Understanding Overdrafts

Overdrafts may occur when items presented for payment from your account exceed your available balance. These items include checks, debit card purchases, ATM withdrawals or electronic payments. Overdrafts can happen for a number of reasons. Anything from an unexpected emergency to a balancing error can cause you to draw on funds that are not available in your account.

At Eastern Bank, we provide solutions that 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 incurring overdraft fees and to pay overdraft transactions if the need arises. It is important to learn about all the options available and determine which ones you need in order to successfully manage your account.


You can take steps to try to avoid overdrafts. 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. Using the tools below will help you stay on top of your account balance and avoid costly overdrafts.

Your Monthly Statement
Each month, we send you a statement outlining all the transactions that were posted to your checking account during the prior month. Reviewing this statement is the first step toward keeping track of what has cleared your account and what is still outstanding.

Online Banking
This is a valuable service that allows you to access your account anytime—and from anywhere you have an internet connection. Check your account as often as you need to, and remember to subtract from your available balance any pending transactions that are not listed on your online banking page. This will allow you to be aware of how much you can spend or withdraw.  Learn more >>

Account Alerts
Use online banking to set up automated alerts that will notify you whenever your selected criteria are met. For example, you can set up an alert that will email you once a day when your account drops below a specified starting balance.
Learn more >>

Mobile Banking
Stay connected to your account balance and banking activity with Eastern Bank’s secure mobile banking service.  
Learn more >>

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 Eastern Bank 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.



Balance Protection

Cash Reserve

Transfer/Advance Fee

$10 per transfer 1

$10 per advance 2, 3

Annual Participation Fee


$25 2


  1. Fee is waived for Premier Checking accounts. Transfers are made at the end of each business day in the total amount by which the deposit account is overdrawn. There is no fee on days when a transfer is not made.
  2. Fee is waived for Cash Reserve accounts linked to a Premier Checking account.
  3. Advances are made at the end of each business day in the total amount by which the deposit account is overdrawn. There is no fee on days when an advance is not made.

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

Standard Coverage
For qualified accounts, we will authorize and pay checks that overdraw your account, up to $500, resulting in a $35 overdraft fee per item, up to five fees per day. This account feature is enabled automatically at the bank’s discretion to accounts that have been open for at least 30 days. Once qualified, standard coverage will remain available to you so long as you:

1. Bring your account to a positive balance within 10 calendar days of an overdraft, and

2. Do not overdraw your account more than 75 times in a calendar year.

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

ATM/Debit Card Coverage
We will not authorize and pay overdrafts for debit card and ATM transactions unless you instruct us to do so. You may elect ATM/debit card coverage to authorize us to pay debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals that overdraw your account up to $500. You may elect ATM/debit card coverage at any time. This coverage is available only if the $500 standard coverage is enabled on your account. 

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, limited to five fees per day. 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 helping you make informed decisions, below is additional information to assist you in managing your account with respect to overdrafts.

Download these PDF: FDIC Guide to Preventing and Managing Overdraft Fees

Download these PDF: Overdraft Solutions Consumer Quick Guide

Download these PDF: 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 five per day) if your account is overdrawn by more than $5 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.