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How to Prevent Paying Overdraft Fees

Overdraft fees can quickly pile up and become a significant expense, especially if you find yourself paying them often. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Let’s face it — we all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect, and anyone can make an honest mistake. We may forget to make a deposit or forget that we paid for a bill ahead of time causing a lower than usual account balance. There are many reasons why account holders can make a miscalculation or minor budget oversight. Even the most financially savvy are susceptible to mistakes like these.

With an overdraft fee of $29.50 each time Alltru covers an account overdraft, it comes with it’s consequences too. We want to help you save money. With that said, here’s how you can prevent paying those pesky overdraft fees.


First, let’s define an overdraft. An overdraft occurs when you do not have enough money in your account to pay for a transaction, but we pay it anyway and cover the expense (for a fee). In this article, we’ll talk about how to avoid paying these overdraft fees. Thanks to the Overdraft Protection that Alltru offers, you’re covered. Let’s take a look at what overdraft protection is and why it’s important.

Overdraft protection is an optional service offered by the credit union which allows any payment that you have made – Ameren, Charter, Walmart or even to your babysitter – to be paid temporarily even if you do not have enough money in your account to cover it.

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Alltru can cover your overdrafts in two different ways:
  1. We have standard overdraft coverage, such as a link to your savings account where the funds can be taken from.
  2. We offer Courtesy Pay, which is a discretionary service that allows us to pay an item presented against your checking account even if it causes the account to become overdrawn.

Here are some key benefits to Overdraft Protection and Courtesy Pay:

  • They prevent charges like return check fees from the company being paid, which could be anywhere from $20 to $40.
  • They allow you to avoid being embarrassed or damaging someone’s trust. This is especially true if the payment was to someone who you know really well or frequently do business with.
  • This allows you to avoid disruptions in service like having your water shut off or not being able to fill your gas tank in your car when you (and your checking account) are on empty.

It’s very important to understand that there is no limit on the total fees we can charge you for overdrawing your account. Keep a close watch on your accounts so that these fees do not stack up and become a financial hurdle for you. As bills and charges are still being paid, these fees can go unnoticed if you aren’t careful. You could be digging yourself a very deep negative balance hole that will be hard to get out of. That is why overdraft protection and courtesy pay are always there to protect you from those situations.

Adding overdraft protection to an account is a practical and relatively inexpensive safeguard against potentially large overdraft fees. If you tend to keep a low balance in your checking account and don’t keep a close eye on spending habits, then overdraft protection is the right choice for you. But if you tend to keep a cushion of cash in your checking account and make it a point to routinely monitor your account, then overdraft protection may not be necessary.

If you’re on the fence, remember that nothing is set in stone; Alltru is always here for you and overdraft protection can be added or removed from your account at any time.

Visit any of our branches to talk through the benefits of overdraft protection or give us a call at (636) 916-8300.