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Overdrafts and bounced checks occur when you overdraw your account by:

  • writing a check,
  • withdrawing money from an ATM,
  • using your debit card to make a purchase, or
  • making an automatic bill payment or other electronic payment

and the amount is higher than the amount of available funds in your checking account.

When this happens, Vantage Bank Texas has the option to pay or reject the check. If the bank decides to pay when you don't have sufficient funds available in your account, you may be charged an "NSF Paid" fee. If the bank returns your check without paying it, you may be charged an "NSF Return" fee. In addition to the fee charged by the bank, you may also be charged a “returned check” fee by the person or company to whom you wrote the check.

How can overdraft and NSF fees be avoided?

The best way to avoid fees for overdraft and "non-sufficient funds" (NSF fees) is by managing your account.

  • Reconcile your checking account on a regular basis to ensure you know how much money you have available for spending; remember - checks and automatic payments may take time to clear and may not be deducted from your account balance right away.
  • Keep track of all outstanding checks.
  • Pay special attention to electronic transactions. Make sure you include ATM withdrawals and fees, debit card purchases, online and telephone payments.
  • Include automatic bill payments that were set-up for utilities, insurance, etc.
  • Include other fees that were charged to your account.
  • Review monthly account statements to find out which payments cleared; check your balance by calling the bank, online, or at an ATM.

Sometimes mistakes happen. If you overdraw the account, deposit sufficient money into the account as soon as possible to cover the overdraft amount plus any fees. Depositing money into the account can help prevent additional overdrafts and fees.

What is an "Overdraft Privilege" plan?

Vantage Bank Texas offers an "Overdraft Privilege" or "bounce coverage" plan so that checks do not bounce, and ATM and debit card transactions go through. With this plan, Vantage Bank Texas still charges you an overdraft fee per item; however, you avoid paying a merchant returned-check fee and remain in good standing with those you do business with.

How much does an "Overdraft Privilege" plan cost?

The “Overdraft Privilege” plan may assign a dollar limit on the total amount your account may be overdrawn. This type of service is discretionary service where the bank may choose to pay items up to the limit on the account at any time.

Example: Suppose you only had $15 in your account, then you wrote a check for $25, got $40 cash from an ATM, and paid $30 for groceries using your debit card. The 3 transactions add up to $95 – your account is now overdrawn by $80 ($95 - $15 = $80). How much will this oversight cost?

If you are enrolled in the "Overdraft Privilege" plan, Vantage Bank Texas may decide to cover all 3 transactions; each of the 3 overdrafts will trigger a fee. You will owe the bank the $80 you spent when there were no funds in your account, in addition to 3 overdraft fees (1 per item or transaction). If the overdraft fee is $35 per item (3X$35=$105), you will owe the bank $185 ($80 + $105).

Business accounts are charged overdraft interest of 1.5%, calculated on the average negative available balance for the statement cycle period.

What is another way to cover overdrafts?

Vantage Bank Texas also offers a less costly alternative which allows transfers to be made by linking your accounts, such as savings, to checking. The cost for processing this type of transfer to cover NSF items is only $12.00 per day.

Ways to Cover Overdrafts
Example of Possible Cost for Each Overdraft
Good Account Management $0
Link to Savings or Other Checking Account $12 transfer fee per day*
Overdraft Privilege Plan $35 per item*
Bounced Check $35 per item*

*Fees are subject to change.

What do you need to know about Overdraft Privilege plans?

Avoid using these plans as short-term loans as they are a costly form of credit. If you overdraw your account, deposit money in the account as soon as possible. Remember that the money you deposit must be enough to cover the amount of overdraft plus any bank fees. Keep in mind that even if you are enrolled in Overdraft Privilege, there is no guarantee that the bank will cover your checks, ATM withdrawals, debit card and other electronic transactions that overdraw an account.

Good account management is the only way to protect your hard-earned money.

For more information about overdraft protection, please visit the website of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.