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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
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Current FAQs
Informing the public about the Federal Reserve

What can I do to prevent paying overdraft fees?

Bank account overdraft fees can be a source of unexpected costs for consumers. One of the best ways to avoid paying overdraft fees is to keep track of how much money you have in your checking account. Keep your account register up-to-date by recording all transactions when you make them.

The Fed has also worked to create rules for financial institutions that give you additional protection when your debit card or automated teller machine (ATM) transaction causes an account to be overdrawn. Under these rules, financial institutions are not allowed to charge overdraft fees for ATM and one-time debit card transactions unless you consent, or opt in, to the overdraft service for those types of transactions. Financial institutions must provide you with a notice that explains their overdraft services, including the associated fees, and your choices. Our "What You Need to Know: New Overdraft Rules" publication will help you understand how to use the information in the notice to make the best choices regarding overdraft services.

Related Information

Last update: August 2, 2013