WASHINGTON-The federal financial institution regulators, including NCUA, announced the publication of a new resource encouraging consumers to avoid overdraft and bounced-check fees by being responsible with accounts. The message of the joint brochure, entitled Protecting Yourself from Overdraft and Bounced-Check Fees, is that the best way to avoid overdraft and bounced-check fees is to manage accounts wisely. Many banks, thrifts, and credit unions offer `courtesy overdraft protection’ or `bounce coverage’ plans so checks do not bounce and electronic transactions go through. However, most financial institutions charge a fee of $20 to $30 for each item covered, and bounce-coverage plans do not necessarily guarantee an overdraft will be covered. There could be less expensive alternatives. For example, a savings account may be able to be linked to a checking account to cover overages. Consumers also may be able to establish an overdraft line of credit or link a checking account to a credit card. A PDF version of the brochure is available at each agency’s Web site to print and distribute.

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