No one likes paying a credit union fee, and requesting refunds can be tiresome and even awkward. Left alone, these fees can really hurt your finances. If you have found that you are incurring credit union fees frequently, you may want to make a change to prevent these unnecessary costs going forward.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to avoid the most common credit union fees altogether. By following 4 simple steps, you can take charge of your finances and repurpose your hard-earned cash for what you truly need it for.
If you’re ready to wave goodbye to these pesky fees once and for all, you can minimize or eliminate credit union fees by following these simple guidelines.
#1: Avoid Out-of-Network ATMs
While ATM fees are usually only $1-$3 on average, these charges can quickly add up. ATM fees occur when you withdraw cash from an ATM outside of your credit union’s network. Generally, most credit unions have multiple in-network ATMs that you may use without incurring a fee. Contact your credit union by phone or go online to learn more about in-network ATMs in your area and strive to stick to those machines.
#2: Set Up a Payment Schedule That Prevents Overdrafts
One of the most common credit union fees is the overdraft fee. These fees are commonly charged when you haven’t kept track of how much you have in your checking or savings account, or when you have an automated bill that hits your account earlier than expected. The best thing you can do to avoid these fees is to balance your checkbook thoroughly and schedule the dates for subscription services a few days after you are generally paid. Keeping a monthly budget can also go a long way to avoiding these fees, especially if your paychecks are not always distributed on the same day each month.
#3: Ask Your Credit Union About Minimum Balance or Deposit Amounts
Monthly maintenance fees are common. However, like most credit union fees, they can be avoided. Ask your credit union about factors that waive this fee. Find out the specific amount you’ll need to keep in your account and how often the account will be checked. If not a specific amount, find out how many deposits or transactions are necessary to sidestep this fee.
#4: Request Digital Statements
Have you ever needed to request a credit union fee refund over a paper statement fee? These fees are less common, but they do happen. The best way to avoid paper statement fees is by receiving notifications and credit union banking statements electronically.