FAQs - Bank On NWLA
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FAQs

What is Bank On?

  • Bank On Northwest Lousiana is a regional initiative to connect unbanked and under-banked to financial mainstream
  • Direct un/under-banked away from predatory financial services (payday loans/check-cashers)

Who Participates?

  • BY
    City of Shreveport, Federal Regulators, Financial Institutions, Financial Education Programs & Various Community Partners
  • FOR
    Unbanked – Those who do not have a bank account and rely on payday lenders and check cashers
    Under-banked – Those that have a bank account; still rely on check cashers, payday loans

Why is this needed?

  • Under-banked
    • Rely heavily on predatory financial service providers (check cashers, pay day lenders, auto title loan companies, etc. that charge high interest rates (i.e. 300% APR))
    • May think they do not need a bank account or know what they are missing
    • May be distrustful of banks
  • Unbanked
    • May not know what they are missing by not maximizing their banking relationship
    • Also still rely on predatory financial services

Goals

  • Put un/under-banked on a path toward asset building
  • Connect un/under-banked to opportunities to save and manage their money opportunities for homeownership, business ownership & educational attainment increase

How Does it Work?

  • Work with partnering banks and credit unions to offer an affordable starter or 2nd chance checking account
  • Must have a Bank On account to participate
  • Work with partnering financial education programs (including those offered by financial institutions) to highlight education opportunities
  • Partners provide a number of ways to obtain training & cover many topics
  • Public can use any account or financial program that meets their needs

Aren’t all banks and credit unions the same?

Banks and credit unions are businesses that offer you an insured safe place to keep your money and use your deposits to make loans. They are not all the same because some offer more financial services than others. On some financial products, credit unions may cost less because they are non- profit. On the other-hand some banks may have financial products that cost less because of its size and technology. Thus, there may be a benefit to having a relationship with at least one bank and credit union.


What is the difference between a bank and a credit union?

Banks and credit unions are businesses that offer you an insured safe place to keep your money and use your deposits to make loans. They are not all the same because some offer more financial services than others. On some financial products, credit unions may cost less because they are non- profit. On the other-hand some banks may have financial products that cost less because of its size and technology. Thus, there may be a benefit to having a relationship with at least one bank and credit union.


How do I choose a bank or credit union?

The FDIC has a Choosing A Bank/Credit Union and An Account checklist form that you can use when looking for a bank or credit union and accounts that might fit you. You may obtain a copy of this form by contacting any of the financial education resource partners listed on this Bank On website. A few of the things to consider when choosing a financial institution are overall services, convenient branches and ATMs, hours open, fees policies, minimum opening balance policy, minimum monthly balance policy, interest paid on savings, ATM fees & locations, overdraft protection products and fees, and is it insured by the FDIC or NCUA.

 

How old do I have to be to open an account?

For all bank accounts you must be at least 18 years old. There are student accounts available for individuals younger than 18 but the accounts require a guardian aged 18 or older to be on the account until the student turns 18.


What am I missing by not having an account?

Not having an account means you have to worry about losing your money or your money being stolen. You will also find that it is much harder to save money for those “rainy days” when you have the cash in your purse or wallet. Money in the hand tends to get spent.

Not having an account also prevents you from earning interest. Savings or money market accounts are accounts that allow you to earn interest. Interest is the money a bank or credit union will pay you to keep in an account with their institution. It is free money you are missing out on!

Finally, not having a bank account means you probably have to pay someone to cash your checks. Although the fee varies, it does add up. Think about it this way. If you are paid twice a month and it costs you $6 each time you cash your check, you will pay $144 a year in check cashing fees. That is money you can save or use to pay a bill. Across the country, most people who use check cashing services spend nearly $1,000 in check cashing fees per year.


Who do I talk to if I have questions about my account?

You can always contact the customer service representative who helped you open you account. They are available during banking hours. You also can go in any branch of the bank or credit union you have chosen to do business with. Any of the staff members are willing and able to help you just as well as the person that helped you open the account.

After banking hours, most banks and credit unions have a 1-800 customer service number you can call. Most of these phone lines are staffed 24 hours a day and are waiting for your call.


What is overdraft protection?

Overdraft protection is a bank service that helps you cover any unexpected shortages in your account. The service is designed to avoid the cost of an overdraft fee which is normally $35 per item. The service is setup in advance to automatically transfer funds from another account that you have opened, a credit card, or a small line of credit established for just that purpose. Some banks charge a fee for each overdraft protection transfer but a $10 fee for one transfer to cover one or more items coming through your account is less expensive than a $35 per item overdraft fee.


Can I switch accounts or banks if I decide that an accounts I have does not work for me?

Certainly! Choosing a bank or credit union, and which account to open is an important decision and should not to be taken lightly. If you feel that the institution you have chosen or the account you have opened is not meeting your needs, you are not obligated to keep it. You can switch accounts or close your accounts at anytime. Just keep in mind if you close a checking account you have to allow all of the checks that you have written to clear first!


How do I know if I am ready for a checking account?

When you find that you are often carrying large amounts of money around on a regular basis, have to make frequent trips to the bank or the ATM to get cash to pay your daily bills it is time for a checking account. Writing checks and using your handy debit card will save you time and gas and is much safer!


Am I ready for a savings account?

When you are keeping cash in a sock drawer, a piggy bank, or a can and you are worried about losing it or, worse, having it stolen, you are ready for a savings account.

If you have a checking account and notice that you always have cash remaining every month after paying bills, it is time to open a savings account.

Finally, if you have a long term goal for you money, a savings account allows you to park your money in a safe place separate from the money you need on a much more frequent basis.


In an emergency, how can I get my money now?

In the event of an emergency, you can always go to your bank or credit union during its business hours and make a withdrawal. If it is after banking hours, you can make a withdrawal at an ATM. The only difference is an ATM may, for security reasons, only allow you to withdraw a set amount of money at one time such as $200 – $400.


What is the difference between a debit card, credit card, and ATM card?

An ATM card is linked to a savings or checking account and allows you to make withdrawals at an ATM. A debit card is linked to a checking account and allows you to make purchases and get cash back in any store that accepts Visa/Mastercard.

A credit card is a line of credit that is made available to you through a normal loan approval. When you use a debit card, the funds come out of your checking account and you do not get a monthly bill. When you purchase something on a credit card, it is a short term loan that you must repay plus interest that adds up.


How do I know that my money has been deposited?

If you make a deposit at the teller window or an ATM, you will get a receipt immediately. If you have a direct deposit such as a pay check that goes in to you account twice a month, your employer may give you a pay stub to show you the deposit, but not always. This may depend on the employer. Most people do one of two things:

  1. Call the bank or credit union’s 1-800 customer service number to verify the deposit.
  2. Log in to the institution’s website and see the deposit along with checks or debits clearing, if they have on-line banking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Bank On Shreveport?

Bank On Shreveport is a city-wide initiative created by the City of Shreveport to help the unbanked and under-banked residents of Shreveport achieve and maintain financial stability. Our purpose is to break down the barriers of banking and create an easier pathway for residents to enter the financial mainstream.

With the help of our financial partners, we have created an affordable low or no cost account to suit your financial needs. To promote financial stability, Bank On Shreveport also offers a host of resources to expand access to free financial education classes throughout the city.


How is a Bank On checking account different from a regular checking account?

A Bank On Shreveport checking account offers a more affordable and flexible checking account for people that:

  1. May have never had a checking account before, or
  2. Who may have made a mistake with a bank or credit union in the past and are serious about properly managing an account today.

Here are a few common key factors about the different Bank On Shreveport accounts offered at our participating banks and credit unions:

  1. Free or low cost checking account – These accounts have no or low monthly service fees and often a low minimum balance to open the account.
  2. Allows a variety of identification types to open an account, including an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Card, if you don’t have your social security card with you.
  3. No minimum monthly balance – You can keep your account open, even if you have to spend all of your money each month.

Which banks and credit unions are participating in Bank On?

ANECA Federal Credit Union
BancorpSouth Bank
Barksdale Federal Credit Union
Campus Federal Credit Union
Citizens National Bank
Community Trust Bank
Fort Sill National Bank
IBERIABANK
Pelican State Credit Union Progressive Bank
Red River Bank
Regions Bank
Shreveport Federal Credit Union


Can I get a savings account at any of the participating banks and credit unions instead of a checking account?

Absolutely! Our goal is to provide you with the information to make the right choice for you. For some people that might be a checking account, for others it might be a savings account instead. It’s entirely up to you!

 

I tried to open an account last year and was denied. Why?

If you had an account (or were on a joint account with another individual) that has been closed, but money was owed to the financial institution at the time of closure, then chances are, that the account was charged off.

Prior to Bank On Shreveport, a situation like this would prevent you from opening an account at other financial institutions until the debt is paid. If you currently still owe the debt and you wish to pursue a relationship with that company, most institutions will require that the debt be paid off before a new account can be opened. The good news is: a second chance is possible. All you have to do is contact the financial institution that you owe and speak with a representative to make arrangements that are convenient and affordable for you.


Does a prior denial mean that I can never get another bank account?

No. If you are ever denied an account and the representative does not help you understand why, it is very important that you ask. In most cases, that representative can help or point you in the right direction to resolve the issue so that you are able to open an account.


If I ruin my name at one bank, does it follow me to other banks?

Yes. If you owe money to a financial institution, they will report the debt to Chexsystems. This is a program that banks and credit unions use to verify whether the person trying to open an account owes a financial institution money. Chexsystems reveals the accounts that have been charged off and are owed to financial institutions.

Through Bank On Shreveport, the same or a different bank may choose to open an account for you, if you can demonstrate that you are serious about properly managing an account now.


I owe a bank money. Can I still get an account at that bank or a different one?

Yes. If you are listed in Chexsystems, you are eligible to open an account with other financial institutions. Now, with through Bank On Shreveport, it is also possible to open an account with the company that you owed as well, at that institutions discretion.

 

 

Can I trust a bank or credit union?

Yes, you can. Both banks and credit unions are there to serve you and provide a secure place for you to save, store and manage your money. Each bank and federal credit union is federally regulated by one or more national government agencies.

Federal Credit Unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration. Banks are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, theFederal Reserve Board, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


How can it be safer to have my money in a bank or credit union instead of in my pocket or at home?

Your money is secure in an account because the federal Deposit Insurance corporation insures deposit (checking and savings) accounts up to $250,000 and the National Credit Union Administration has an insurance fund that insures member accounts (when you open an account at a credit union, you become a member).

Having an account is safer than keeping large amounts of money in your home, car or carrying it around with you. In the event of a disaster or robbery, since your money is insured, you’ll be able to get it back if it is in a bank. If it is in your wallet/purse or home and you are robbed or your home burns down, the money is gone forever.

It is also more convenient, because you will always have 24/7 access to your money, either online, at an ATM, or at a branch during business hours.


What if I get an account and the bank or credit union is robbed or goes out of business? What happens to my money?

You get your money back because your money is insured. Banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and required to display the FDIC sign. Credit Unions are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which is administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and are required to display the official NCUA insurance sign.

In the event of a disaster, robbery or if the bank or credit union closes, since your money is insured, you’ll be able to get it back if it is in a bank or credit union.


How will the bank or credit union protect me against identify theft?

Banks and Credit Unions will try to always protect a customer from identity theft by verifying that customer’s identity and reviewing customer’s account to for any unusual changes in your account activity. For instance, if your account activity shows that you mostly spend money to pay bills and on local activities, but suddenly shows large transactions in Las Vegas, that might be a red flag. Your bank or credit union may contact you to make sure that your account is not being used by someone else.

You can also protect yourself by placing a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports, and review the report carefully. The alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in your name or make changes to your existing accounts. The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have toll-free numbers for placing an initial 90-day fraud alert; a call to one company is usually enough:

Equifax 1-800-525-6285
Experian 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
TransUnion 1-800-680-7289


Can my family members access my account without my permission?

No. They cannot. As the owner of that account, only you can authorize another person to access the account and it must be in writing and on file with the bank or credit union. This is usually done with a form at any bank or credit union.

 

 

 

I’ve heard people say that banks and credit unions have a lot of fees. What are the fees for and how can I avoid them?

There are some fees involved with accounts at both banks and credit unions. The fees may be charged for several different reasons including but may include:


  • Monthly service charge, may also be referred to as monthly account maintenance fee
  • Minimum balance fee
  • Overdraft, NSF, Insufficient funds fee, returned deposit fee
  • ATM fees
  • Lost debit card fee

Many times the fees can be avoided by meeting certain criteria. This can be as simple as maintaining a minimum balance every month, adding direct deposit or having a loan with that institution.

It’s always best to research financial institutions’ fees based on your account needs.

Most banks, both big and small, require you to pay a monthly fee for your checking account unless you agree to bank online, sign up for additional accounts and services, or maintain a minimum balance each month. Does that sound complicated? It doesn’t have to be. Of course, you’ll want to review your account terms and conditions carefully for full details, but here are six of the most common and painless strategies for keeping your checking account truly free at most banks.

Bank online.
Most banks offer the ability to conduct basic banking on-line thus saving you a trip to the bank branch. These on-line accounts save banks a ton of money, so they often have the best terms and conditions. Many checking accounts have no minimum balance requirement and will waive the monthly fee if you agree to do all of your banking using the Internet and ATMs. If you’re comfortable using a computer and don’t mind speaking with customer service representatives online and over-the-phone only, online banking is a great way to keep your checking account free.

Meet the minimum or average balance requirements.
This is the most common way to avoid the monthly fee at banks. Better yet, it’s often the only thing you need to do, and it’s a good incentive to save money. So, always keep that minimum dollar amount and don’t touch it except in emergencies. The minimum amount required varies but can be as low as $50

Sign up for direct deposit.
If you can’t maintain the minimum monthly balance requirement, you may qualify for free checking by authorizing one or two direct deposits to your account each month. If you get a regular paycheck, your employer or sponsoring agency can help you set it up. Like a minimum balance requirement, direct deposit encourages you to keep money in your account, and banks like that.

Don’t opt into overdraft protection.
Thanks to the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, bank customers must now choose whether or not they want to opt into overdraft protection. If you have a bank account, you might have received letters from your bank explaining it’s there to protect to you, but don’t be fooled! It’s usually not worth it.

Sure, it’s embarrassing when a purchase is denied, like when you don’t have enough money in your account to buy a cup of coffee. But what is worse? Getting denied at the checkout counter or paying for the coffee plus the $35 fee? Remember, when you overdraw your account, you’re still responsible for paying the original cost of your purchase plus any penalty fees. The average overdraft fee is $20 to $30 per transaction.

Switch to a better bank.
Don’t like the way your bank is treating you? Can’t set up direct deposit or meet the minimum monthly balance requirement? It’s probably time to switch banks. Take a look at what’s available in your neighborhood; your local credit union or community bank may be able to offer you a better deal.

See if your lifestyle, age or other status can get you a better deal.
Are you a college student? A senior? A veteran? Your bank may have a checking account just for you. If you aren’t aware of any special discounts at your bank or potential bank, it never hurts to call and ask, especially if you’ve been a loyal customer.


What does the money paid in fees go toward?

Most financial institutions now offer a variety of products and services to their customers or members. In order to maintain these products and services the financial institutions will incur costs such as computers, software, and employees, the fees charged to a customer cover these costs.


Does the Bank On Shreveport checking account have fees?

Yes, there could be fees involved with a Bank On Shreveport checking account. It will depend on the financial institution. However, all participating financial institutions have created an account that has fees which are considered affordable and are often much lower that what is offered normally. Every participating financial institution must adhere to the fee guidelines set forth by Bank On Shreveport.

Be sure to ask questions and be an informed consumer when selecting a financial institution. It is your right to make sure that you are comfortable and understand all details before making a decision.

 

How can improving my credit help me?

  • Gives you the ability to rent or buy things you want or need.
  • Saves you money by making it possible to borrow money at a low interest rate. The better your
  • credit the lower the interest rate on loans will be (for cars, homes, credit cards, and more).
  • Opens up opportunities for getting a better job. Some employers, especially federal government, look at credit history when making hiring decisions.
  • Improving your credit may make it easier to open a checking or saving account.
  • Reduces stress of worrying about creditors calling for a payment or you getting sued and having
  • your wages garnished.
  • Gives you the ability to borrow money for large purchases and emergencies.
  • Builds character as how you view yourself and how others see you.
  • Insurance companies will view you as less of a risk and be more willing to offer you insurance at a lower rate.
  • Utility companies will also view you as less of a risk and be more willing to turn on your utilities without a deposit or with a lower deposit.

How can I improve my credit?

  • Get copies of all three of your credit report:
    •  Equifax 1-800-525-6285
    • Experian 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
    • TransUnion 1-800-680-7289
  • You are entitled to a free credit report annually from each of the above companies. The credit report will list any and all inquiries made into your credit, your creditors and the amounts owed and other information. For an additional fee you can also receive your credit score, which is one of the main ways that you can determine if your credit is good or needs some work. Some financial education providers recommend requesting one report every 4 months from one of the three main companies, instead of getting all three at once. This allows you to keep
  • Review your reports for accurate and inaccurate information.
  • Contact your creditors on and dispute any inaccurate information. All creditors have a process
  • for handling disputes.
  • File a dispute on inaccurate information to the credit reporting agencies. Be sure that you can prove your claims. All credit reporting agencies have a process for handling disputes and will contact the creditor directly regarding your claims.
  • Send a debt validation request to creditor if there is a dispute concerning whether a debt is your or not.
  • If you have missed payments, get current and stay current.
  • Understand the statute of limitations for the state you live in and the state the debt was created in, to better know how to negotiate on collections and charge off debts.
  • Understand your rights as a consumer.
  • Prepare a realistic budget/spending plan and stick to it.
  • Contact your creditors.
  • Pay up past due accounts.
  • Pay your bills on time.
  • Minimize outstanding debts.
  • Keep credit card balances below 35% of your credit limit.
  • Do not close unused credit card accounts.
  • Do not open a number of new credit cards that you don’t need, just to increase your available credit.
  • Start working on paying off collection and charge off accounts.
  • Negotiate with creditors to pay off debts at a lower amount by asking them to reduce late fees
  • or interest that has built up or allows you to pay off the debt in installments.
  • Write an explanation letter to creditors that expresses why debts have not been paid, shows an interest in becoming current and what you are willing to do to become current.
  • Negotiate a debt-management plan.
  • Apply for and open new accounts only as needed.
  •  Manage credit cards responsibly and research which credit cards are best for you.
  • Re-establish credit if you’ve had problems.
  • Seek professional help from a reputable consumer credit counseling agency.

Will opening an account help my credit?

New accounts will lower your average account age. This is the average length of time that you’ve had open credit accounts. Lowering this average will have a larger effect on your score if you don’t have a lot of other credit information.

Also, taking on a lot of account in a short period of time can look risky if you are a new credit user. Keep in mind that when opening a new account this will generate an inquiry, since new creditors will check your credit report. This inquiry will drop your credit scores another three or more points. If you need to open a new account start with your bank or credit union by borrowing against your savings.

 

Where can I go to learn how to manage a checking or savings account?

You can attend a local free Financial Literacy class at any of our participating financial education providers. These include community organizations, non-profits, and local banks and credit unions. See our Financial Education Providers page for details. You can also get strategies and advice from trustworthy sources on the internet.

A financial education provider can come in many different shapes and sizes. They can be: financial institutions, universities/community colleges, adult education providers, schools or other educational service providers, military bases, extension service professionals, community-based organizations, faith-based groups, employment and/or training service providers, governmental agencies, and other organizations. Many also offer web-based learning or you may be able to locate an organization in your local area.


Why should I go to a financial education class?

Financial education programs teach people how to manage money, increase savings, protect assets, and work towards financial security.

Understanding basic financial principles helps people avoid mistakes that will keep them from attaining financial security for themselves and their families. Financial education gives people who want or need it a valuable introduction to the benefits of doing business with mainstream financial institutions and how to avoid or stop a dependency on payday lenders or check-cashers.


What can I expect if I attend a financial education class?

You can expect to cover topics such as spending plans and savings, banking and loans, how to get your free credit report, how to read your credit report, how to build or rebuild ‘good’ credit, recordkeeping, taxes and tax credits, consumer protection against predatory lending and financial scams, identity theft, buying a house, foreclosure prevention, and insurance, just to name a few.

In today’s environment, financial education takes on added importance, as it provides consumers with the tools to make sound financial decisions. Among other things, financial education gives consumers knowledge about budgeting, saving and investing, choosing credit products, and protecting themselves against fraud. Financial education also benefits the broader economy by making citizens more financially stable.

 

What are payday lenders, check-cashers, and pawn shops?

Payday lenders: Payday lenders offer quick cash, but at a steep price. They encourage borrowers to roll over the loan when it is due. When you roll it over, the dollar cost escalates due to additional fees being added on top of the original loan amount. By doing this, interest rates can be as high as 788%. This creates an endless cycle that most people cannot stop.

Check-cashers: Check cashing centers will cash your check for you without having a bank account, but it is usually at a fee of 3%-5% of the amount of the check. This can add up significantly over a person’s lifetime. On average, a person can spend thousands of dollars in fees over their lifetime if they regularly use a check cashing company.

Pawn Shops: Pawn shops will buy personal items from you such as jewelry, electronics, musical instruments, tools, etc. in return for quick cash. Most pawn shops will enter into a contractual agreement where they will hold on to the item for a specific period of time. If you have not repaid the loan by the end of that time period, the pawn shop will put the item up for sale.


What is the average cost of using a check cashing service?

Most check-cashing businesses charge a fee of 3%-5% of the amount of the check in order to cash it. If you were to get paid a $1,000 bi-weekly (which is 26 times a year) and it was to cost you 3% every time you cashed your paycheck, then you would pay $780 a year in fees. If they were to charge you 5% every time you cashed your paycheck, you would pay $1,300 a year in fees. What else could you do with that money?


Is it cheaper to have an account with a bank or credit union than it is to go to a check-cashing business?

Yes, it is. Most banks and credit unions charge a flat monthly fee for a checking account in order to maintain it. They do not charge you to cash your check using your account. Plus, you have the added benefit and convenience of having your check directly deposited into your account instead of carrying around a lot of cash with you, which can be dangerous. Check-cashing companies will charge you a fee of 3%-5% to every time you cash a check with them. This can add up tremendously over your lifetime. If you were to pay $1,300 a year in check-cashing fees for 20 years, you will have paid $26,000 just in fees.


I’m stuck in a cycle of borrowing and paying off my loans with a check casher or pawn shop to cover my bills. How do I stop?

Getting a small dollar loan installment from a bank or credit union is usually much less expensive than the alternative financial service providers listed above. On the surface it can be hard to see but loans from these alternative lenders are much more costly than you might think.

For example, let’s assume you have a 2-week payday loan for $200 and you are paying $30 every two weeks ($60 monthly) to renew the loan. Over a period of one year you would have paid $720 in fees ($30 x 26 bi-weekly renewal fees) and the $200 original loan is still not paid off and must be paid. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on this loan is approximately 391%.

On the other-hand, let’s say that you decide to borrow a $200 small dollar loan from a bank or credit union at nearly 18% APR. If you make monthly payments of $60, your $200 loan would be paid off completely in 4-5 months. Even if you paid $30 per month instead of $60 your $200 loan would be paid off completely in 8-9 months. Compare that to a year of renewing a payday loan.

If you currently have high-cost (high fees or interest rate) payday loan debts consider contacting one of the Affordable Small Dollar Loan Lenders listed on our website. Check with these lenders to see if you can save by re-financing your outstanding payday or other alternative financial service loans.

If you have an emergency in the future apply for a lower-cost loan first with one of the Bank On Shreveport lenders before going to the higher-cost payday lenders, pawn shops, car title lenders and tax refund anticipation lenders. Also consider attending one of our free Pay-Yourself-First workshops to learn how to save and build up a financial cushion for future emergencies and unforeseen expenses. The workshop tips will help to prevent you from needing to borrow money for future emergencies.

 

 

Why do I need to monitor my account?

Anyone with a bank account should monitor the transactions or activity that occurs on their account. Access to your account will help keep you informed about your account, and will help you manage your banking relationship. By monitoring your account, you will know if and when purchases clear and be able to quickly pick up on any errors on your account. Monitoring your account is KEY to keeping your account in good standing with your bank or credit union.


What is a transaction?

A transaction is any activity that takes place on your account. This includes checks that are written, deposits that are made, ATM withdrawals, debit card purchases and any other electronic transactions.


Can I actually see these transactions taking place on my bank account?

Yes. Online access is like having a window into your account at any time.


How often am I allowed to access my account online?

You can check you account daily if you choose to do so. With online banking, you will have access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How much does it cost?

Most banks and credit unions will offer this service to its customers at no charge.


Is internet banking difficult for a person with limited computer skills?

No. Internet banking programs are designed with the needs of customers in mind, so most programs are very user friendly.


How do I access my personal bank account information?

You will be provided with confidential log-in information such as a personal identification number or username and password. It is VERY IMPORTANT that this information NOT be shared with anyone. Anyone that has your log-in information will have access to your online account and will be able to make transactions.


What if I have trouble with my online banking access? Will someone be able to help me?

Yes. You should contact the bank or credit union where your account is located using the customer service number that was provided to you when the account was opened or that is listed on the website. Other ways to contact your bank or credit union for help w/ online banking include: emailing customer service or chatting with customer service through the bank or credit unions website. There is usually a “contact us” page that offers this information on the website.


Is internet banking safe?

Yes. Internet banking is safe, but remember that you must not share your confidential log-in information with anyone. Your access information should NEVER be written down! For security purposes, it should always be memorized. Internet banking is safe because banks and credit unions have secure websites that protect the customer and the institution and keep unwanted persons (hackers) or things (computer viruses) out.


What should I do if I have a question about a transaction on my account?

You should contact the bank or credit union where your account is located IMMEDIATELY. It is your right as an account holder or member to ask questions. Do not be afraid to get more details about activity on your account.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What types of payments can be made by Direct Deposit?

Any ongoing, regularly-scheduled payment, including:

  • Salary payments from your employer, Benefit checks from the federal government, such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Civil Service, Railroad Retirement and Veterans payments, Benefits issued by state governments, such as retirement and unemployment payments, Pension payments, and
  • Income from your investments, such as certificates of deposit, annuities and mutual funds.

How do I begin using direct deposit?

Ask your employer or government agency if they offer direct deposit. It’s a very simple process to get started. If they don’t offer direct deposit, encourage them to offer it. Many employers are beginning to offer direct deposit to employees.


How is money deposited into my account?

The payer’s (your employer or benefit provider) bank will electronically tell your bank to add the amount of your check to your account on a set date. Your bank will then deposits this money into your account and charge the payer’s bank account. The money will come directly from the payer’s bank account to the bank. After setting direct deposit up with your employer or benefit provider, you will not have to do anything more, unless you want to make changes. You don’t need to have an account at the same bank as your employer in order to get direct deposit either.


How can I be sure my deposit was made?

You will get a payment stub in writing or electronically from your employer that lets you know that the money owed to you was sent to your account. If another type of payer doesn’t provide such a stub or notice, your bank will notify you within two days after it receives the deposit or will provide you with a telephone number that you can use to check the status of your deposits. The deposit will also be shown on your monthly bank statement.


What if there is a difference between the amount on my bank statement and the amount on the payment stub or deposit notice that I received from the payer?

Notify your bank and your payer immediately. You have up to 60 days from the date of your account statement to notify your bank in person, by telephone, or in writing of an incorrect deposit amount. If the bank needs more than 10 business days to investigate and resolve the situation, it must add the amount owed to you to your account during the investigation.


Can I stop using direct deposit if I change my mind?

Yes. Just contact the payer and they will tell you how to cancel the service.


Can the payer take money out of my account or get confidential information about me through my bank?

Generally, no. Only you can approve the withdrawal of money from your account, and the payer only has access to the information you provided. However, if your employer pays you too much by mistake (e.g., if it sends two deposits to your account for one pay period), it can reverse the incorrect payment without notifying you within five business days of making the payment. Receiving your money by direct deposit is actually more confidential than being paid by check because fewer people are involved in the delivery and deposit of your payment.


What is Direct Deposit?

Direct deposit is a safe and easy way to have your money deposited directly into your checking or savings account. When you use direct deposit, you allow a company or organization to electronically transfer money into your bank account. This could be your paycheck, a benefits check or money from some other source.