If you are an account holder at US Bank, a national chain that has well over a hundred branches and ATMs in the KC metro, expect to pay more next time you overdraft. With the increase in overdraft penalties, US Bank’s fees are now comparable to other national banks with KC locations, such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
An overdraft occurs when a debit (a card purchase, withdrawal, or check) comes through on an account and there are insufficient funds to cover the amount. US Bank sets their overdraft fees on a sliding scale based on how overdrawn an account is. The new fee structure is illustrated in the chart below:
Updated US Bank Overdraft Fee Schedule
|$0 – $10||No Fee|
|$10 – $15||$10|
What Can I Do to Avoid Fees?
- Carefully balance your checkbook every month – Track all your spending, especially taking into account pending checks and automatic debits, will allow you to stay in the positive.
- Set up overdraft protection – Connect your checking account to a savings account. That way, if you go negative, it will pull from the other account. While there are fees involved, they are less than an overdraft.
- Disable overdrafts – It is your right as a bank customer to disable overdrafts, meaning your account will never go negative. The downside is that if a purchase or check would make your account negative, it will be returned. This means that your card would be declined and the check would bounce, possibly causing embarrassment at the grocery store or possible fees from the payee of the bounced check.
- If you are really behind, talk to an attorney at The Sader Law Firm – Overdraft fees build quickly, as many banks charge an additional fee for every day that your account is in the negative. If you are several hundred dollars in the negative at a bank or have experienced a charge-off, know that the debt is often times dischargeable in bankruptcy.B Contact an experienced attorney at The Sader Law Firm for a free consultation.
Overdraft fees are common place in banking and are rising every year.B With this knowledge of how overdrafts work and a few strategies to overcome them, you are well on your way to a “positively balanced” relationship with your bank or credit union!