Everyone knows how the banks keep forcing us to sign up for their overdraft protection service; we always thought that it was just another one of their ways to sell their banking services to us that we did never need. Now here we are, watching credit unions putting out hard-sell advertising trying to get us to sign up as well. For a modest fee of $29 for every overdrawn transaction, they make sure that your debit card never gets declined. Take the Truliant Credit Union of North Carolina. At first, they tried the gentle approach; their online advertisements sent you to a page that gave you information about overdraft protection, an option where you could get a credit line for much less money. Now their new ads practically pick you up and point you to the dotted line, to get you to accept their expensive service. So how come everyone’s all anxious to sign us up for these banking services now?
All of this rises from the new rules that come into effect starting July. It used to be that banks and other savings organizations could sneak up on you and sign you up for banking services that earned them a fat profit without your knowledge. With the new financial reform, this is no longer going to be possible. Expensive optional services like these are to be the opt-in kind from now on. They must be really hurting with the new laws; it must have been a big part of their income, signing us up for unnecessary overdraft services. And the way Truliant is acting now, it’s clear that the credit unions don’t absolutely have to be better than the banks all the time.
Banking services like overdraft protection aren’t necessary for most people. Most people have never had an overdraft in their lives. There’s a real need to hard-sell these – no one would buy them otherwise. You know that a bank or credit union is up to no good when it stops pushing the cheap credit line option, and places overdraft protection front and center.
Actually, the very term “protection” when used to describe an overdraft service is kind of a misnomer. If you try to use your debit card, you find that there is no money in it, there’s nothing that actually hurts you. You don’t get fined, you don’t get charged anything. There is no actual protection against anything that they’re offering you. If you ask any expert in the matter, he’ll tell you that the whole overdraft protection deal is a real scam. If you overdraw by as little as two dollars, you pay them $29 to cover it. Now if that isn’t a bad deal, what is?