As more and more Americans, and our own members, struggle to make ends meet, many find themselves in a cash crunch. Some have turned to pay-day lenders to help get them through the “crunch.” At First Californian, we want to make sure our members have other options; Courtesy Pay is one of those.
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For a small fee, members can take their account negative to help with small emergencies until they get paid. No more worries about return check fees or the embarrassment of not having enough funds to cover your checks.
About Courtesy Pay
Courtesy Pay is a service that adds a measure of protection to your checking account. Courtesy Pay may cover checks, Bill Payer items, electronic transactions and ACH items that would overdraw your account, up to your approved limit, for one fee per covered overdraft transaction. That means, instead of returning a check because of insufficient funds, First Californian may pay your check. Also, if you ask us, or “opt-in,” Courtesy Pay may cover purchases made with your ATM or debit card from your checking account, preventing embarrassment in the check-out line or a restaurant.
Additionally, Courtesy Pay:
- Saves Money – No merchant fee for a returned check, thus doubling your penalty
- Saves Your Reputation – Eliminates the embarrassment of a ”bounced check”
- Protects your good credit history
- Protects you from paying the high interest rates charged by ”Payday Lenders”
How Does Courtesy Pay Work?
- We may pay overdrafts on your checking account, up to a limit of $500, including the amount of the overdrawn item(s) and the Courtesy Pay fee(s).
- There is no fee unless you use the service. If you do, the fee for each check, Bill Pay item, electronic transaction or ACH item that draws your account negative is $20. If you opt-in to have your ATM or debit card purchases covered, the fee for each ATM or debit purchase is also $20. This $20 is in contrast to the $25 fee for returning an item.
- You have up to 15 days to bring your account current.
- You do not need to apply or provide additional signatures for the Courtesy Pay service. It is a privilege available to our members in good standing and meet qualifications.
- Paying overdrafts remains at our discretion, so we do not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay a transaction.
Establishing a Courtesy Pay
First Californian provides Courtesy Pay service only for personal checking accounts. An account becomes eligible after it has been open for 90 days. The account also must be in “good standing,” defined as A) Making regular deposits sufficient to cover transactions; B) Bringing the account to a positive balance at least once every 15 days or less; C) Having no legal orders outstanding on the account; D) Having no delinquent loans; E) Member must be at least 18 years of age. If you do not maintain your account in good standing, we may stop the Courtesy Pay service. If you are unsure whether your account is covered by Courtesy Pay, give us a call at 1.877.992.8663 or 951.755.5572.
You must tell us if you do not want us to pay your overdrafts using Courtesy Pay, or “opt-out.” If you receive a direct deposit social security or other federal benefit check, you must opt-out if you do not want us to apply those funds to repay an overdraft.
Alternate Overdraft Protection
If you have established other overdraft protection methods, such as an Overdraft Line of Credit or automatic transfer from other accounts, we always look to pay any overdraft by those methods first. The reason we do this, is the other two options may be less expensive than Courtesy Pay. We encourage our members to add overdraft protection. Please contact us at 951.755.5572 or visit the branch nearest you to arrange.
Here are some questions you may ask about our Courtesy Pay:
At First Californian, there are three ways to avoid overdrafts. Please choose the best option(s) for you to make certain you are covered!
1. A Overdraft Line of Credit
2. Automatic transfer from your other accounts
3. Courtesy Pay
You may take advantage of all three options if you like. We will always look to pay any overdraft by using your line of credit or automatic transfer from other accounts first, before paying your overdraft utilizing Courtesy Pay and imposing the Courtesy Pay fee for each overdraft we pay.
Yes, we will apply a partial transfer first. For example, if there is a $150 overdraft item, and there is only $75 remaining in savings, we will apply the $75 from savings and then the remaining $75 from Courtesy Pay. You may select whether we transfer from your line of credit first, or your other account transfer first.