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5 Smart Ways to Avoid the Cost, Embarrassment, and Just Plain Annoyingness of Overdrafts

When it comes to overdrafts, nobody wins.

Not merchants, who don’t get paid on time.

Not banks, that have to worry about damaging customer relationships.

And most importantly not you, since overdrafts can be costly … annoying … frustrating … embarrassing… (feel free to stop us at any time).

Unfortunately, in this era of electronic banking when transactions are processed quickly, overdrafts happen … a lot.

To help ensure that one doesn’t happen to you, Dave Morticelli, vice president, branch administration at Avidia, has drawn on the wisdom of his grandmother (“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”) to share these 5 overdraft prevention tips:

Get direct deposit. We’ve all adapted to the convenience, speed, and ease of electronic payments, so why not do the same with electronic deposits? With direct deposit, for example, you can get your pay sooner, thereby boosting your balance and reducing the chance of an overdraft.

Set account alerts. Always know what your account is up to … literally. You can set customized account alerts to notify you when specific account activities occur, such as when your balance reaches a certain level or when a transaction above a certain amount happens.

Sweep money from savings (no broom required). Clean out the overdrafts in your life with automatic sweeps from savings. With a sweep, funds from your savings account are automatically transferred to cover overdrafts. Though sweep transfers often come with fees, they can save you the cost and embarrassment of overdrafts.

Apply for an overdraft line of credit. If you don’t have a savings account associated with your checking, you can apply for an overdraft line of credit. Funds from the line of credit will be automatically transferred to your checking to cover overdrafts. Keep in mind, that there are interest fees associated with lines of credit, so you’ll want to ensure you pay back the funds immediately.

Use mobile banking. You have a powerful tool to help you manage your money that’s always at your fingertips – your mobile phone. In addition to snapping selfies and calling for pizza, you can use your phone to deposit checks electronically, monitor balances and transactions, make transfers, and more – anytime from anywhere.

Protect yourself from those toxic overdrafts today with a little prevention advice from Dave (and his grandma).