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Checking Dos and Don'ts

A checking account can be a little scary if you're not sure what you should and shouldn't do. Read through these checking account do's and don'ts to help you understand how to make the most of your checking account experience!

  • Only write checks for money you have available in the account.
  • Balance your checkbook, including debit card usage, ATM transactions and fees. Update your checkbook register whenever you spend or deposit money.
  • Review your monthly bank statement each month. This will help you find any mistakes or missed entries. If you don't review each month, you'll have a much harder time finding errors.
  • Ask the credit union or bank about their fees to avoid any unpleasant surprises.  Check out FORUM's Student Survival Account.
  • Take advantage of Overdraft Protection. Typically, overdraft protection means that your checking account is linked to your savings account. If you inadvertently write a check for more than you have in your checking account, the money is automatically taken from your savings to cover the check.
  • Use direct deposit to deposit your paycheck. This means your check is automatically deposited into your account by your employer's financial institution. The money get to your account faster and saves you the hassle of taking your check into the credit union or bank to deposit.
  • Don't play the "float" game! The "float" is the time delay between when a check is deposited and when the money becomes available or is withdrawn from your account. Be sure the funds you deposit are available in your account before you write checks!
  • Don't forget to stop any automatic payments from being taken out before you close your account.
  • Don't forget to write down all ATM withdrawals or debit card transactions. If you can't write them down immediately, put the receipt for the transactions in your checkbook as a reminder to write it down.
  • Don't ever give anyone else your PIN number!
  • Don't post-date checks. They may be cashed immediately and you want to be sure they money is available in your account.

What questions do you have about checking accounts?

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Posted: 3/19/2011 with 0 comments

Categories: Education, Kids and Money, Students

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