Angry at overdraft fees?
While you wait for banks to adjust their practices, or have adjustments forced upon them, don’t just sit around.
Take matters into your own hands with the tips that follow, and avoid overdrafts altogether.
Really, it’s just about knowing a few banking and money management tricks; you don’t need to be a financial whiz.
If you can avoid just one overdraft then you’ll have made about $30…
This is the easiest step: have your income added to your account balance as fast as possible. Direct deposit is ideal if your employer provides it.
This can save precious time that will make all the difference between sufficient funds and a $30 charge.
Remember, pending bank transactions won't be reflected in your actual bank balance yet.
Don't incorrectly believe you have sufficient funds in your account when you actually don't.
The check you just deposited probably hasn't cleared yet.
Link a savings account to your overdraft-trap checking account.
When your checking account balance hits zero, your savings account should come to the rescue and prevent the overdraft.
Assuming you have money in your savings account.
Also, check with your bank to make sure this is how they handle your linked accounts.
Hopefully you have at least $100 to keep as a minimum cash cushion in your account.
Treat $100 as the new '$0'.
If you always make sure that your account has no less than a $100 in it at any time, then you can protect against the moments when you slip-up on your expense management.
Don't just 'try and see' if your debit card will be able to pay for something.
While it might not be rejected at the point of sale, your bank account may indeed be empty, thanks to overdraft protection.
While many banks will automatically provide you overdraft protection, you can usually ask not to receive it.
If you don't want it, then tell them so.
If they won't let you opt out for some reason, then proceed to the next slide...
Tell the bank you'll leave.
This can work especially if you are a long-time customer who uses the bank for many different services.
Make sure you push your way through their bureaucracy until you speak with the highest ranking person possible.
Even when they repeatedly say that nothing can be done, don't believe them and protest, asking to speak to a more senior person.
Of course you can also just leave.
Find a new bank, and tell them from the start that you don't want overdraft protection.
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