No. of Recommendations: 0
From a quick poll on USAA website:

How many times did the average household pay an overdraft fee last year?
1
4
9
13


------------------------

...the average U.S. household with a banking account incurred nearly 13 overdraft fees in 2009, according to management advisory firm Bretton Woods Inc. Add it all up, and those fees cost Americans a whopping $38 billion they could've spent elsewhere...


------------------------

More than 1 per month is average? I guessed one total. I had no idea overdrafts were so common.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I got one in my life - at a time when I was working PT, going to grad school FT, and not sleeping at all. I forgot to transfer $ in to cover checks, and bounced my rent check of all things. I was so embarrassed I wrote a letter to my Landlord apologizing profusely.

It was bad having that happen once. I cannot imagine it happening every month!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
...the average U.S. household with a banking account incurred nearly 13 overdraft fees in 2009, according to management advisory firm Bretton Woods Inc. Add it all up, and those fees cost Americans a whopping $38 billion they could've spent elsewhere...


------------------------

More than 1 per month is average? I guessed one total. I had no idea overdrafts were so common.


That's the AVERAGE. So for every person here who never overdrafts, that means someone is overdrafting 26 times a year! Yikes!

-Steph
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
Well, it was asking about overdraft fees, not number of occasions.

For example Bob forgot that his paycheck was going to be deposited a day late because of the bank holiday. So he doesn't adjust the day his mortgage is taken from his checking account. Then he goes shopping with his family visiting for the holiday. While it was really only one day/occurrence, he gets hit with multiple overdraft charges while he was at the mall buying socks, getting a pretzel, treating his little sister to a few books, buying his movie ticket, and picking up the check for dinner after the movie. To most people that would count as one occasion, but it's 5 overdraft fees.

But yes, there are people who get hit with overdraft fees all the time because they can't or won't keep track of their money.

Lara Amber
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
It's hard to imagine, but there are people who struggle so much with their month to month that they are probably writing bad checks just to stay in their homes and feed their families.

A better study would probably be broken across household income levels.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I think Lara makes a good point. Probably no one gets one these days. If you have insufficient funds you get multiple fees, as multiple checks bounce.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I got one in my life

We had one situation with multiple fees one time, but it was the bank's fault. The paycheck had been direct-deposited, but the bank hadn't updated their system/records. It was years ago, and the local bank truly was local -- one of the bank employees was a neighbor and she stopped by the house with the appropriate paperwork to clear everything up.

I think my sons each had one occurrence when the check had been deposited and was ackknowledged in the telephone system, but got hit because of the hold period for the deposit.

One son got hit after an ATM withdrawal, thanks again to the hold period for the deposit.

"If there's no money, why did they let me make the withdrawal?" he said. Lesson learned about withdrawals and deposit hold periods.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
When things got bad a few years ago, in 2007, we probably ripped off 20 in a month a few times.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Well, it was asking about overdraft fees, not number of occasions.

True. And a good percentage of those overdraft fees get reversed, either a result of fraud/theft or bank error, or just by pleading to the bank. I would doubt a study with this sort of agenda would care to back those out.

- Erik
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
...the average U.S. household with a banking account incurred nearly 13 overdraft fees in 2009, according to management advisory firm Bretton Woods Inc.

Statements like this make me wonder how the study defines incurring fees and how it defines households.

I had an overdraft once, in the early 1980s, when I made a subtraction error in my checking register. If I'd done the arithmetic correctly, that purchase wouldn't have happened. It taught me to go for the larger minimum balance and interest bearing checking account. [For the youngsters out there, this was long before online banking and near real time balance availability.]

I don't think my daughter had any overdrafts in 2009. If she did, they were few enough and small enough that she handled them. In 2008 . . . whether you count daughter and me as one household or count us as two households, we were in aggregate over that average. Daughter was a slow learner. :(

Patzer
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 4
I think banks are generally being tricky with when deposits credit, etc. I wrote before about the deposit that didn't credit until the next day, and the check I wrote that same afternoon was withdrawn the same day. When I was inside the bank recently I noticed a teeny-tiny little sign that stated "deposits made after 7 AM would be credited the next business day." 7 AM? Are you kidding me? Every bank I've used in the past the time was 3 pm. Of course, it was my fault for not knowing, but still think it's a bit tricky, especially since the lobby isn't even open at 7am.

-pp
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
0 in this household because I always keep a few $1000's in my main checking account at all times, so it's pretty much impossible for me to overdraft it.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Maybe it is just the average of the respondents to their survey. We need to know more about the sampling technique before we believe it includes "everyone".

joycets they didn't ask ME
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 5
Bob forgot that his paycheck was going to be deposited a day late because of the bank holiday. So he doesn't adjust the day his mortgage is taken from his checking account. Then he goes shopping with his family visiting for the holiday. While it was really only one day/occurrence, he gets hit with multiple overdraft charges while he was at the mall buying socks, getting a pretzel, treating his little sister to a few books, buying his movie ticket, and picking up the check for dinner after the movie. To most people that would count as one occasion, but it's 5 overdraft fees.

Sounds like another reason to use credit cards, if you can manage em.

joycets
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
Well, it was asking about overdraft fees, not number of occasions.

For example Bob forgot that his paycheck was going to be deposited a day late because of the bank holiday. So he doesn't adjust the day his mortgage is taken from his checking account. Then he goes shopping with his family visiting for the holiday. While it was really only one day/occurrence, he gets hit with multiple overdraft charges while he was at the mall buying socks, getting a pretzel, treating his little sister to a few books, buying his movie ticket, and picking up the check for dinner after the movie. To most people that would count as one occasion, but it's 5 overdraft fees.


If Bob is living soooooooo paycheck to paycheck that he needs to time his deposits down to the day to make sure his mortgage get's paid on time... he should NOT be out shopping/spending with his family. Bob is a moron who is going to let his family down when he dies of shame and leaves them nothing.
Print the post Back To Top