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Home > Checking & Savings > CEO article on Overdraft Privilege

Overdraft privilege - a safety net for you

First South Financial implemented its Overdraft Privilege program (ODP) to provide you with a way to avoid some of the costs and hassles associated with checks or debit card transactions that would normally be returned for non-sufficient funds. Rather than returning the item, the program will pay the item and charge a fee. This saves you not only the additional fees charged by the merchant for the returned check or debit card transaction, but also the time it takes and the embarrassment to deal with a non-sufficient funds situation.

Here's an example of how it works:

John Q. Member has $100 in his checking account. A check he wrote for $150 attempts to clear his account his payroll arrives via direct deposit. John has Overdraft Privilege (ODP) in the amount of $300. Rather than being charged a $36 Non-Sufficient Funds fee plus a merchant returned check fee, his ODP will cover the $150 check and he'll only pay a $36 ODP fee. He will not have to pay any additional fees nor will he have to take the time to provide an alternative form of payment to the merchant.

Members who have had ODP cover a check or debit card transaction were most grateful that the program was in place. One member cites the time she miscalculated her checking account balance and caught the mistake after she had mailed her mortgage payment. If ODP hadn't been in place, her mortgage payment would have "bounced". And if the situation wasn't resolved in a timely manner, a late payment could have been reported to the credit bureaus. Additionally, there would have been extra fees she would have to pay to correct the error.

Overdraft Privilege is not a loan or a line of credit and should not be thought of as such. It is designed to protect your account should you make a mistake in calculating your balance or forget to record a transaction, just like the example shown above.

Please remember Overdraft Privilege should only be utilized as a last resort as the program can result in the accumulation of unnecessary fees if it is abused or overused. Use this service sparingly and carefully. There are many alternatives to this program which can save you fees such as:

  • Using your savings account, money market account, or line of credit to help cover any potential overdrafts that may occur
  • Using online banking, mobile banking or our 24-hour touch tone teller, which are all free, to check your balances at any time
  • Setting up eAlerts that will notify you by text and/or email of your current balance, large withdrawals, direct deposit postings, and much more
  • Talking to our staff about all your overdraft options

If you have questions regarding Overdraft Privilege, please contact us at 901.380.7400 or 800.872.3728, at,  or visit any one of our banking centers.

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