Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in everyday life that you simply did not sit down for a few moments to check your bank account before you bought that thing you didn’t really need? Next thing you know you have bank fees staring back at you. Well, you’ll be happy to know that there are ways to get those bank overdraft fees waived.
First off, what are overdraft fees?
Overdraft fees are fees that are charged to you when you do not have enough money in your account to cover your purchase. Essentially, you were able to make the purchase – but, boy does it cost you! I mentioned in a previous post all of the overdraft fees that came out of my account. The gas that I purchased was actually closer to $60 ($20 + almost $40 in overdraft fees). Yikes! And don’t get me started on the coffee that I purchased right after the gas.
How much do banks typically charge?
The average amount that banks charge hovers around $34 (according to CreditKarma). Also, be aware that each transaction you make after you’ve overdrawn your account will create another overdraft charge – this can add up fast if you’re not aware of your current balance! So, if you are out shopping over the weekend and you have not checked your account, you may be in for a horrible surprise when you get your statements.
Are there banks that do not charge these fees?
I am very skeptical when it comes to “no-fee” banks and approach with caution. I do not like surprises when it comes to money and finance and you can imagine my surprise when I had all of those overdraft fees accumulate in a very short period of time.
Personally, I tend to stick with a local, brick and mortar. I would much rather be able to go and chat with a bank rep…they can’t hide behind a phone or computer 🙂 But, there are a few online banks that I am curious about and my plan for 2020 is to sign up and try out two of them. The banks that I have an eye on are:
Their websites have a lot of information on them. One of the first things that I look for is if they’re FDIC insured. If yes, then I keep reading. I plan to have just a simple savings and checking account. I’ll keep you posted on my personal experience with them.
How do I get these overdraft fees waived?
The simplest answer is to just ask! You will never know until you ask. I spoke with my bank and explained (truthfully) the situation that I was in at the time. While talking with them, I kept my bank statement nearby as well so I could point out specific overdraft charges if they asked. To my surprise they removed all of the fees for that time frame.
I think that remaining calm and explaining to them the situation helped. Also, I gave them a brief plan of action to avoid this from happening again. I did this because I wanted them to understand that I know that there’s a relationship between myself and that bank. Also, it’s a matter of trust and I did not want my reputation tarnished either.
How do I avoid overdraft fees in the future?
Be vigilant, proactive and check your account. Set aside some time during the week to physically sit down and go over your spending. Be aware of your spending. Ask yourself, “Do I have any bills due this week?” Also, be aware of when you get paid.
Get rid of your debit card and go strictly cash! “Gasp! Lady, are you nuts?!?!” I know, it’s tough. Debit cards make things so much easier. Personally, I still do have my debit card. But, I do have a love note on there that says, “Do you really need that latte?”
Or, ask to get rid of overdraft protection. By the way, this “protection” reminds me of the sort of protection you would get from the mob protection racket. Just sayin! Anyways, call your bank and ask the questions:
- “Can I get overdraft protection removed from by account?”
- “If I get overdraft protection taken off of my checking account, will I simply be denied a purchase at the grocery store?” Or…..
- “If I’m not denied the purchase, and the transaction goes through, will I be charged for NSF (insufficient funds)?”
It pays to ask these questions!