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Frequently Asked Questions

Overdraft Fee FAQs

Please refer to our Fee Schedule/Sheet and Overdraft Policy Disclosure section in the Membership and Account Agreement for more information on Overdrafts. Both of these documents are available online at www.firsttechfed.com, at one of our branches, or by contacting our Contact Center at 855.855.8805.
What is an overdraft?

Overdraft means the Available Balance in your account does not have enough money to cover a transaction at the time it is presented to us for authorization or payment, but we authorize or pay it anyway.

What is a returned or rejected item?

A returned or rejected item means the Available Balance in your account does not have enough money to cover a transaction at the time it is presented to us for authorization or payment, and we do not authorize or pay it. These items are rejected or returned to the third party presenter or merchant as unpaid.

What are the different fee types and when are they charged?

Our Fee Schedule/Sheet sets forth the fee names, descriptions, any applicable abbreviations, and amounts we charge for our services.

The chart below explains when you will be charged a fee for transactions when your account has insufficient funds.

Decision For Transaction Types Fee Status (if and when fee is charged)
Paid Transaction Check, ACH, Point of Sale (POS) Recurring Transactions Overdraft Fee charged for each item paid if your Available Balance is insufficient to pay the item at the time your transaction is presented.

Return Item Fee charged for each time an item is presented and returned unpaid if your Available Balance is insufficient to pay the item at the time your transaction is presented.
Rejected Transaction Check, ACH Return Item Fee charged for each time an item is presented and returned unpaid if your Available Balance is insufficient to pay the item at the time your transaction is presented.
ATM withdrawals and POS Everyday Transaction No Overdraft or Return Item Fee charged
Rejected,

(or under limited circumstances, we pay a transaction)
POS Everyday Transactions No Overdraft or Return Item Fee charged
Overdraft Protection (linked savings or credit line to cover overdrafts) Overdraft Protection transfers are available for all transaction types, except ATM withdrawals. No Overdraft or Return Item Fee charged



- The amount of funds available in the linked account(s) will automatically transfer to the checking account at the end of our daily processing cycle to cover the amounts that would have otherwise overdrawn the account.

- Transfers from your credit line account are also subject to finance charges as described in your loan agreement.



If funds are not available in the linked account(s) to cover any of the overdrawn transactions, then those transactions will be subject to an overdraft or returned item fee, as applicable and as explained in previous sections above.

What are my options for covering or paying an overdraft transaction?

We understand inadvertent overdrafts may occur on your account on a temporary basis in the event of error. First Tech offers two services to assist with paying transactions in the event your account has insufficient funds: Overdraft Protection and Discretionary Overdraft.

How can I avoid overdraft fees?

The best way to avoid overdrafts and returned payments and any associated fees is to always make sure you have enough funds available in your account to cover all transactions you authorize for payment. You can always contact us by calling 1-855-855-8805 or visiting one of our branches if you have any questions. In addition, the following tips offer options to assist you: 

Check your balances through a variety of options we offer including online, mobile, and telephone access.

  • Activate the option we offer in online banking to receive low balance email or mobile alerts.
  • Make transfers into your account from funds you may have at other institutions.
  • Apply for Overdraft Protection service to transfer funds from a linked Share Savings account or an existing Line of Credit to your checking account to cover overdrafts which may cost less and have lower fees.
What is Overdraft Protection?

Overdraft Protection is a service whereby upon your request, we link your existing share savings account(s), credit lines, or credit cards to your checking account(s). If you apply and are approved for a Line of Credit account (LOC), at your request, we will link the LOC to your checking account as well. These links enable funds to be automatically transferred from one or more of the linked accounts to your checking account in case of an overdraft.

How much does Overdraft Protection cost?

See our Fee Schedule/Sheet for any applicable Overdraft Transfer fees.

Overdraft Protection transfer fees (if applicable) are generally less expensive than the cost of Discretionary Overdraft or Return Item fees, and we will always try to use Overdraft Protection, so long as you have enough funds available in your line of credit or enough money in your savings account to cover an overdraft before we use Discretionary Overdraft.

Overdraft Protection transfers from credit line products may be subject to additional charges, such as annual fees, and interest will accrue on the amounts advanced. Please refer to the line of credit or credit card Truth in Savings disclosures for full details.

How does Overdraft Protection work?

Overdraft transfers from credit lines will be made to the nearest $0.01 and transfers from a savings account will be made in $100.00 increments. If you do not have $100 available to transfer, transfers will be made up to the amount available necessary to cover the overdraft item(s). If the overdraft protection source accounts do not have enough funds available to cover the full amount of the transaction(s), then you may still receive overdraft or return item fees.

Transfers from a savings account are limited to 6 electronic transfers in a month as required by truth in savings, and will be declined once the limit has been reached. Please refer to the Transfer Limitations section of the Membership and Account Agreement for additional information.

Funds are automatically transferred at the end of our daily processing cycle to cover purchases, prevent returned checks, and declined transactions if you have insufficient funds in your checking account. Without Overdraft Protection, you will generally incur a fee for each transaction presented when funds are insufficient/unavailable. For more information about transaction and balance processing, see Balances and Transactions Overview section of this FAQ below.

What accounts can I use for Overdraft Protection sources?

Savings, Lines of Credit, or Credit Card Accounts. Lines of credit and credit cards are subject to eligibility requirements and normal credit approval.

Common account ownership between the checking account and the account source linked for Overdraft Protection is required.

Can I use one Overdraft Protection source account for multiple checking accounts?

Yes, savings accounts, Lines of Credit, or Credit Card Accounts can be used as overdraft protection sources for more than one checking account.

Can multiple source accounts be used if there isn’t enough funds in one account to cover an Overdraft?

Yes, if you have multiple source accounts linked to your checking, we will utilize funds in the order you have designated from each source account as necessary and where available to cover an overdraft item.

Can I set the order for which Overdraft Protection source is used?

If you have multiple account sources for Overdraft Protection, you may request or change the order that they are used at any time.

How do I enroll in Overdraft Protection?

You can check or change your Overdraft Protection enrollment and preferences at any time. You may do so by visiting your local experience center branch, or by calling the contact experience center at 855.855.8805.
What is Discretionary Overdraft?

Discretionary Overdraft refers to a service we provide, once your account is 60 days old, where we may, in our sole discretion, pay certain types of transactions you initiate, even if it causes an overdraft in your account (you don’t have enough money in your Available Balance at the time the transaction is presented for authorization or posting). We do not authorize and pay overdrafts for the following types of transactions: 1) ATM transactions or 2) Point of Sale Everyday Transactions. Account(s) with a primary account holder under 18 years of age are not eligible to participate in the Discretionary Overdraft Program. An Item covered under our Discretionary Overdraft service will incur an Overdraft fee. See Fee Schedule/Sheet for details on costs associated with this service.

How does Discretionary Overdraft work

When determining if we will pay overdraft transactions on your account under this service, we consider your ability to repay the overdraft. This may include factors such as size of the transaction, if you are making regular deposits sufficient to cover transactions, and the number of past overdraft occurrences. The fact that we may honor withdrawal requests that overdraw the account does not obligate us to do so later. In addition, if we elect to pay an item resulting in an overdraft, you have no right to defer payment and you must deposit additional funds into your account promptly in an amount sufficient to cover the overdraft and any related fees. In all cases, whether or not we pay your transaction resulting in an overdraft is discretionary and we reserve the right to not pay

What types of transactions are considered for Discretionary Overdraft?

Will consider for Discretionary Overdraft after Checking Account is 60 days old
Checks and other payments using your account number (e.g., ACH transactions).
POS Recurring Transactions using your debit card (e.g., a monthly gym membership).

NOT considered for Discretionary Overdraft; rejected at time of request or returned to presenter unpaid .
We will reject Point of Sale (POS) Everyday Transactions and ATM withdrawals. (Note: under limited circumstances, we may sometimes approve paying a transaction, but will not assess a fee.)
If you contact us to request we not pay any type of transaction through our Stop Payment process, we will reject or return items presented unpaid where possible. See Stop Payment section of the Membership and Account Agreement for additional details.


What if I don't want overdrafts on my account to be paid by Discretionary Overdraft?

You can request to opt-out of Discretionary Overdraft for most transactions. However, you will remain responsible for any overdrawn balances at the time of opt out. To opt out after account opening, call us at 1-855-855-8805 or visit a branch to make your request. Opting out of Discretionary Overdraft may mean that overdraft transactions are returned or rejected, and you may incur Returned Item fees and other third party merchant fees as a result. See Fee Schedule/Sheet for details on costs associated with Return Items.
What does Available Balance mean?



Available Balance is the amount of money in your account available to you for immediate use. The Available Balance may differ from the Current Balance because it takes into account amounts we deducted for pending debit transactions we have not yet posted to your account, such as debit card transactions that have been authorized by us and holds related to debit card transactions. It also takes into account any holds on deposits. Pending debits and other holds (e.g., authorized transactions, uncollected funds, unavailable funds, etc.) will reduce the amount of funds in your Available Balance. The Funds Availability Policy disclosed in the Membership and Account Agreement includes additional information about when a hold may be placed on your deposits.



What does Current Balance mean?



Current Balance is the amount of money in your account, including credit for the full amount of all deposits posted without regard to any portion of the deposit that may be on hold. Current Balance only reflects transactions that have posted to your account, but not transactions that have been authorized and are pending, or other payments such as checks you have written but not yet presented to us for payment. While these balance terms may sound as though the amount represents an up-to-date display of what is in your account that you can spend, that is not always the case. Any checks you have written, purchases, holds, fees, other charges, or deposits made on your account that have not yet posted will not appear in your Current Balance.

 



Where can I find my Available and Current Balance account information?



Your checking account Current and Available Balances can be checked online, at an ATM, by phone, or in the branch with one of our representatives.

 



How do Available and Current Balances work?



It is important to understand how the two Balances work so that you know how much money is in your account at any given time. We illustrate how Current and Available Balances work in the examples below:  



Example A (illustrates the effect of a transaction you initiate that is not yet reflected in either your Available or Current Balance).  



You have a $50 Current and Available Balance and you just wrote a check for $40.  



- Your Current and Available Balances are still $50 because the check has not yet been presented and posted to your account. So, even though your account shows you have $50, you have already spent $40.  





Example B (illustrates the effect of a pending transaction on the Current and Available Balances).  



You have a Current and Available Balance of $50 at the start of a day.  



- You pay for lunch at a restaurant for $25 with your debit card and the payment is routed through the Mastercard ® network. When we authorize the transaction at the time merchant initiates the transaction, we will reduce your Available Balance by $25. We must honor this transaction when it is presented for payment because you committed to paying this amount and we provided the merchant with authorization for payment. Your Current Balance will still show $50 and the $25 restaurant charge will show as a pending transaction or hold in our system.  



- When we post the payment, which may be several days later, the Current Balance will be reduced by $25.  





Example C (illustrates how the Available Balance is used to determine when your account is overdrawn). Again, assume your Current and Available Balances at the start of a day are both $50.  



- You use your debit card at a restaurant for $25. If we authorize the transaction, we will reduce your Available Balance to $25. Your Current Balance is still $50.  



- Before the restaurant charge processing is completed, a check you wrote for $40 is presented to us for payment. Because you have only $25 available (you have committed to pay the restaurant $25), your account will be overdrawn by $15 if we pay the check, even though your Current Balance is still $50.  



- In this case, if we choose to pay the $40 check, you will also be charged an Overdraft Fee. That fee will be deducted from both your Available and Current Balances. If we choose to return the check due to insufficient funds instead of paying it, you will be charged a Return Item fee that will be deducted from your account. 

 



How are different transaction/payment types processed?






















ACH Transactions These transactions are presented to us for processing electronically in large batches that include, for example, direct deposit of payroll checks and automatic payments you set up, such as a monthly utility bill or monthly gym charge using your account number (not debit card number). If you do not have enough money in your Available Balance at the time an ACH payment is presented to your account, there will be an overdraft. If we pay the ACH, you will be charged an Overdraft fee. If we reject it, then it will be returned unpaid and you will be charged a Return Item fee. See Fee Schedule/Sheet for details.
Checks The checks you wrote are also presented to us for processing in batches. If you do not have enough money in your Available Balance at the time a check is presented to your account, then there will be an overdraft. Again, If we pay the check anyway, then you will be charged an Overdraft fee. If we reject it, then it will be returned unpaid and you will be charged a Return Item fee. See Fee Schedule/Sheet for details.
ATM Withdrawals Withdrawals from ATMs immediately reduce the amount of money in both your Current Balance and Available Balance. We do not allow overdrafts for ATM withdrawals. If you do not have enough money in your Available Balance at the time you enter your PIN (Personal Identification Number), then we will not allow you to make ATM withdrawals. In other words, generally, you cannot cause an Overdraft by making an ATM withdrawal.
POS Debit Card Transactions Point of Sale (POS) debit card transactions - generally, POS transactions including, but not limited to, e-commerce and card-not-present, reduce the amount of money in your Available Balance immediately. If you do not have enough money in your Available Balance and do not have Overdraft Protection active at the time the merchant initiates the transaction, then we will reject the requested POS transaction. Sufficient funds must be Available in the linked Overdraft Protection account at the time of the POS transaction for this service to be utilized. We do not allow Discretionary overdrafts for POS Everyday transactions.







There are two ways your transaction may be processed - either through the PIN network or the Mastercard® network. Both networks typically require you to enter your PIN for authentication. (Note: Some merchants may still request your signature, but generally, you will need to enter your PIN or use other acceptable electronic authentication methods.) The network used depends upon how the merchant initiates and processes the transaction.



PIN Network - Transactions processed through the PIN network (such as Star) are submitted for payment immediately. If approved, the payment is deducted from your account, reducing both your Available and Current Balance at the time of the transaction.



Mastercard® Network - Transactions processed through the Mastercard® network are submitted for authorization immediately. If authorized, the transaction is routed to us for payment and posting to your account, which may take several days. The authorized amount reduces your Available Balance at the time of purchase, and will reduce your Current Balance when we receive it for posting. In the interim, the transaction amount is identified in our system as a Pending Transaction or a hold. If your Available Balance has insufficient funds when the transaction is presented for payment and posting (for example, an intervening transaction was paid), your account will be debited, causing an overdraft since you committed to making this payment.



 



How and when are different transactions posted to my account?



Information below may assist you with understanding how much money you have and how much may be available to you at any given time. The processing order may differ from the order you make the transactions and could also impact your Available and Current Balance.






















Transaction Type Description and Order
“Real Time” transactions Certain transactions are considered “Real Time” transactions that occur and post to your account generally when they are initiated during the course of the day. These include for example, ATM Transactions, Mobile E-Deposit, Teller Transactions, POS Debit Card Transactions processed through PIN networks, Wire Transfers and other account transfers you initiate in the Branch, ATM, Calling our Contact Center, or Online Banking.
Other “Batch” Transactions Other transactions are grouped together in batches by similar transaction types, and post to your account at various times during the day. Credits in each batch post first and debits generally post in lowest to highest amount order:

ACH transactions. Online bill payments, check payments, and similar items.

POS transactions processed through the Mastercard® network can settle throughout the day.
Bank Initiated Bank initiated fees such as Overdraft, Return Item, or returned check fees will generally post after the transaction to which it applies for ACH and items such as checks, or at the end of the processing cycle for Online banking and POS debit card transactions. Interest posting and automatic account transfers generally post at the end of our processing day.



 



Commonly Used Financial Terms






































Term Definition
Point of Sale (POS) Everyday Transactions Refers to Everyday transactions where you pay for your purchase using your debit card, such as when you purchase gas at a gas station or buy lunch at a restaurant.
Point of Sale (POS) Recurring Transactions Refers to transactions where you pay for your purchase using your debit card, such as when you set up payments for gym memberships or Online streaming services using your debit card.
Card Payment Networks Refers to the different electronic networks used to process Point of Sale card transactions. Depending on the network used by the merchant, a payment may be debited from an account immediately or may take several days before it is presented to us for posting to an account.
Automated Clearing House (ACH) An electronic network for financial transactions in the United States that processes large volumes of credit and debit transactions in batches.
Pending Transactions Debit and credit transactions that have been initiated but have not yet posted to your account. These transactions will show as “pending” or create a hold in our system until posted. For debit card transactions, your Available Balance will be reduced at the time the transaction has been initiated. Your Current Balance will not be reduced until the pending debit transaction posts.
Posted Transactions Transactions reflected in your Current Balance and which have been processed and posted to your account.
Presented Transactions Transactions initiated by a third party such as a merchant for payment. Once presented, the transaction is then determined to be rejected or paid. The transaction could result in pended or posted transaction statuses Depending upon how the third party initiates the transaction which affect your Current and/or Available balances.


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