Overdrawn Account? Here’s The FIRST Thing You Should Do
(USNewsbreak.com) – Nothing creates panic and mental health spirals faster than seeing that your bank account has dropped into the negative. Whether you get a text message or app notice, figure it out when you go to pay for something vital like groceries, or happen to log in to check, finding out that your account is in the negative is a very scary situation. Once you experience the overwhelm of having this happen, it’s hard to know what to do, especially if you need cash as soon as possible.
Additionally, this can feel so demoralizing, and you know that your next paycheck, whenever it hits, will go in part to whatever kind of fees you’ve incurred if you’ve gone into the negative. This makes it so hard to get out of the hole if you’ve fallen behind. One punishment seems to be followed by nothing other than more — it’s a real domino effect.
Figure Out What Happened
Figuring out where things went wrong is a way to help you assess the situation, explain it to your bank if you ask for a reduction in fees, and prevent it from happening in the future. While it’s easy to figure out what triggered the overdraft, check the past week in your bank account — you’ll probably find an unexpected expense or two in there. Sometimes subscription services unexpectedly bill (or you thought you’d canceled them); other times the joint account holder might have spent without telling you. Whatever happened, figure it out so you can start to fix the problem.
Assess Fees and Policies
While you’re looking at what went wrong, it’s a good time to take a look at your bank’s fees and policies. Did something change? Some accounts charge to remain open after the initial year or once your balance drops below a certain amount, which means that you could have accrued a fee you didn’t expect. Examine any policy changes and call the bank as soon as you need clarification.
Ask for Forgiveness From Your Bank
Did your bank charge many overdraft fees in a row? If that’s the case, call them and ask if there is any way they can forgive the mistake, especially if it’s the first time it happened. They’ll be able to see that your next paycheck hits soon (most paychecks hit at regular intervals) and they know you’ll keep using the account. As if there is anything they can do to reverse the fees so you can make it until your next paycheck. Typically, they’ll waive multiple fees for first-time offenders, leaving you with a single $15-$25 fee. That can save you hundreds.
Hold Future Payments
Do you have more checks, transfers, or more coming in or going out? If possible, put a hold on everything immediately. Holding future payments or segmenting money, especially if you run gigs like Uber Eats, can ensure you keep running while you’re waiting for everything to resolve. After all, you still need food in the fridge and gas in the car, especially if you commute to work or rely on car-dependent gigs to make money.
Being in the negative is the worst. You can mitigate the damage by borrowing money from friends, understanding the overdraft issues, and communicating with your lenders and banks.Additionally, if possible, keep a small amount of money in cash somewhere safe and secure in your home. That way, if something ever happens to your bank account (including fraud or stolen money), you always have access to enough money to last the week and for any existing issues to work out.
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