Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Overdraft Questions


We’ve compiled answers to your most frequently asked overdraft questions to ensure you understand how we protect you in case you exceed your account balance.

What is an overdraft?

An overdraft occurs when you do not have enough money in your account to cover a transaction, but we pay it anyway. This may happen when there’s not enough money available to cover a payment, electronic bill, or check you write. For example, if you have $20 in your account and make a $60 purchase, an overdraft may occur on your account due to the insufficient funds available to cover your purchase.

How does Opportunity Bank of Montana help me avoid this fee?

Opportunity Bank of Montana offers a multitude of methods that may help you avoid overdraft fees, including:

Overdraft Sweep Transfer:
Through our Overdraft Sweep Transfer service, you can transfer funds from another Opportunity Bank of Montana account with an available balance. Through this service, transfers happen at the end of the day in $50 increments to cover the total overdrawn amount. For example, if you were to exceed your account balance by $85, $100 would be transferred from your linked (sweep) account to cover the overdrawn balance. This service is set up with an Automatic Transfer Agreement.
This program is a convenient, no-cost option that may help you prevent overdrafts, providing you with peace of mind if you run out of money in one account to complete a transaction. It is important to remember that multiple uses of overdraft sweep may deplete your savings account, or you may fall under the minimum balance for your linked account, which could incur a fee.

We also offer Checkline, an overdraft protection line of credit. This loan product requires an application, approval, and signed loan documents. Under Checkline, in the event of an overdraft, funds are advanced to your account to cover overdrafted amounts. Customers can repay all or part of the outstanding balance without any prepayment penalty. Similar to other credit products, interest may be charged on any outstanding balance. Review your loan paperwork for your specific details.
The benefits of utilizing the Checkline line of credit include a monthly payment schedule, convenience, and no transfer fees.

Overdraft Privilege
Standard Overdraft Privilege services are included with all new accounts. Learn more here.

Opt-Out of Overdraft Privilege
If you decide you do not want your transactions covered, you may opt-out by calling us at 1-888-750-2265 to inform us of your overdraft preference, or stop by your local branch.
Contact your local branch for more information on how to set up these programs or to learn more about how Opportunity Bank of Montana can help you avoid overdraft fees.

How can I get back on track and avoid future overdrafts?

If you do experience an overdraft on your account, don’t panic. You may protect yourself from future overdraft fees by tracking the money you deposit into and withdraw from your account. Remember to track bills that get automatically withdrawn from your amount each month and monitor the checks you write. Another way you can protect yourself from overdrafts is to link your checking account to a savings account. If the accounts are linked, funds will transfer from another account to prevent an overdraft from occurring.
Some additional tips include:

• Track your account balance in real-time, on the go. You can access your accounts wherever you go from the convenience of your phone by simply downloading the  Opportunity Bank mobile banking app and logging in with your online banking user credentials.

• Within Online Banking, set up text or email alerts for activity that’s important to you, for example, balance alerts or transaction alerts.

• Check your account balance before withdrawing cash at an ATM, writing a big check, or making a large payment or purchase.

• Remember, payments you make can be processed very quickly. Ensure that you do not make a payment from your account unless the money to cover it is available.

• Keep track of the payment dates for reoccurring payments, such as utility bills or your Netflix account

What are the most common reasons for account overdrafts?

While there could be many reasons why your account may be overdrawn, many overdrafts occur due to the following situations:

     • You write a check, swipe your debit card, or initiate an electronic funds transfer in an amount that exceeds the amount of funds available in your account.

     • Initiating a payment or transaction before funds recently deposited in your account are available for use.

Are overdraft programs mandatory?

You can choose not to have overdraft privilege. If you do not want your transactions paid if your account balance is insufficient, learn more here.

Where can I find additional resources?

Learn about Opportunity Bank’s Overdraft Program here. Our program outlines what using overdraft protection can cost you.

     • Learn more: Opportunity Bank of Montana Overdraft Privilege

     • FDIC: Your Guide to Preventing and Managing Overdraft Fees

     • Consumer Guide to Managing Your Checking Account

     • FDIC Consumer News: Overdraft and Account Fees

     • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Options When It Comes to Overdraft

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