Understanding Your Available Balance:
Your balance and your available balance can be different depending on any type of secured funds.
Funds in your account can be secured for various reasons such as:
You’ve spent the funds by using your Debit card and they have not posted yet,
Your funds are securing a loan,
Your deposit has a hold on the funds,
We received a garnishment or levy on your account.
Any transactions are based on the funds that are actually available to you. Therefore it is very important to keep track of your balance using your checkbook register to avoid any overdraft fees.
Your account has two kinds of balances: the “actual” balance and the “available” balance. We use your available balance when determining whether a transaction will cause your account to overdraw and for charging overdraft fees. You can review both balances when you review your account online, at an ATM, by phone or at a branch.
Your actual balance is the amount of money that is actually in your account at any given time. It shows transactions that have “posted” to your account, but not transactions that have been authorized and are pending. While the term “actual” may sound as though the number you see is an up-to-date display of what is in your account that you can spend, that is not always the case. Any purchases, holds, fees, other charges or deposits made on your account that have not yet posted will not appear in your actual balance.
The available balance is the amount of money in your checking account that is available to you to use without incurring a transfer fee or Courtesy Pay fee. The available balance takes into consideration items such as holds placed on deposits and pending transactions (such as pending debit card purchases) that have been authorized but they have not yet posted to your account.
Let’s say you have an actual balance of $100 and an available balance of $100. If you use your debit card to buy gas for $25, that merchant could ask WDMCU to pre-authorize the payment. We would put a “hold” on your account for $25. Your actual balance would still be $100 because the transaction has not yet posted but your available balance would be $75 because you committed to pay $25 for your gas. When the merchant submits its bill for payment (which could be up to a few days later) we will post the transaction to your account and your actual balance will be reduced by $25.
Remember, WDMCU uses available balance to determine when your account is overdrawn. So, assume your actual and available balance are both $100 and you buy gas with your debit card for $25. A hold is placed on your account, so your available balance is really only $75 but your actual balance shows $100. Before the gas charge is sent to us for processing, a check you wrote for $95 clears. Because you only have $75 available (you committed $25 to buy gas), your account will be overdrawn by $20 even though your actual balance is $100. In this situation, we may pay the $95 check however; you will be charged a Courtesy Pay fee. The fee will also be deducted from your account reducing your balance even more.
It is important to understand that you may still overdraw your account even though the available balance appears to show there are sufficient funds to cover a transaction. The available balance my not show outstanding checks and automatic bill payments you have authorized or other outstanding transactions.
Posting Order: We make every effort to post items presented on your account in the following order:
- Checks: lowest amount to highest amount
- ACH: credits then debits, in the order of Company ID, ACH depositor ID, and sequence number
- Debit/ATM card: as presented by merchant
Overdraft Protection Options:
Overdraft transfers: We understand that occasionally members may forget to record an item from their check registry or have an emergency, etc. and need to rely on overdraft protection. Upon opening your account you elect to authorize funds to be transferred from your savings, money mover line of credit or Visa. If those accounts are established. There is a fee of $1.00 to transfer funds to cover an item. You can change such elections at any time.
Courtesy Pay: We also offer Courtesy Pay for members that have been in good standing for more than 60 days.
This service may allow us to pay an item presented for payment against your account, even if it causes the account to become overdrawn. While it is not an invitation to overdraw your account, it is an added layer of safety should you accidentally present items for more than you have in your account.
Courtesy Pay adds a pre-approved $500.00 overdraft limit to your personal checking account. If you overdraw your account, we may pay each item up to your $500.00 limit. Your account will be assessed a Non-Sufficient Funds and/or Courtesy Pay fee of $20.00 for each item we pay. The $500.00 limit includes any fees imposed.
We will always look to pay any overdraft by any overdraft transfers you have elected first before paying your overdraft with Courtesy Pay and imposing a $20.00 fee.
We are not obligated to pay any item presented for payment if the account does not contain sufficient collected funds. See your Checking Account Truth in Savings Disclosure and Courtesy Pay Disclosure for more information.
Contact a MSR for more information.
Overdraft Protection with your ATM or everyday debit card transactions:
Overdraft coverage gives you additional benefits in managing your money when funds are not available.
When expected deposits are delayed or unforeseen expenses have reduced your available balance, overdraft coverage will allow your ATM or everyday debit card transactions to be approved, at our discretion. The credit union does charge a fee for posting these transactions, which can be found on your account disclosure.
If you opt in, you authorize the credit union to pay overdrafts on your ATM and everyday debit card transactions. If you opt out, you do not authorize the transaction and in most cases it will be declined. You can change your opt in/ opt out election at either of our offices or via Online banking.