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         February 2017

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Simplify Your Life
How online banking & text alerts can prevent costly hassles

Seeing red? Simplify your life. Prevent a negative balance in your account by following these simple tips, many of which can be achieved with a simple enrollment in online banking.

Account Solutions

  • Maintain a buffer balance. Most overdrafts occur due to relatively small sums, often $20 or less. That means you can avoid a lot of overdraft fees by keeping a cushion in your checking account at all times just in case a deposit is delayed. The optimum recommended buffer amount is equal to the sum of one month’s recurring expenses (rent, utilities, fuel and groceries).
  • Link an account or line of credit. Contact First Central about linking a savings account, or specified line of credit to your checking account that would cover an overdraft if needed. When a transaction causes a negative balance, we can automatically perform an overdraft protection transfer from the linked account to cover the overdrawn amount. A small transfer fee may apply. With a line of credit, you’re simply borrowing from this credit line and you’ll be subject to interest charges, just like any other loan.

Online Banking Solutions

  • Use online bill pay rather than auto pay. Automatic bill pay is a great service as far as convenience goes, but sometimes it can wreak havoc on maintaining a budget. Instead of setting up auto pay with billers, utilize online bill pay through your First Central online banking. Making the payments manually gives you control over the transaction, so you won’t have to worry about any forgotten expenses pulling your account balance below zero. It’s also a better option than mailing in a physical check, which could take weeks to clear.
  • Dutifully monitor spending. Another benefit of online banking is the “real-time” mobile aspect. Today you can check your account balance anywhere, anytime—sometimes without even manually signing in. Taking full advantage of that increased potential for vigilance can save you big.
  • Create account alerts. If you find manually checking your balance to be a bit tedious, automate the process instead. Sign up for alerts through your online banking, which will notify you via email or text message anytime a certain event occurs, such as unusual account activity, an overdraft or falling below a certain amount. First Central e-Alerts allow you to do this in real time.
By simply being observant and taking advantage of the tools and resources provided to you through First Central, you should be able to circumvent many costly hassles.


Published by First Central Credit Union
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Disclaimer - All content contained in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon to make any financial, accounting, tax, legal or other related decisions. Each person must consider his or her objectives, risk tolerances and level of comfort when making financial decisions and should consult a competent professional advisor prior to making any such decisions. Any opinions expressed through the content in this newsletter are the opinions of the particular author only.  

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