Overdraft Protection

Firstmark Credit Union continually evaluates how we can better the lives of our members through high-value products and services. Our standard Overdraft Protection service is provided on all checking shares and allows us to pay checks, automatically drafted payments (ACH) and bill payments, regardless of the funds that exist in your account. With your permission, this valuable service can be extended to pay for everyday debit card items and ATM transactions.

Overdraft Protection helps avoid additional merchant fees, possible damage to your credit history, and any embarrassment that might result if a check or ACH transaction was returned, or a Debit or ATM transaction was declined.

Firstmark continually works to enhance the financial well-being of our members and provides many ways to help you avoid overdrawing your account.  We offer free Online, Mobile and Text Banking so you can check your account balance every day in real-time, review payments made, view checks you’ve written, and transfer funds between your accounts.

Firstmark encourages you to manage your finances responsibly, but when necessary, Overdraft Protection can keep you covered. For more information about our Overdraft Protection service, please review the Frequently Asked Questions below or call 210.442.0100 to speak to a member service representative.

Learn More About Overdraft Fees And How To Avoid Them
  • What is an Overdraft?

    If, on any day, the balance in your deposit account is not sufficient to pay the full amount of a check, card transaction, or other item, plus any applicable fee that is presented to your account, an "overdraft" occurs. If we do not pay the check or item, we will return it unpaid and a return item fee may be imposed. If Firstmark pays a check or item that would overdraw the account, an overdraft fee may be imposed. It is best to keep track of your balances to avoid the inconvenience and expense of overdrafts and accompanying fees.

  • How does Overdraft Protection work?

    If you overdraw your account by a check, ACH electronic payment, online bill payment, ATM withdrawal or point-of-sale debit card transaction, Overdraft Protection may cover your transaction even though you do not have sufficient funds in your account. If Overdraft Protection is activated, your account will have a negative balance. You may incur a fee for each paid or approved transaction; however, you will not incur any merchant fees.

    If your account is set up to with overdraft protection from a share or loan with Firstmark, we will access available funds from these sources before using your Overdraft Protection overdraw tolerance, up to the maximum allowed limit.

    All members enrolled in the Overdraft Protection service will have a daily limit. While the limit is accurate to pay today’s overdraft items, it may change up or down the following day. For that reason, member limits are not disclosed. Limits are based on a number of factors including the age of the account, frequency and amount of deposits and other related account information. The account must also be in good standing, meaning the member is not in default on any share or loan with us or overdrawn on their checking account.

    You do not have to sign up for Overdraft Protection to work for your paper checks, BillPay or electronic (ACH) items you originated from your checking account. However, you do have to "Opt-In" if you want the Overdraft Protection to apply to your everyday debit card transactions and ATM withdrawals by completing the Overdraft Protection Service Form.

  • Can I make a deposit to cover an overdraft and avoid fees?

    To avoid fees, your account must have the adequate funds available at the time each transaction posts. If you have already accrued an overdraft, you must make a sufficient deposit to bring your account current to avoid additional fees. Review the Credit Union's funds availability policy to determine which deposits could become available to same day.

  • Manage your account to avoid overdraft fees

    The simplest way to avoid overdrafts is to balance your checking account on a daily basis. Be sure to record fees and regular account charges and don't assume transactions will not post to your account for several days. You can also avoid overdrafts by signing up for online banking alerts to know when your account is reaching a certain balance.

  • Can I sign up for an automatic transfer to avoid overdrafts fees?

    Yes. Firstmark Credit Union will automatically transfer funds from your other checking or savings account(s) when transactions are presented that will overdraw your primary account.

Understanding The Costs Involved
  • The Costs Of Overdrafts At Firstmark Credit Union1

    We encourage you to maintain accurate records and practice good account management. This will help you avoid writing checks or drafts without sufficient funds and incurring the resulting fees.

    The Costs Of Overdrafts At Firstmark Credit Union Fees
    Good Account Management $0.00
    Insufficient Funds Fee $28/item
    Overdraft Protection Fee (overdraft courtesy) $28/item
  • How do I know if my account balance is sufficient?

    It is important that you know your account balance to avoid fees. The Credit Union’s determination of an insufficient account balance is made at the time an item is presented to us, which may be later during the day than the time you conduct a transaction. We use two different methods for determining whether your balance has sufficient funds to pay a check or item.

    • Checks & ACH Items. For checks and ACH (automatic funds transfer) items, we use the available balance method. Your available balance may be lower than your actual balance due to previous authorized debit card transactions that are pending and deposited checks held pursuant to our funds availability policy. Transactions may not be presented in the order which they occurred. The order in which checks, or other items are received and processed may affect if an overdraft occurs.
    • ATM & Everyday Debit Card Transactions. For ATM and everyday debit card (nonrecurring) transactions we use the actual balance method. Your actual balance reflects transactions that have cleared your account. However, your actual balance will not reflect pending transactions you have initiated that have not cleared yet, such as debit card purchase transactions you have authorized and deposited checks held pursuant to our funds availability policy. Transactions may not be presented in the order which they occurred. The order in which checks or other items are received and processed may affect if an overdraft occurs. The actual balance can be negative if you overdraw your account.
  • Can an outstanding debit card authorization result in overdraft fees for me?

    A merchant’s outstanding debit card authorization request will not be reflected in the actual balance in your account. If, as a result, your actual balance falls below zero, then overdraft fees may be charged for a card transaction that post or clears your account. If funds are available at the time a transaction is authorized, these transactions will not accrue an overdraft fee when they post to your account. However, a debit card authorization when presented for payment may lead to overdraft fees in certain circumstances.

    Example: Bob has a $100 actual balance and makes a $75 debit card purchase. His actual balance will not show the $75 outstanding debit card authorization. If he makes another debit card purchase or withdrawal of more than $25, an overdraft fee will be assessed for the second transaction. If Bob has opted into the Overdraft Protection for ATM and everyday debit card transaction, the Credit Union will cover the debit card transaction.

    Example: Bob has a $200 actual balance and a $110 available balance due to a $90 outstanding debit card authorization. If he writes a check for $150 and this is presented, this will result in an overdraft. With the Overdraft Protection service, the Credit Union will cover the check transaction.

  • Will the debit card preauthorization hold always equal the exact amount of my transaction?

    No. Some merchants, especially gas stations, hotels and sometimes restaurants, will preauthorize an amount that is higher or lower than the actual purchase amount. For example:

    • Gas stations: Many gas stations preauthorize transactions for amounts ranging from $1 to $95 because they do not know how much gas you will actually pump in advance of your transaction. If they preauthorize $95, a hold will be placed for $95, even if your actual transaction is only $45. After 2 hours, the gas station must send the final transaction amount which will cause the hold to be for the correct amount. If you are worried about large preauthorization holds from gas stations, we recommend that you use a Firstmark Credit Union credit card for your transaction.
    • Hotels: When using a debit card to make reservations in advance, hotels generally will preauthorize an amount equal to an overnight stay, or more, depending on the length of your stay. This will result in a hold on your account up to 72 hours. Then, when you actually arrive, the hotel will place another preauthorization, often larger than the cost of your stay to cover possible incidental expenses. Because these can result in significant holds against your account, we recommend always using your Firstmark Credit Union credit card for hotel reservations.
    • Car Rental Companies. When renting an automobile, most car rental companies will authorize an amount greater than the actual cost to cover any additional expenses. We recommend using your Firstmark Credit Union credit card when renting an automobile.
    • Restaurants. Many restaurants authorize an amount that is slightly larger than the bill in the event that you include gratuity on your card transaction. Alternatively, the restaurant may authorize the amount of bill which does not include any gratuity you may add.
  • Do all debit card transactions clear within 72 hours?

    No. Some merchants will not send the final transaction through to us within the 72-hour time frame of the hold. In that case, the hold will drop off and funds will appear to be available again, however, the debit transaction still must clear your account. Unfortunately, we have no control over how quickly merchants process their transactions.

  • Firstmark Overdraft Protection Guidelines:

    As a service to members in good standing and to help you avoid the fees that may be charged by third parties for "bad" checks, we will strive to pay, at our sole discretion, your reasonable overdrafts up to a dollar amount (inclusive of fees). A fee will be charged for each Overdraft Protection overdraft item or Insufficient Funds item as outlined in our fee schedule, and you are expected to bring your account to an immediate positive balance. The total fees you have paid for ODP items and NSF items (both paid and returned) for the current month and year-to-date will be on your monthly statement.

    As always, we encourage you to manage your finances responsibly; however, as long as you maintain your account in good standing, we may, as a courtesy, strive to pay your overdrafts within your current available Overdraft Protection overdraft limit. However, we reserve the right to pay overdraft at our discretion. If you do not have sufficient funds, we return the item, and you will be assessed the $28/item Insufficient Funds Fee.