Overdraft Education:

7 Steps to Help Prevent Overdraft Fees


While we know life happens, there are ways that may help minimize or avoid fees through the management of your checking account and finances. We’ve compiled a list of steps that may help you manage your funds and potentially avoid overdrafts on your account.

Consider the following options:

1. Link your savings account: If you have a separate account, like a savings account, you might consider linking it to your checking account. When the accounts are linked, if you overdraw from your checking account, money will transfer automatically from your linked savings account to cover the balance. We do not assess any transfer fees for this service.

2. Carefully manage your funds: Be sure to carefully track your account balance. If you have regular electronic payments set up, such as your rent or mortgage payment, or utility bills, be sure that you know the date of each payment. Check your account balance before withdrawing cash at an ATM, writing a check, or making a payment. Also, always check your deposits to ensure you know when your deposited funds become available for your use. And 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 and past any hold period.

3. Review your automatic bill payments: Automatic bill payments can be a convenient method to pay your usual monthly utilities and other expenses. However, reverting to manual payment may be an option to give you more control when you’re working to maintain the balance of your account.

4. Set up balance alerts: Set up balance alerts to let you know when you may be at risk of overdrawing your account.

• Enroll within online banking and set up text or email alerts for activity that’s important to you, for example, balance alerts or transaction alerts (can be alerted anytime a payment clears the account – another tool to help manage your balance)

5. Track your account balance 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.

6. Line of credit: You could ask your local branch if you’re eligible for a line of credit to cover the any potential future overdrafts.

7. Change payment due dates: If your payment due dates don’t align with your payday, it can be difficult to budget or pay your bills. Contact your billers to ask about adjusting payment dates to a day that works better for your payday schedule.

Contact your local branch to learn more
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.

Additional resources:

     • 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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