Courtesy Pay

How to Avoid Declined Debit Transactions, Returned Checks and Other Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF)

It can happen to anyone – returned (or “bounced”) checks and other types of payments originating from your checking account that are denied due to non-sufficient available funds (NSF). Direct Financial provides many different ways to help you avoid NSF incidents. We offer free online banking so you can check your account balance every day in “real time.” We offer automatic account alerts that will notify you of certain types of activity in your account, including when your account balance drops below a level that you specify, or when a debit transaction occurs. Using mobile banking, you can keep track of your account activity and make instant transfers from your “smart” phone or other mobile device. Or you can use your telephone and use our automated Accountline system to monitor your account activity and balances to help prevent NSF incidents.

How we calculate your Available Balance

We start with the “actual” or beginning balance in your account and deduct any check holds or pending debit card transactions to determine the “available” balance. For debit card purchases, the retailer holds the funds until the transaction settles and posts to your account. For check holds, such as ATM check deposits, the first $200 is immediately available, however, the balance may be held longer. For example:

Beginning account balance                                         $1,000
Debit card purchase made the prior night                 -   100
Check for $500 deposited at ATM
($200 immediately available, however
$300 is held until the next business day)                   +  200
Available balance                                                         $1,100

What is Courtesy Pay?

Courtesy Pay is another service we provide at Direct Financial to help you avoid returned checks and other types of denied payments due to non-sufficient funds. Courtesy Pay may be used to help cover check and ACH transactions, BillPay items originated from online banking, as well as transactions that you make using your debit card. With Courtesy Pay, Direct Financial may pay the transaction for you even if you do not have sufficient available funds in your account.* For this service, we will charge you a “Courtesy Pay Fee (Paid NSF)” of $19 per transaction item, which will be deducted from your account. You do not have to sign up for Courtesy Pay to work for your paper checks, BillPay or electronic (ACH) items you originated from your checking account. However, you do have to “Opt-In” if you want the protection of Courtesy Pay to apply to your everyday debit card transactions. Note that at Direct Financial, we do NOT extend Courtesy Pay to ATM or non-checking account transactions.

What if I don’t want Courtesy Pay?

You can contact us to “Opt-Out” of Courtesy Pay if you do not want us to pay checks or other electronic transactions that won’t clear due to non-sufficient funds. If you choose to “Opt-Out” of Courtesy Pay then your check or other transactions will be returned when you do not have sufficient available funds in your account to cover the payment and you will be charged the standard “Return Item Fee” of $24 per item. In addition to the Return Item Fee you may be charged a penalty fee and/or interest from the recipient of your returned items. Note: If you do not “Opt-In” to allow us to authorize debit card transactions against non-sufficient funds, these transactions will be denied at point of purchase unless you have established other plans described below to cover these payments. There is no “Return Fee” assessed for debit card NSFs, but your transaction will be denied. Please know your “Opt-In” and/or “Opt-Out” decision can be revoked or reinstated by you or the Credit Union at any time.

Are there other ways for me to prevent NSF fees?

Yes there are! At Direct Financial, you can “link” your checking account to certain types of deposit or loan accounts. If you have established this link, then money will automatically be transferred from one of your identified accounts into your checking account to cover the payment. Speak to a Member Service Representative for additional details and related fees.

Table data for Overdraft Protection and Courtesy Pay Comparison
Overdraft Protection Courtesy Pay Alert Me
Service Description Overdraft Protection provides a link to your share draft checking account using a savings, power account or line of credit to automatically transfer funds to cover overdrafts. Eligible members can also authorize NEFCU to extend Courtesy Pay to cover their one time debit purchases with an Opt-In election.
Is there a fee? Yes. $2 per transfer. $19 per paid item. Courtesy Pay/Paid NSF Fee
How do I sign up? Speak to a Member Service Representative, call or write us. Speak to a Member Service Representative, call, or write us.
What happens if I do not Opt-In? N/A Your debit card purchases will be declined at point of sale when you do not have available funds to cover them.

* We reserve the right to pay or not pay any item at our discretion when there are insufficient available funds in your account to cover the transaction. We may consider your relationship with the Credit Union, account history, financial behavior, and/or other factors when determining whether to pay an item (overdraft) or return the item for non-sufficient funds (NSF).