Understanding Your Account Balance for Overdrafts
Your checking account has two kinds of balances: the “actual” balance and the “available” balance. We use your available balance when determining whether a transaction will cause your account to overdraw and for charging overdraft fees. If your available balance is not sufficient to cover a transaction, we may pay the item and charge you an overdraft fee. The information below explains how your checking account balance works – including the differences between your actual balance and your available balance.
What is the 'Actual' balance?
Your actual balance is the amount of money that is actually in your account at any given time. Your actual balance reflects transactions that have “posted” to your account but it does not include transactions that have been authorized and are pending. While it may seem that the actual balance is the most up-to-date display of the funds that you can spend from your account, this is not always the case. Your account may have purchases, holds, fees, other charges, or deposits made on your account that have not yet posted and, therefore, will not appear in your actual balance.
What is the 'Available' balance?
Your available balance is the amount of money in your account that is available to you without incurring an overdraft fee. Your available balance takes into account holds that have been placed on deposits and pending transactions (such as pending debit card transactions) that we have authorized but that have not yet posted to your account.
The type of transactions that are not reflected in the “Available” balance include:
When a check has been written but not presented for payment
Automatic bill payments that have been scheduled but not yet sent
Debit card transactions where the authorization hold has been released and the transaction has not yet been submitted to the financial institution
A. Your available balance reflects any authorization holds or deposit holds and is used by us to determine available funds when transactions attempt to clear your account. The balance we use as transactions clear is called your available balance and includes all items that have cleared your account up to that point and reflects any items on hold. If your available balance is not sufficient to cover a transaction, we may pay the item and charge you an overdraft fee. An overdraft fee may be charged even though your actual balance indicates a positive amount.
Q. Can you give me some examples of when overdraft fees would be applied when there’s an insufficient “available” balance?
A. If your actual balance and available balance are both $100 and you swipe your debit card at a restaurant for $35, a hold is placed on your account and your available balance will be reduced to $65. Your actual balance is still $100 because the transaction has not yet posted to your account. If a check that you had previously written for $75 clears through your account before the restaurant charge is sent to us for processing, you will incur an overdraft fee. This is because your available balance was $65 when the $75 check was paid. In this case, we may pay the $75 check and charge you an overdraft fee. The overdraft fee will also be deducted from your account, further reducing your balance.
A. There are two main types of transactions in your account – credits or deposits of money into your account and debits or payments out of your account. It is important to understand how each transaction is handled so that you know how much money you have available for use in your checking account. The information below describes how we handle credits and debits to your account and the resulting impact on your available balance. The information is a general description of how certain types of transactions are posted. We may receive multiple deposit and withdrawal transactions on your account in many different forms throughout each day. This means you may be charged more than one overdraft fee if we pay multiple transactions when your account is overdrawn.
Most deposits are added to your account when we receive them. For some deposits, only $200 will be made available at the time of deposit and the remainder will be available two (2) business days later. Additionally, there may be extended holds on deposits under certain circumstances, such as deposits over $5,000, deposits made to new accounts, etc. Thus, your available balance may not reflect the most recent deposits to your account. For additional information on when your deposited funds will be available for withdrawal, see our Funds Availability Policy.
You can make several types of debit transactions from your account, such as share draft, ACH debits, and debit card. Keep in mind that there are many ways transactions are presented for payment by merchants and other financial institutions and we are not necessarily in control of when transactions are received and posted to your account.
A. When you use your debit card to conduct a Signature or “Credit” transaction (i.e., you do not enter your PIN), the merchant sends us the amount, usually the purchase total, for authorization. This amount is placed on hold and removed from your available balance immediately. The hold is usually released after approximately 72 hours or when the transaction clears, whichever comes first. The hold helps determine the available balance on your account.
A. No, debit card authorization holds only apply to debit card transactions when you sign your name or do not enter a PIN. For example, a debit card purchase made at a restaurant or with an online merchant would be treated as a Signature/Credit transaction and would be subject to an authorization hold. Debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals made using a PIN subtract the funds immediately from your actual balance (except for when you use your PIN at a gas station).