At Pathways we understand that managing your checking account also means managing your budget, and avoiding fees that come from unexpected expenses and other financial challenges.
To help you understand more about Overdrafts, and how to avoid related fees and other issues that stem from Overdraft situations, watch an informative video.
How to Avoid Overdraft Fees
Managing your Pathways checking account
If withdrawals against your account are more than the available balance in your checking account, your transactions may be:
- Paid at our discretion
- Returned unpaid
Checking accounts allow you more options to make payments and purchases than ever before:
- Debit card purchases
- ATM withdrawals
- Authorizing a company to automatically deduct money from your account
- Initiating a payment using our Bill Pay service
Understanding how these payment methods differ can help you avoid overspending. It is important to be aware that the time it takes for the transaction to be paid from your account can be different depending on the payment method chosen.
Some payment options let you know exactly when a payment will occur.
The following examples include payment options over which you are aware of the timing of the payment:
- If you use Online Bill Pay, you can choose the exact date when funds will be withdrawn from your account.
- If you authorize recurring automatic payments from your account (such as a utility bill payment or gym membership fee) the company tells you the exact date when these payments will be sent to the bank.
Other payment options do not let you know exactly when a payment will occur.
Examples of payment options where you do not know exactly when a payment will occur:
- If you write a check to your daughter’s school, they may cash it immediately or may take several weeks to deposit it.
- When you use your debit card at a grocery store, they will immediately request authorization for the purchase to make sure you have enough money in your account at that time. However, it may be several days before the store actually settles the final purchase amount with us and the funds are withdrawn from your account. When we approve the transaction, we guarantee the store that the transaction will be paid from your account.
You should make note of any outstanding obligations in your transaction register when you balance your account. Recurring automatic payments are convenient, but they can also make it easy for you to forget that you have an upcoming withdrawal. If you have authorized a recurring automatic payment from your account, make sure that you are aware of the exact date it will occur and record it your transaction register.
Understanding your available balance versus your actual balance
You can check your Pathways checking account’s available balance any time online, at the ATM, or through your mobile device. We display the most current record we have of the money available to withdraw from your account or for the authorization of outstanding debit card purchases. It is important to note that your available balance includes only the authorized or pending payments that Pathways knows about. You may have authorized transactions that we are unaware of that will make the amount truly available less than what we display.
|Withdrawal method||When Pathways knows about the transaction||When you know about the transaction|
|Checks||The amount is known only when presented to us for payment||The amount is known when you write the check and record it in your check register|
|ATM||The amount is known at the time you make the withdrawal||The amount is known at the time you make the withdrawal|
|Preauthorized recurring debits||The amount is known only when presented for payment||When you schedule the payment amount and payment date|
|One time point of sale debit card purchase||The authorized amount is known at point of sale. Final amount is not known until merchant submits the transaction for payment, typically within one to three days||When you approve the amount and make payment with your debit card|
|Online Bill Pay||When the specified amount is deducted on the date you specified in Bill Pay||When you specify the amount and date in Bill Pay|
As always, we encourage you to manage your finances responsibly. As long as you maintain your account in good standing, we may approve your overdrafts within your assigned overdraft limit. Your limit is not reflected in your balance provided at the ATM, online banking, phone banking system, or by a member service representative. Pathways reserves the right not to pay for any overdraft item and may change your limit at our discretion. You will be notified if an overdraft occurs and are expected to bring your account to a positive balance.