The National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s (NFCC) July online poll revealed that 26 percent of the 2,089 respondents intend to opt in to overdraft protection in spite of there being a fee charged for the service.
Keep your check register current, recording all withdrawals and balancing often. Be sure to notate all ATM and debit card transactions along with any paper checks written on your account.
Link your checking account to your savings account. In case of an overdraft, the money will be automatically taken from your savings with little or no fee attached.
Pad your checking account by carrying a balance that you will not likely exceed. Most people spend a similar amount each month. If possible, keep an extra $100 in your checking account to cover unplanned expenses.
· Utilize technology. If your financial institution offers it, sign up for email or text alerts that notify you when your balance is low.
Reach out to your creditors. If payment due dates do not coincide with paydays, contact your creditor and request a due date change. You may have to pay a little extra interest to cover the gap for the first month, but over time this step should help to organize your finances.
· Get help managing your finances. Reach out to an NFCC Member Agency by going online to www.DebtAdvice.org, or to be automatically connected to the Agency closest to you, call (800) 388-2227. For assistance in Spanish dial (800) 682-9832.
“Even though there may be a small embarrassment if a transaction is denied, the consumer should evaluate this inconvenience against the potential savings and value of solving the underlying financial issue that resulted in the overdraft. Know that if you have already opted in, you can always cancel the program,” continued Cunningham.
A. Opt in to ensure that purchases will be approved even though a fee will be added on = 26%
B. Opt out and risk being embarrassed at checkout, but save the fee = 74%
”Note: The NFCC’s July Financial Literacy Opinion Index was conducted via the homepage of the NFCC Web site (www.DebtAdvice.org) from July 1-31, 2010 and answered by 2,089 individuals.""
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