to a savings account. If your account becomes overdrawn, money is automatically transferred from your savings for a small fee. We also offer an Overdraft Line of Credit you can apply for. If your account becomes overdrawn, a draw is made from your Overdraft Line of Credit to your checking account. No fee is charged. Just pay back the balance on the Overdraft Line of Credit plus any interest owed. Both these options may be cheaper alternatives to an Insufficient Funds Charge.
- Keep a check register. Your check register is used for keeping track of your deposits and expenses. All transactions should be recorded, including checks, ATM withdrawals, debit card payments, automatic payments and deposits. The balance in your register reflects what you actually have available and includes items that haven’t posted to your account yet. Review your check register before making transactions.
- Pay with cash or use a pre-paid debit card. This keeps it really simple. If you don’t have the cash or availability on your card, you can’t make a purchase and your account doesn’t overdraw. This combination can help customers stay on track especially if you don’t monitor your available balance often or record transactions.
After doing all of this if you still happen to end up with an insufficient funds charge, contact us and we will refund one charge each year.
First Federal Community Bank is committed to helping ensure your protection from fraudulent and/or criminal activity via the internet. The following information is intended to help you protect against Internet crime and identity theft.
You may have heard of activities such as phishing and spoofing, but any scheme that uses the Internet to deceive prospective victims can be considered online fraud. We urge all First Federal customers to be vigilant and aware of the various types of fraud that can occur in cyberspace.
Phishing involves an email sent with the intent of wrongfully obtaining the recipient's personal information, such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, debit and credit card numbers, user IDs and passwords. The emails are often "spoofed", meaning they appear to be a legitimate communication from a bank, credit card company, or other organization. (See more on spoofing below.)
If you receive a suspicious email, do not open any attachments or click on any links. Also, do not respond to the email. First Federal will never request personal information, including Social Security numbers, account numbers, user names or passwords in email messages or pop-up windows.
Spoofing involves a "shadow copy" of any legitimate website. Access is funneled through the attacker's machine, allowing the attacker to monitor the victim's activities, such as passwords or account numbers entered by the victim. Spoofing can also allow an attacker to gain unauthorized access to a computer or network.
To protect yourself, be wary of unsolicited or unexpected emails from all sources. If you receive an unsolicited email, treat it as you would a suspected phishing attack.
Although identity theft on the internet is growing, it is not as prevalent as identity theft that occurs through more traditional means, such as improperly discarding credit card information or other financial data.
To protect against identity theft, never respond to unsolicited requests for your Social Security number or financial data. Shred all credit card and ATM receipts, undesired pre-approved credit offers and documents that contain personal information. Review your bank and credit card statements promptly as well as your credit report annually. Avoid user IDs and passwords that could easily be associated to you, such as date of birth, telephone number, or a child's name.
If You Are Victimized
Immediately file a police report and contact First Federal and any other parties with whom you have a financial relationship. Label accounts closed due to fraud as "closed at consumer's request", notify credit bureau fraud units and place a fraud alert statement on your credit report. Also, as a victim of fraud, you may obtain free bimonthly copies of your credit report until your case is resolved. There are other important steps you may need to take in the event you are victimized. In addition to contacting the police, First Federal and other financial service providers can provide you with additional information.
For tips to protect your computer, tablet, or phone against cyber criminals, please review our Cybersecurity Guide.
- Report Fraud: 800-525-6285
- Order Credit Report: 800-685-1111
- Report Fraud: 888-397-3742
- Order Credit Report: 888-397-3742
- Report Fraud: 800-680-7289
- Order Credit Report: 800-888-4213
Social Security Administration
- Report Fraud: 800-269-0271
- Order Benefits & Earnings Statement: 800-772-1213
Reporting Fraudulent Check Use
- Check Rite: 800-766-2748
- Chexsystems: 800-428-9623
- CrossCheck: 707-586-0551
- Equifax: 800-437-5120
- National Processing Co.: 800-526-5380
- SCAN: 800-526-5380
- TeleCheck: 800-710-9898