Tired of Overdrawing Your Account? You Have Options!

by Kelly McCready 8. April 2015

Empty Wallet

Stop overdrawing your account. Today. It’s simple. Here’s four things you can do to prevent your account from being overdrawn:

1) Sign Up for Mobile Banking

With Mobile Banking you have access to your account anytime to check balances, view transactions and transfer money right then and there (in the store before you make that purchase that will overdraw your checking account).

2) Alert, Alert!

Set up alerts within Online Banking to receive emails when your account balance falls below a certain limit or when transactions occur. This is easy to set up, and free!

3) Savings Transfer

Set up a sweep for when your account is overdrawn. Nope, not with a broom. A sweep in the sense that you can have money "swept" (aka transferred) from your savings account to your checking account. There is typically a fee that comes with this service, BUT, the "sweep" fee is MUCH less than the fees you would rack up with each overdraft fee you’d receive on each transaction.

4) Overdraft Protection

Sounds fancy. It’s not. Just set up a line of credit, offered through your bank. Similar to the savings transfer, if you overdraw your account, funds are transferred from your line of credit into your checking account in increments of $100. There is also a fee associated with this service, but again, the overdraft fee would be much greater. Don’t be scared when they ask you to fill out a credit application – it won’t take long!

Talk to your friendly banker about which option(s) may be best for you. Now you have absolutely no reason to overdraw your account!

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When Should You Open Your Child's First Bank Account?

by Kelly McCready 19. February 2015

Financially Savvy Child

When should you open your child’s first bank account? Now. It’s never too early to open a bank account for your child. Never.

Expecting a baby (still in the oven)? Perfect, you’re ahead of the game. Head to the bank and open an account in your name. While doing so, simply ask for the account title to reference “Baby’s Account.”

Just became a new parent (done cooking)? Head to the bank with your child’s SSN (if you don’t have it quite yet just hang tight for a few days until you receive it), and you can open a bank account for them.

What will you need (other than child’s SSN if available)? Most banks require two forms of ID for the parent(s). Here are some examples of forms of ID: Driver’s License, Voters Registration, Passport, Major Credit Card, etc. That’s all! Well, maybe a dollar or two to get the savings started! Or, better yet, if you’ve already received savings bonds, checks, or have cash lying around in birthday cards (like I do), go ahead and bring them to deposit.

Don’t have any money to put into the account yet? No problem! Set up a direct deposit into the account from your paycheck or set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your child’s savings account.

Now, get to the bank! (After homework’s done, dinner is made, the kitchen is clean and soccer practice is over.) If you’re still expecting, take a nap before going to the bank…you’re going to need it!

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I Married into Poor Credit...Now What?

by Kelly McCready 28. January 2015

Credit and Marriage

When you get married, you are taking on joint financial liabilities. This is a fact, like it or not.

Just because you fell in love with someone who has destroyed their credit, doesn’t mean you have to live with it. However, you probably have to help fix it. If your spouse has poor credit, it can affect your joint credit accounts and potentially prevent you from opening certain accounts or receiving certain loans. In fact, until you straighten out your spouse’s credit, you may want to just avoid signing up for joint accounts. First things first, let’s get your spouse’s credit back on track!

Here are a few steps to help guide you:

  1. Come up with a manageable budget to pay off any outstanding debt. If you struggle coming up with the cash to make payments, take into consideration daily or weekly habits that could be stopped (i.e. coffee in the morning, buying lunch while at work, ordering out for dinner), or redirect your spouse’s 401k contribution toward paying off the debt.

  2. After some debt has been paid down, sign your spouse up as an authorized user on a credit card account. This will help build their credit back up.

  3. Check credit reports annually. This is more of a maintenance step, but it is very important. You need to keep an eye on things. Mistakes do happen, and if you’re on top of things, you can catch them.
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