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Keeping Your Account Balanced

Helping you, our member, achieve financial success is the mission of BFCU. One of the basics of achieving financial goals is successful checking account management. Here are some tips you may find helpful.

What is a checking account?

A checking account is a contractual relationship between you and your credit union, with each party having specific responsibilities.

  • The credit union holds your money in a safe place & helps facilitate purchases
  • You are responsible for handling your account wisely by not overspending the money you have in your account

Rejected or Bounced Checks

If you write a check for more than is in your account, the check will be rejected when it comes in for payment. The check will be sent back to the person who deposited it and you will be charged an NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) fee for "bouncing" it. The merchant you wrote the check to will also charge a returned check fee. Do not write a check before you make a deposit, counting on the "float" time doesn't work. With the electronic nature of banking, a check can clear the credit union almost immediately. It is also important to remember any pre-authorized electronic drafts scheduled to hit your account.

Overdraft Protection

BFCU offers Overdraft Protection through your savings account or Overdraft Line of Credit. If you write a check for more than is in your account and you have funds available in the designated overdraft protection account, a transfer will be made to cover the item. A fee will be assessed.

Keeping Track

Online Banking as well as Mobile Banking access is available to members free of charge. You may also use the CardValet app to monitor your card activity. These are excellent tools to incorporate into your account management routine. It is important that you keep track of your deposits (credits) or checks you write, debit card charges, ATM withdrawals and fees (debits) in a check register. Record the following in your check register:

  • Check number (this alerts you if a check is missing in sequence)
  • Date you wrote the check or made the deposit
  • Who you wrote the check to
  • What you wrote the check for
  • The amount of the check

Balancing your statement

Each month BFCU will send you a statement detailing the activity in your account, This includes all the checks you wrote, ATM withdrawals, deposits, debit card charges, fees and any other activity on your account during the month. It is important that you carefully review this statement to make sure it agrees with your records. For your convenience, BFCU eStatements are available.

Balancing Tips

  1. Mark off in your check register every item that appears on your statement. If there are items on your statement that are not listed in your check register, first determine if it is accurate. You may have forgotten to record something in your check register. If the item is correct, list it in your check register. If you believe the item is correct and you suspect an error was made, contact the credit union.
  2. Use monthly reconciliation worksheet at the end of your BFCU account statement.
  3. List the deposits and other credits that are in your check register but are not on your statement. Add these to your ending balance.
  4. List the checks, ATM withdrawals, fees and other debits that are on your check register but not listed on the statement. Subtract these from your balance in step 3 to get your new ending balance.
  5. Write down the balance in your checkbook
  6. List deposits that are on the statement but are not in the check register. Add these to your checkbook balance.
  7. List the checks, ATM withdrawals, fees and other debits that are on your statement but are not listed in your check register. Subtract these from your balance in step 6 to get your new ending checkbook balance.
  8. These totals should now be the same. If they aren't re-check everything again and again until you see the error. If all else fails, re-add your checkbook. If you still can't find the error, ask for assistance from the credit union.

Checking Account Management - Learn More

Adapted from article by BALANCE