At times, unanticipated expenses or unforeseen problems can leave you with too little cash in your checking account. Having a check returned due to insufficient funds can be a costly, inconvenient and potentially embarrassing experience. At ABEFCU, we do not encourage overdrafts. To avoid fees, we encourage you to manage your finances responsibly by keeping track of your account balance and reconciling it regularly. However, we want to save you from the additional merchant fees and possible damage to your credit history that might result if a check is returned. That’s why we provide Courtesy Pay, a special overdraft service for ABEFCU’s members.
What is Courtesy Pay?
Courtesy Pay is a discretionary overdraft service requiring no action on your part that provides you a safety net up to an automatically assigned overdraft limit.
Your Courtesy Pay limit may be available for checks and other transactions made using your checking account number, such as an automatic (ACH) payment transaction, or recurring debit card payment. If you request us to do so (opt-in), we may authorize everyday debit card purchases using your available balance and your Courtesy Pay limit. Balances displayed do not include the Courtesy Pay limit.
How does Courtesy Pay work?
There are several ways your account can become overdrawn, such as (1) the payment of checks, electronic funds transfers or other withdrawal requests; (2) payments authorized by you (i.e. debit card at point of sale); (3) the return of unpaid items deposited by you; (4) credit union service charges; or (5) the deposit of items which, according to the credit union’s Funds Availability Policy, are treated as not yet available.
As long as you maintain your account in “good standing,” we may approve your overdraft items within your unused Courtesy Pay limit as a non-contractual courtesy.
For Courtesy Pay consideration, your account is in “good standing” if you (1) make sufficient deposits to bring your account to a positive end-of-day balance at least once every 30 calendar days (including the payment of all credit union fees and charges); (2) avoid excessive overdrafts suggesting the use of Courtesy Pay as a continuing line of credit; and (3) have no legal orders, levies or liens against your account.
ABEFCU reserves the right to limit participation to one account per household or to suspend, revoke, or discontinue this service without prior notice.
What does my Courtesy Pay cost?
There is no additional cost associated with Courtesy Pay unless you use it. If you do use the Courtesy Pay limit, you will be charged our Courtesy Pay fee of $29 for each overdrawn item created by checks and other transactions made using your checking account number, such as, an automatic payment (ACH) transaction, or recurring debit card payment.
If you request us to do so (opt-in), we may authorize everyday debit card purchases by using your available balance and your Courtesy Pay limit. Your balance at the time these transactions post will determine the overdraft status and the assessment of fees. Other transactions initiated by you, or a delay in processing authorized transactions by the merchant, may result in previously authorized transactions posting against an insufficient balance. A Courtesy Pay fee of $29 will be charged for each everyday debit card transaction that posts against insufficient funds. Once opted in, you may revoke your authorization at any time by contacting any ABEFCU branch location.
In the normal course of business, we generally pay electronic transactions first and then checks low to high, per the credit union’s policy; however, checks are often converted to electronic transactions which may post to your account more quickly, affecting the order in which they post. In addition, we post incoming transactions in real time, so checks and other debits to your account may post before deposits and other credits. If there are insufficient funds in your account at the time a transaction posts, you will be charged for each item paid. We reserve the right to change the order of payment without notice to you if we suspect fraud or possible illegal activity affecting your account. Also, the order we pay your items may create
multiple overdraft items during a single banking day and you will be charged our Courtesy Pay fee of $29 for each overdraft item paid.
Multiple paid items will result in multiple fees. For example, three paid items in one day will result in $87 in Courtesy Pay fees. To help you manage your account, the total fees you have paid for items (both paid and returned) during the current month and for the year-to-date will be reflected on your monthly checking statement.
How soon can I use my Courtesy Pay?
If you are a new member, we will advise you 60 or more days after your account is opened that you may use the Courtesy Pay service. This is provided you have maintained satisfactory activity in the account, including making regular deposits, consistent with our internal standards for the account type for which the Courtesy Pay is offered. Once you are notified your Courtesy Pay limit is available to you, it may continue to be available provided you maintain the account in “good standing” as defined on this webpage.
How do I know when I use the overdraft limit?
You will receive an overdraft notice each time items are paid, including fees. You will need to subtract the total fees when balancing your checkbook.
We have no obligation to notify you before we pay or return any item. The amount of any overdraft including our Courtesy Pay fee of $29 and/or a returned item non-sufficient funds fee of $32 that you owe us is due and payable upon demand even if we do not ask you for payment. You must repay us no later than 30 calendar days after the creation of the overdraft. If there is more than one owner on the account, each owner and agent, if applicable, shall be jointly and severally liable for all overdrafts including all fees charged.
What if I go beyond my Courtesy Pay limit?
Normally, we will not approve an overdraft for you in excess of the predetermined limit assigned to your account. So as not to exceed your limit, please remember that the amount of the overdraft plus our Courtesy Pay fee of $29 for each item will be deducted from the Courtesy Pay limit. Overdrafts above and beyond your established Courtesy Pay limit may result in checks or other items being returned to the payee. You will be charged a returned item non-sufficient funds fee of $32 for each item returned. Returned items may be presented for payment by the payee or their financial institution multiple times, which may result in multiple returned item non-sufficient funds fees. An overdraft/non-sufficient funds notice will be sent to notify you of items paid and/or returned.
What if I am having trouble repaying my Courtesy Pay or use it frequently?
Please contact any ABEFCU branch if you: (1) do not believe you will be able to bring your account to a positive end-of-day balance within the required time period; (2) find that you are using Courtesy Pay more often than you intended; or (3) don’t understand why your account becomes overdrawn. We would like to discuss your situation with you.
We may refuse to pay an overdraft item at any time even though we may have previously paid overdrafts for you. For example, we typically do not pay overdraft items if your account is not in good standing as defined above, or, if based upon our review of your account management, we determine that you are using Courtesy Pay excessively or seem to be using Courtesy Pay as a regular line of credit. You will be charged a returned item non-sufficient funds fee of $32 for each item returned.
Following regulatory guidance, we will contact you if you are paying multiple Courtesy Pay fees, to discuss possible alternatives to Courtesy Pay that may better meet your short term credit needs. In the event you ask us to stop contacting you because you have determined Courtesy Pay is appropriate for your needs, we will honor your wishes. However, if we identify that the number and frequency of overdrafts increases materially for an extended period of time at some point after that, we may contact you again to ensure Courtesy Pay is still the most appropriate option available to you for covering your short-term credit needs.
What are some other ways I can cover overdrafts at ABEFCU?
The best way to avoid overdrafts and fees is to keep track of your account balance by entering all checks, debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals in your check register, reconcile your checkbook regularly and manage your finances responsibly. Other suggestions may be found at https://www.fdic.gov/moneysmart and https://www.consumerfinance.gov
What if I do not want to have Courtesy Pay on my account?
If you would like to revoke your previous authorization for debit card transaction coverage, or have this service removed entirely from your account, please call any ABEFCU branch.
While you may opt-out of the privilege at any time, you are responsible for any overdrawn balances at the time of opting out.