Inwood National Bank believes that understanding your finances fosters financial stability for individuals and families in our communities. The more people understand about credit and banking services, the more likely they are to increase savings, buy homes, and improve their financial health and well-being.
Following the process of the "Know What You Have" recommendations will help you avoid unnecessary fees. It will also help you identify unauthorized transactions or even transactions that post for the wrong amount. The quicker you identify and notify us, the better protected you are. Regulation limits the time available to dispute some types of transactions.
Utilize Our Tools
We offer free services to help you monitor your account. We recommend using services such as our telephone banking system at 214.366.0943, or online banking to monitor account activity. If you sign up for online banking, you can also set up email alert messages that notify you of balances that fall below specified amounts, or a notice that states a transaction has posted to your account.
Balances from the Bank
First and most important, remember a balance obtained from us only has meaning if you know what has cleared your account and what hasn’t. When you mail a check to someone, they may not deposit it immediately. If they do, it can still take a few days to reach us and post to your account. It's even possible that we may not know about all the transactions you have made using your ATM/Debit Card.
Available Balance - When we quote a balance to you, it is what we see available to you at that point in time; the balance in your account available for withdrawal.
Current or Ledger Balance - This balance reflects what has posted to your account. This balance may be higher than the available balance as it may reflect deposits where the checks deposited have not been collected from the other banks.
Understanding The Cost of Overdrafts
How Do Overdrafts Happen?
When you write a check, withdraw money from an ATM, use your debit card to make a purchase, or make an automatic bill payment or other electronic payment for more than the amount in your checking account, you overdraw your account. A bank has a choice when this happens to either pay the amount or not. If it pays even though you don’t have the money in your account, you may be charged an Overdraft Item Charge. If a bank returns your check without paying it, you may be charged a Return Item Charge. And the person or company that you wrote the check to--for example, a store, your landlord, or the phone company--may charge you a "returned-check" fee in addition to the fee a bank charges you.
How can you avoid Overdraft Item and Returned Item Charges?
The best way to avoid Overdraft Item and Returned Item Charges is to manage your account so you don’t overdraw it. Know what you have in your account. Sometimes mistakes happen. If you do overdraw your account, deposit money into the account as soon as possible to cover the overdraft amount plus any fees. Depositing money into your account can help you avoid additional overdrafts and fees such as Overdraft Item or Returned Item Charges.
Why does Inwood National Bank offer Overdraft Protection?
We offer our courtesy overdraft-protection programs so that your checks are not returned and your ATM and debit card transactions go through. You’ll still pay an Overdraft Item Charge as you did before on each item. But you will avoid the merchant’s returned-check fee and will stay in good standing with the people you do business with. Inwood Bank offers standardized overdraft limits based on your normal deposit activity. We also offer Overdraft Protection for customers with multiple account with Inwood Bank. With this service you will designate one account to protect another account in the event of an overdraft. It will transfer funds in $100 increments with a flat fee per transfer.
If you inadvertently overdraw your account, get money back into your account as soon as possible.
Remember that you need to put enough money back into your account to cover both the amount of your overdraft, any bank fees, and any other transactions that have not yet cleared your account.
Avoid using our Overdraft Protection as a short-term loan. It’s a costly form of credit and is not intended to be used in that manner.
Know What You Have
Keep a Transaction Register
Keep track of how much money you have in your checking account by keeping your account register up-to-date. Record all checks when you write them and other transactions when you make them. And don’t forget to subtract any fees. Pay special attention to your electronic transactions. Record your ATM withdrawals and fees, debit card purchases, and online payments. Don’t forget about automatic bill payments you may have set up for utilities, insurance, or loan payments. The more accurate and complete your journal, the better your chances are of avoiding costly fees or identifying problems.
Monitor Your Account
Make it a practice to look at your statement when you receive it, monitor your account regularly online or through the bank's telephone banking service. Keep an eye on your account balance and always remember that some checks and automatic payments may not have cleared yet. Be sure you understand the balances we quote.
We include instructions on the back of your monthly statement designed to assist you in reconciling your transaction register to the account statement. However you decide to reconcile your account, the process is an important part of account management. At a minimum, when you receive your bank statement, mark each transaction in your transaction register that appears on your bank statement. As you mark the transactions, make sure they posted for the correct amount. Next, identify the transactions in your register that are not on your bank statement and add any deposits to the ending balance and subtract any checks, ACH or ATM/Debit card transactions. This resulting balance should be the balance in your account.
Know What You Need
Dealing with personal finances can be overwhelming for anyone, especially for people just beginning to manage money on their own. By not watching your expenses, it's very easy to overspend in some areas and take away from other priorities, including your long-term savings.
What works best will depend on you. You may find that writing your financial goals on a piece of notebook paper or even using a computer-based budget program works best for you. Just keep it simple for you. The method only needs to help you to set and stick to limits you consider appropriate and ultimately reach your financial goals. It’s important to remember that a budget doesn’t have to be complicated, intimidating or painful; it just needs to work for you.
|Savings Interest Earned||$4|
|Total Monthly Income||$1,004|
|Monthly Fixed Expenses|
|Total Monthly Fixed Expenses||$751|
|Variable Monthly Expenses|
|Total Variable Monthly Expenses||$253|
|Total Monthly Expenses||$1,004|
|Total Cash Available||$1,004|
|Less Total Expenses||$1,004|
Need Expert Assistance
Sometimes life changes cause expenses to be out of line with income. Online tools may help identify areas to save money. Before seeking assistance from a credit repair or counseling company; be certain the company is reputable. The Federal Trade Commission can provide recommendations.
Cost of Overdrafts
What’s the cost?
There is a flat fee of $28 for each item covered and this fee will reduce the overdraft limit available.
Suppose you forgot that you had only $15 in your account and used your debit card for a purchase of $14.95, wrote a check for $25 to pay for your haircut, scheduled a credit card payment online for $40 and wrote another check to buy $30 worth of groceries because your debit card was declined. In these 4 transactions you’ve spent a total of $109.95 in transactions; $94.95 more than you had in your account.
Consider the true cost options for these transactions:
|Know what you have and make a deposit before completing the transactions.||Transactions||$109.95|
|Overdraft Item Charge||$0.00|
|Retailer Fees 1||$0.00|
|Overdraft Item Charge||$84.00|
|Retailer Fees 1||$0.00|
|Returned Item – Commonly called a bounced check.||Transactions||$109.95|
|Overdraft Item Charge||$84.00|
|Retailer Fees 1||$90.00|
While paying these items within this overdraft program will likely save you between $75 and $100 in returned check/item fees from the retailers; good account management is always your best option. The choice is yours.
1 = Retailer Fees are based on TeleCheck’s 2011 Returned Check Fee for Texas.
Good account management is the lowest cost way to protect your hard-earned money!