Overdraft and Non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees are some of the highest fees that banks can charge you. If you get charged with just ONE NSF fee for $45 per month, that adds up to being $540 in a year. If you have experienced any overdraft or NSF fees in the past year, we’re here to help you save money and make smarter financial decisions.
3 Steps to Take
1. Don’t opt in for overdraft
The easiest way to avoid overdraft fees is to make sure that you don’t have the possibility to incur them. If you have overdraft activated (you do if you can make purchases when your account balance is zero or below zero) without protection, you could be paying up to $35 - $50 PER transaction that you make.
Even if you have overdraft protection and you’re buying a meal at McDonald’s, your fee could be up to $5 / transaction, in addition to a $5 monthly fee. Below is an exhibit to show you how much overdraft can cost you over the course of a day if you’re just making normal purchases!
In the example above, you’re paying $80 for $60 worth of goods! While the $20 fee might not seem like a lot, you could be spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on these fees over the course of a year
Our advice? Unless you really need it, call your bank and turn off your overdraft. Using Bree, you can get an interest-free advance of up to $100 instead of paying $5 for every purchase that you make. It’ll curb your spending as well. Don’t spend money you don’t have!
2. Try to get NSF fees refunded by calling your bank
It might seem impossible for you to get your fees waived by the banks, but remember that you are a valuable customer, and it’s in their best interest to keep you! If you’ve been getting hit with a lot NSF fees in the past couple of months, we recommend you doing the following:
1. Summarize the fees - Count up all of the overdraft fees and other bank fees you've been charged. Know the date you were charged on and the fee amount. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a copy of this - we can do it for you!
2. Prepare a script - Once you have all of the fees, prepare a polite but firm script (we’ve provided one below) that outlines all the fees you've been charged and that you've been a loyal customer who would like to have the fees refunded.
3. Contact your bank and be persistent - Stay persistent in your request for refunds. Banks do not want to lose you as a customer.
An example of an email
3. Be communicative with your lenders
If you have payday loans or any other installment payment, make sure to be communicative if money is going to come in later than expected. If your pay is coming in a bit later that day, or even the next day - email the organization you owe and tell them. Remember that the other side gets charged with an NSF fee when your payment bounces, so it’s in their best interest that NSF fees don’t happen.
Will it always work? No, but it’s worth a shot. If you could send an email to save up to $50, wouldn’t you do it?