These are the four most common fees that I see on accounts and what you can do to avoid them.

These are the four most common fees that I see on accounts and what you can do to avoid them. Due to the fact that they can change, I haven’t included the dollar amounts. However, you can see our full, current fee schedule here. I recommend checking it out if you haven’t already. The few extra minutes now can save the money (and the headache) later.

1. Single Service Fees

HOW IT HAPPENS: We require our members to have an account that establishes their membership with us. This is usually a Prime Share Savings account. If there are no other accounts held by a member and the average daily balance is less than $200, it incurs a quarterly Single Service Fee.

HOW TO AVOID IT: There are two ways to avoid this fee. You can keep at least $200 in the account or open an additional account. As long as there is another account in your name, there is no minimum balance on the Prime Share Savings.

2. Inactive Checking Fees

HOW IT HAPPENS: If there are no transactions on your checking account for 365 days or longer, you will be charged a monthly Inactivity Fee.

HOW TO AVOID IT: Any transaction on the account will make it active again: deposits, withdrawals, transfers, etc. You can even call us at Member Services and we can do a transfer for you. Hopefully, you’ll want to start using the account again, but this will avoid the fee for another 365 days.

3. Reg D Excess Fees

HOW IT HAPPENS: Regulation D is a federal regulation that governs withdrawals on “non-transaction accounts.” Non-transaction accounts include savings and money market accounts. You may only withdraw six times per calendar month. Each withdrawal exceeding six incurs a Reg D Excess Fee.

HOW TO AVOID IT: Regulation D has provided a few exceptions. If you do a withdrawal at an ATM, in person at a branch, or are transferring to a loan, they do not count toward the monthly limit. Be sure to stay aware of how many times you have withdrawn, and anticipate how much you’ll need from that account for the month (then you can do one lump transfer into your checking). If you’re worried about getting close, stop into a branch and see us!

4. Overdraft Fees/NSF Fees

HOW IT HAPPENS: A common misconception with these fees is that they are assessed on the ledger balance (also called the current balance.) These fees are actually charged when the available balance becomes overdrawn. The difference between the ledger and available balances is whatever is pending on an account (check holds on deposits, outstanding debit purchases, etc.) Each transaction overdrawing the available balance incurs an Overdraft or NSF fee.

HOW TO AVOID IT: There’s nothing more accurate than keeping a transaction register and balancing it with your account. However, for those times when we slip up, there are Draw Accounts. If you have another account with us, you can opt to do an automatic transfer should you overdraw your checking account. If you choose a savings or another checking account, there’s a transfer fee which is much lower than an overdraft fee and only charges per transfer, not per transaction. If you choose a Ready Money or HELOC, there is no transfer fee.

Karen Scooros

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