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Understanding Overdrafts 

Sometimes, an unexpected emergency, expense or balancing error arises that might cause you to draw on funds that are not available in your account – resulting in an overdraft.  Overdrafts may occur when you write a check, use your debit card or make another type of withdrawal from your account.

At Eastern Bank, we provide solutions that can help you avoid overdrafts as well as tools that may allow an item to be paid even if it would overdraw your account.  These tools provide you with ways to Prevent an overdraft from occurring, to Protect your account from overdraft fees and to Pay overdraft transactions if the need arises.  Each of these tools is an important piece of Eastern Bank’s suite of overdraft solutions.  It is important to evaluate these tools to determine which are appropriate for you as a way to manage your account with respect to the possibility of an overdraft.

 

The easiest and least expensive way to avoid overdrawing your account is to prevent the overdraft from occurring.  Although most of our accounts do not have a minimum account balance requirement, we recommend that you keep a cushion in your checking account to protect against overdrafts and overdraft fees.  We provide you with a number of tools to help you stay on top of your account balances.

Your Monthly Statement
Each month, we send you a statement outlining all of the transactions that hit your checking account during the prior month.  Reviewing this statement using the account reconciliation page on the back of the first page is the first step to keeping on top of your balance.

Eastern HomeConnect® Online Banking
HomeConnect is a valuable service that allows you to access your account anytime; from anywhere you have an Internet connection. The more you know about what’s happening, the better able you will be to avoid overdraft or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees – especially when you remember to subtract any pending transactions that are not listed in HomeConnect from your available balance so you know the amount of money you can spend or withdraw.  Learn more >>

Account Alerts through HomeConnect
HomeConnect customers can set up automated alerts that will send an email whenever your selected criteria are met.  For example, you can set up an alert that will email you when your account drops below a specific balance.  To access account alerts, simply login to HomeConnect, go to the Customer Service page and select “Add an Alert”.  Learn more >>

Mobile Banking
Stay connected to your account balance and banking activity with Eastern Bank’s secure mobile banking service.  Get your account information via text message, your mobile browser or a free mobile app made for your smartphone. 1 
Learn more >>


 
1. To access your Eastern Bank accounts using mobile banking service, you must be enrolled in Eastern HomeConnect® online banking.  Text Banking does not require Internet access.  However, please check with your wireless service provider for details on its fees and charges for text messaging.  You will need Internet access on your wireless device to use all the features of the Mobile Web and Mobile App services.  Your wireless service provider may charge a fee for its Web services.  Please check with your wireless service provider for details on its fees and charges.

Sometimes, situations can arise where you might wish to have access to more money than you have available in your checking account.  To meet this need, Eastern Bank offers Balance Protection and Cash Reserve Line of Credit.


Balance Protection
Balance Protection allows you to set up an automated transfer between your checking account and another account.  As long as there is a sufficient balance in your attached account, Balance Protection will automatically transfer funds to cover any overdraft transactions in your checking account.

Balance protection adds convenience by automating the transfer process and ensuring that you never forget to transfer the right amount.

Cash Reserve Line of Credit
Available to credit-qualified customers, an Eastern Bank Cash Reserve Line of Credit gives you overdraft protection and the comfort of knowing your checks can be paid even if your checking account balance is “off” a little.


Fees:

 

Balance Protection

Cash Reserve

Transfer Fee

$5 per transfer *

N/A

Annual Participation Fee

N/A

$25 **

* There is no fee for Eastern Premier Checking and Premier Money Market Accounts.  There is no fee on days where your Balance Protection is not used.

** There is no fee if your account is linked to an Eastern Premier Account®.

Although it is best to avoid taking your account into overdraft status, we recognize that sometimes you would rather have your checks and other payments paid rather than returned. Having a check returned can create uncomfortable situations that many customers would rather avoid. As such, Eastern Bank offers overdraft payment features on all of our checking accounts.

Standard Overdraft Payment
As a standard practice that comes with your account, we may pay overdrafts for checks and other payments up to $500 for qualified customers.  Overdraft payment becomes available at the bank’s discretion to customers who have had an account in good standing for more than 3 months. Once qualified, overdraft payment will remain available to you so long as you:

1. Continue to make regular deposits (at least monthly) to your checking account
2. Bring your account to a positive balance within 10 calendar days of an overdraft
3. Do not overdraw your account more than 50 times in a 12 month period.

If, at any time, you decide that you do not want us to pay your overdraft transactions you may opt out of overdraft payments.


Extended Overdraft Payment
We will not authorize and pay overdrafts for debit card and ATM transactions unless you instruct us to do so. You may opt-in to extended overdraft payment at any time.


Overdraft and Return Item Fees
We pay overdrafts at our discretion, which means we do not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay any type of transaction.  There is no fee for the Overdraft Payment service if you don’t use it, but if your account becomes overdrawn by more than $5, you will be subject to an overdraft fee for each item.  If we return an item that would cause your account to be overdrawn, your account may be charged a Non-Sufficient Funds Return Item Fee. View Overdraft and Return Item Fees.





As part of our commitment to help you make informed decisions, below is additional information to assist you in managing your account with respect to overdrafts.

FDIC Guide to Preventing and Managing Overdraft Fees

Overdraft Solutions Quick Guide

Eastern Bank's Standard Overdraft Practices (PDF version)


What is an Overdraft Fee?
An overdraft fee is charged when you conduct a transaction and there is not enough money in your account to cover the transaction, but Eastern Bank authorizes the transaction.  This fee is charged for each overdrawn transaction (up to a maximum of 5 per day) if your account is overdrawn by $5 or more at the end of the day.  View Overdraft Fees.


What is a Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) Return Item Fee?
Eastern Bank may elect not to approve or pay the check or other withdrawal that would cause your account to be overdrawn. If so, we will decline the transaction or return it as unpaid and may charge you an NSF Return Item fee.  You can be charged a maximum of five overdraft and NSF Return Item fees in a single business day.  View NSF Return Item Fees.