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SAN FRANCISCO – After surveying 26 banks nationwide, a study from Consumer Action, a non-profit consumer organization, concluded that overdraft protection is a widely available and cost effective way for consumers to avoid the embarrassment and growing expense of bounced checks. To gauge the potential savings of overdraft protection, Consumer Action compared plans to ascertain what the cost would be if at one time during a year a bank customer bounced three checks totaling $125. The survey, conducted during March and April, found three common types of overdraft protection: savings-linked – fees saved by using overdraft protection ranged from $86.50 to $82.52; lines of credit – savings ranged from $89.71 to $31.50; and credit card-linked – savings ranged from $79-$100 to $37. The study found that the amount advanced or transferred to cover an overdraft varied widely by financial and type of overdraft protection.

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