Navy Federal Credit Union Overdraft Fee Guide
Last updated July 23, 2021
Table of Contents
What Is an Overdraft Fee?
Financial institutions issue you an overdraft fee when you don’t have enough money in your account to complete a transaction but the bank or credit union pays for the transaction anyway. Navy Federal Credit Union has three different ways of handling transactions that overdraw your account:
- Overdraft Savings Transfer: NFCU automatically transfers funds from a connected savings account. For this type of transfer, NFCU does not charge a fee.
- Optional Overdraft Protection Service (OOPS): An opt-in service that allows NFCU to cover various transaction types when you do not have enough funds in your account to cover a purchase. If you opt into OOPS and overdraw your account, NFCU may charge you an overdraft protection fee.
- Checking Line of Credit (CLOC): NFCU applies your overdraft transaction to a linked line of credit, which requires credit approval. In this situation, NFCU can issue you an overdraft fee, but it may cost less than an OOPS fee.
If you opt into OOPS, you have the option of allowing NFCU to cover:
- Checks, ACH transactions, automatic bill payments, transactions made using your checking account number
- ATM transactions and debit purchases
- All of the above
NFCU is not obligated to cover any transactions that overdraft your account, regardless of transaction type or overdraft protection status. The decision is ultimately at the credit union’s discretion.
How Much Does an Overdraft Fee Cost at Navy Federal Credit Union?
The cost of an overdraft fee at NFCU varies depending on which services you are opted into.
If you overdraw your account, NFCU will first attempt to pull funds via Overdraft Savings Transfer (free) or Checking Line of Credit (varies, may cost less than a transfer under OOPS).
In the event that you do not have a connected savings account or line of credit, NFCU will resort to OOPS if you have opted in. An overdraft fee under OOPS costs $20 per transfer.
If you overdraw your account by $5 or less, NFCU will not issue you an overdraft fee. You can also only incur one overdraft protection fee per day.
Even if you are not opted into overdraft protection, you may still receive a fee on certain transactions that overdraw your account. If you write a check or make an ACH debit transaction without sufficient funds in your account, NFCU can decline the transaction and charge you a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee, which costs $29 per transaction.
In order to qualify for OOPS, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be an NFCU member for at least 90 days
- Have no delinquencies or legal orders against your NFCU accounts
Navy Federal Credit Union can still charge you an overdraft protection fee even if you aren’t opted into OOPS. This can occur if the credit union authorizes a transaction in advance or places a hold on your account for an amount lower than the actual transaction amount.
Overdraft protection can help if you’d like peace of mind knowing that your transactions can be covered even if you don’t have enough funds in your account. However, overdraft protection is not mandatory; in fact, you could save a ton of money by not opting in.
Before opting in, carefully consider whether OOPS is the right decision for you. One option to cut down on potential overdraft charges is to only opt into OOPS coverage for checks, ACH transactions, automatic bill payments, and transactions made using your checking account number, and not opt in for ATM transactions and debit purchases.
How to Avoid an Overdraft Fee
Overdraft fees are one of the most common charges detected on Cushion customers’ accounts, but there are small actions that you can take to avoid them:
- Keep an eye on the balances and charges of your primary and linked accounts.
- Sign up for low-balance notifications.
- Carefully consider whether you should opt into overdraft protection.
How to Get an Overdraft Fee Refund
Even if all precautionary steps have been taken, overdraft fees still happen. Fortunately, there are ways to reverse the penalties. First, you could try to negotiate your overdraft protection transfer fees on your own. You could also sign up for Cushion’s ⚛️ Fee Genius and optional 💭 Fee Negotiation add-on for assistance with monitoring and negotiating your fees.
If you plan to negotiate on your own, here are some steps that you can take to optimize your chances of getting a refund.
1. Prepare your information
Name, address, bank account number, and the fees that you’d like to negotiate.
2. Introduce yourself
“Hello. My name is [your name], and I recently received an overdraft fee on my account. I’m contacting you to see if you would be willing to refund this fee.”
3. Prepare your points of leverage
Have you been financially affected by COVID-19? Is this overdraft a rare occurrence? Are you a loyal customer who has banked with the institution for an extended period of time? Do you have multiple accounts with the bank? Do you make regular deposits?
4. Be patient, persistent, and prepared not to get a refund every time
The representative that you’re speaking with likely didn’t write the rules, so be as kind and considerate as possible throughout the process. You also shouldn’t hesitate to press the issue if you initially hear “no” — your points of leverage come in handy here. Success can depend on the representative that you’re working with. If you’re having trouble with one agent, try asking to speak with a branch manager or calling back later to speak with someone new. Unfortunately, you might also lose some negotiations. Try not to get discouraged. Instead, focus on what you can do going forward to avoid overdraft fees.