Life Hacks and Other
5 Tips to Limit (or Completely Avoid) Overdraft Fees
Savings, checking and other accounts offered by your financial institution are important tools that impact your overall financial wellness. To improve confidence around healthy account practices, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of overdraft fees. Siouxland Federal Credit Union may charge overdraft fees when there is not enough money in your account to cover your transactions. The cost for overdraft fees varies by financial institution. The most recent research shows that on average, overdraft fees are typically around $35 per transaction.
Consider these tips to manage or reduce the chance of overdraft fees:
1. Know the Terms: Financial institutions are required under Federal law to disclose any fees they charge in connection with a deposit account. Ask your credit union or bank for disclosures and fee schedules of overdraft fees for any transaction that overdraws an account. Understand if the financial institution charges not-sufficient funds (NSF) fees, as well as continuous overdraft fees, or daily overdraft fees.
2. Track Account Balances: Get in the habit of regularly monitoring account balances which helps you avoid overdraft fees and NSF fees. Consider signing up for low balance alerts through your bank or credit union.
3. Link to a Savings Account: Linking a checking account to a savings account can help reduce the chance of overdraft fees. If your checking account is overdrawn, money is automatically withdrawn from the linked savings account to cover the transaction if there are sufficient funds in the savings account. Be sure to understand whether you will incur a transfer fee. In general, transfer fees are lower than overdraft fees.
4. Opt Out of Overdraft Coverage: It’s possible to reduce stress by opting out of overdraft coverage for debit card purchases or ATM withdrawals. Without overdraft coverage, your card will be declined if you don’t have enough money in your account to cover a debit or ATM withdrawal. When the transaction is not able to be completed, you won’t incur an overdraft fee.
5. Make a Plan: Many people find it useful to build a spending plan for your money. A simple spending plan makes it more likely that you will have enough money for what you need and the things important to you. Following the plan will also help you avoid a situation causing you financial stress such as overdraft fees.
This guide is shared by our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness, a trusted national non-profit.
Stop Social Security
National Slam the Scam Day
March 9, 2023
On National Slam the Scam Day and throughout the year, we give you the tools to recognize Social Security-related scams and stop scammers from stealing your money and personal information. Share scam information with your loved ones. Slam the Scam!
Recognize the four basic signs of a scam:
Scammers pretend to be from a familiar organization or agency, like the Social Security Administration. They may email attachments with official-looking logos, seals, signatures, or pictures of employee credentials.
Scammers mention a problem or a prize. They may say your Social Security number was involved in a crime or ask for personal information to process a benefit increase.
Scammers pressure you to act immediately. They may threaten you with arrest or legal action.
Scammers tell you to pay using a gift card, prepaid debit card, cryptocurrency, wire or money transfer, or by mailing cash. They may also tell you to transfer your money to a “safe” account.
Ignore scammers and report criminal behavior.
Report Social Security-related scams to the SSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
What is a Credit Score?
A credit score uses historical information about a person’s past use of credit to calculate the likelihood that they will pay back what they owe on time and in full. Ranging from a low of 300 to a high of 850 (sometimes referred to as “perfect credit”), credit scores are calculated based on payment history, amount owed, length of credit history, types of credit used, and new applications for credit.
In general, a score of 660 and above would make a borrower eligible for credit with favorable interest rates. A score below 600 may result in difficulty getting approved for credit and is likely to be subject to high-interest rates.
If you don’t know your credit score, you can contact one of the three major credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian or Transunion.
5 Ways to Improve your Credit Score