Saturday, June 22, 2013

Overdraft Protection -- Yes or No?

This week, an article came to my attention regarding overdraft fees imposed by banks. The article, from Time Magazine was a brief revelation about how and why people were dumping overdraft protection offered by banks in favor of closer self-management of their checking accounts. While traditional overdraft protection keeps costumers from getting hit with late fees that are higher than the protection, it does add up for a financial boon for banks (see the video below).

 What the Time article reported was the conclusion of that “people who did not opt into ‘overdraft protection’ spent far less on fees than those who did opt in.”  The general lesson behind the piece was the idea that if left to their own devices, people became a lot savvier when it came to closely monitoring their money and bank accounts when the "training wheels" of overdraft protection was removed as an option.
because overdraft rules tend to vary between banks--leading to confusion which pads the coffers of large banks who rely on the confusion and ignorance of account holders--the alternative or becoming smarter money managers allowed account holders to save more money in banking.
The upshot is that if you are a bank customer who tends to use their checking account on a regular and routine basis--and you have trouble maintaining a balance that doesn't leave your account depleted of funds from month-to-month, overdraft protection might be your best friend.  But if you are more of an independent banking customer, who is able to closely monitor their money usage to the point where overdraft protection is rarely used and the fees might be an unnecessary drain on your account every month, consider dumping overdraft protection.

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