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Avoiding Overdraft and NSF Fees

An overdraft occurs when you do not have enough money in your account to cover a transaction, but we pay it anyway. Georgia United can cover your overdrafts in two different ways:

1. Overdraft protection plans, such as a link to your other accounts, which may be less expensive than our standard overdraft practices. 

2. Standard overdraft practices, called Courtesy Pay, that automatically comes with your Unified Checking Account.

Understanding Your Account balance

We determine whether you have enough money in your account for purposes of assessing overdraft fees based on your available balance. It’s important to know your available balance can differ from your actual balance. 

  • Your actual balance is the actual amount of money in your account at any given moment in time. It may be referred to on your statement as “current balance” or simply “balance.” It reflects items that have been fully processed and actually posted to your account but not transactions that are still processing or pending. Some people say these transactions “have cleared my account."
  • Your available balance is usually a different number than your actual balance. Your available balance is the portion of your actual balance that is available for immediate withdrawal or to pay other debit items; it takes into account standard funds availability holds under our Funds Availability Policy, as well as any pending debits and credits we have received but not yet posted to your account (for example, preauthorized debit card transactions, pending checks, transfers, withdrawals or other holds on your account.) Items still in process or on hold may be referred to as “pending” in Online Banking. The available balance changes throughout the day as transactions occur.


Overdraft Protection Plans

Georgia United offers other ways to cover your overdrafts that may be less expensive than standard overdraft practices. You can tell us to “link” a savings or loan account to your checking account, so if you cause an overdraft, we will transfer money from your linked account to pay the overdraft.

A transfer fee of $5.00 will apply each time we transfer funds from your linked savings, checking or money market account. See your Membership and Account Agreement or Share Rate and Fee Schedule for more information.

If you link a line of credit or credit card account, amounts will be added to a line of credit or credit card in increments of $50.00. For example, if your transaction causes an overdraft of $5.00, $50.00 will be charged to your line or card. Fees will be added to the balance and interest will accrue on the entire balance at the rate disclosed in your line of credit or credit card agreement. See your credit card Truth-In-Lending Disclosure for details.

If there is not enough money in any of your linked accounts, your transaction may be rejected and the item will be returned to the merchant. A non‑sufficient fund (NSF) fee of $35.00 will apply each time we reject an item.

You can opt-in or opt-out of the overdraft protection plans at any time by contacting our Member Care Center. For more information, see our Overdraft Protection Plans agreement.


Courtesy Pay is a standard practice provided to eligible members with a Unified Checking Account to help cover unintended overdrafts. If you are in a situation where there is not enough money available in your account, Courtesy Pay may cover the costs of your automatic bill payments, checks and other transactions made using your checking account number. It does not automatically authorize and pay overdrafts for ATM or everyday debit card transactions; this requires a separate opt-in request.

Courtesy Pay is not a loan and is not subject to interest charges or late fees; however, items paid are subject to fees of $35.00 per transaction covered. Overdrafts are paid at the credit union’s discretion and it does not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay any type of transaction.

If you choose to opt-out of this service and incur an overdraft, a non-sufficient fund (NSF) fee of $35.00 will be charged each time we reject an item.

You can learn more about Courtesy Pay and see our Share Rate and Fee Schedule for the most current fees.


helpful account tools

Overdraft fees can be an unnecessary strain on your budget and financial well-being. With some vigilance, however, you can be free of overdraft and NSF fees and make the most of your money.

The best way to minimize overdraft fees is to monitor your account balance and ensure you have sufficient funds at all times. Tools such as Online Banking and the Georgia United Mobile App, are free to use and provide you with account access 24-hours a day. From here, you can set up online account alerts to be notified of transactions, deposits and balances on your account.

We also offer a variety of free financial calculators that can help you create a budget and analyze your expenses. Getting your spending under control and in line with your income is an essential element to building a healthy financial future.

We want you to feel in control of your finances. If you have questions specific to your own situation, please contact our Member Care Center or schedule an appointment and we will be happy to assist you. 


Updated March 1, 2022