Friday, August 28, 2009

Principally Speaking Network

I was privileged to attend the first Principally Speaking Network meeting that was held earlier this week at Dynetics. The Schools Foundation has created this program designed to bring together principals and administrators from the school systems of Huntsville City, Madison City, and Madison County. The idea behind the program is to share resources and talents among the group. There was a very good turnout for the first meeting. Additional meetings are planned during the school year. North Alabama Educators Credit Union is a Contributing Sponsor of the Principally Speaking Network. Dynetics, another Contributing Sponsor, is providing a first class meeting facility for these meetings.

We are pleased to participate and assist area schools with this program. If you are interested in information about the Principally Speaking Network, please visit The Schools Foundation web site at .

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CO-OP ATM Network - 28,000+ Free ATM's

Our members with a VISA Debit Card or ATM Card now have over 28,000 ATM's available nationwide where an ATM withdrawal can be made without a fee. The credit union is now a member of the CO-OP Network, a shared network of ATM's throughout the country. In the Huntsville and surrounding areas, all Redstone Federal Credit Union ATM's and Publix Grocery Store ATM's will not charge a surcharge for an ATM withdrawal to members of NAECU. Please note - we do have an internal $0.50 fee for ATM balance inquiries at one of these ATM's so please utilize either our free 24-hour Memberlink audio response system or our free home banking system to monitor your available balance. ATM withdrawals from a CO-OP Network ATM are totally free since there is not a fee from the ATM owner or NAECU for the transaction.

To find a surcharge free ATM location near you, use the CO-OP ATM locator web site listed below;

There is also a method of retrieving available locations through a text message on your cell phone. Information on this access is available on the web link above. The CO-OP link will be posted on our home page for convenient access.
Members are also reminded that surcharge free cash can also be obtained by using the "cash-back" feature when making purchases at grocery stores and retailers. If you are already making a purchase anyway, it eliminates the need for a trip to the ATM.

Friday, August 14, 2009

FBI Fraud Alert Checklist

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has an excellent Fraud Alert Checklist on their web site to help consumers from becoming victims of check fraud. I would encourage members to print out the checklist, forward the web link to friends and relatives, or make the checklist available in an employee break room or common meeting area. Check fraud is a multi-billion dollar industry and consumers continue to receive these fake checks and become victims as a result. Consumer awareness to this type of fraud is the key to prevention. You might help someone from becoming a victim. Here is the link;

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Overdraft Privilege programs

When you offer checking accounts, there are times when items are presented for payment on an account that does not have sufficient funds to cover the item. This is called an overdraft. What happens when you have an overdraft? It really depends on what the credit union member has done in advance to prepare for this overdraft situation. The recommended course of action is to request an Overdraft Loan for the checking account. If a check is presented for payment on the account and there is not sufficient funds to cover the check amount, an Overdraft Loan will pay the check amount up to the approved limit on the Overdraft Loan. There is a small fee for the transfer and daily interest on the loan until the balance is paid. Members can also establish automatic share overdraft sources from other savings accounts within the credit union.

If there is not an Overdraft Loan or automatic share overdraft source on the account, the credit union has a dilemma on its hands. Does the credit union return the presented item for payment or pay the item? If the item is returned, an non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee of $25 will be charged PLUS the member will most likely receive a returned check fee by the vendor or merchant who accepted the check initially. A $50 check can quickly cost $100 or more if returned. Overdraft Privilege programs allow the credit union to cover (pay) the presented item up to a certain amount, but still charge the $25 NSF fee for the overdraft. This saves the member the returned check fee from the vendor or merchant PLUS avoids the embarrassment of a returned check item. The objective of Overdraft Privilege programs is to provide a safety net should an unexpected overdraft occur. Overdraft Privilege is not a loan though and should not be considered a line of credit. Overdraft Privilege is MORE expensive that traditional overdraft loan protection. This is why members are encouraged to apply for traditional overdraft loan protection to provide a more economical safety net should a mistake or emergency situation create an overdraft. Members are also encouraged to utilize the free services of home banking and 24-hour audio response to monitor their account balances and history.

Overdraft Privilege or "courtesy pay" programs have taken some heat in national news media articles recently. Much of the concern with Overdraft Privilege programs seem to center around the availability of access with VISA debit cards and ATM's. North Alabama Educators Credit Union does not provide access to Overdraft Privilege through these electronic channels. Our program provides for coverage of items already written or authorized by electronic draft. If these items were returned, the member would have expenses from the merchant or vendor associated with the item being returned. This can not be said for a denied VISA debit or ATM transaction.

In the end, it really is the member's responsibility to monitor their own accounts and prevent overdrafts when possible. Overdrafts do cost money. Members are encouraged to stay within their available balances and avoid costly overdrafts.