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ESL Federal Credit Union Reduces All Overdraft Fees to $5 for Individuals and Businesses Starting November 1

The new amount marks the lowest overdraft fee among financial institutions in the Greater Rochester market.

Rochester, NY — ESL Federal Credit Union announces that starting November 1, 2021, the financial institution’s overdraft fee will be reduced from $25 to $5.

In the U.S., the average overdraft fee among banks and credit unions is $33.58 according to Bankrate.com. According to a regularly-cited 2017 report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, eight percent of consumers who overdraw their checking accounts more than 10 times a year pay 74 percent of all overdraft fees nationally.

“At ESL, our Purpose is to help our community thrive and prosper. In that context, we continually evaluate our practices and have come to understand that overdraft fees most often impact the people who can least afford them,” said Faheem Masood, president and CEO, ESL Federal Credit Union. “While account balancing mistakes happen, fees should not be driving people into further financial strife when they already had insufficient funds in their accounts. We are committed to taking actions in support of our Purpose and believe this overdraft fee reduction to five dollars sets a new standard for what consumers should expect to pay.”

The range of overdraft fees charged in the Greater Rochester market is between $20 and $40 among local financial institutions. With its overdraft fee reduction to $5, ESL is significantly reducing these costs to customers.

“The financial health of our members is of the utmost importance to us at ESL,” said Caytie Bowser, Vice President/Director, Product Development and Management. “We regularly analyze and evaluate how ESL can help improve their financial health, and from our analyses, we know that there are members who are incurring these fees routinely. With this significant reduction, action has been taken that puts our members’ needs and financial well-being first.”

The $5 amount will impact the following fees for both personal and business members:

  • Courtesy Pay Overdraft: Overdraft Protection for checks, bill pay, and automatic ACH payments–Coverage of insufficient or uncollectable funds (from your checks, automatic withdrawals via ACH, and ESL Bill Pay transactions) are paid by ESL up to the maximum overdraft. Each overdraft is charged a fee based on the value of the item. The monthly maximum overdraft is $500 for Free Checking and $1,000 for Premier Checking.
  • Courtesy Pay Point of Sale Overdraft: Overdraft Protection for Point of Sale Transactions–Coverage of insufficient or uncollectable funds (from your debit card purchases) are paid by ESL up to the maximum overdraft. Each overdraft is charged a fee based on the value of the item. The monthly maximum overdraft is $500 for Free Checking and $1,000 for Premier Checking.
  • Overdraft/Insufficient Funds: There is not enough money in the account for the amount of the transaction (checks, automatic withdrawals via ACH, and ESL Bill Pay). The item is not paid and returned to the Payee and the member is charged a fee.
  • Overdraft/Uncollected Funds: The member has deposited funds, but they are not available in the account for withdrawal. Therefore, the member does not have enough money for the amount of the transaction (checks, automatic withdrawals via ACH, and ESL Bill Pay). The item is not paid and returned to the Payee and the member is charged a fee.
  • External IRA Transfer Overdraft Fee: There is not enough money in an ESL IRA when transferring funds to external account.
  • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Insufficient Funds Overdraft Fee: There is not enough money available on the HELOC for the amount of the transaction. The item is not paid and returned to the Payee and the member is charged a fee.

To help members avoid paying overdraft fees, ESL has account options and solutions that can be used:

  • ESL Simple Spending Account: With no check writing capabilities and transactions that decline when funds are not available, a Simple Spending Account prevents the member from overdrawing. Since overdraft services are not available for this account, there are no overdraft fees. Each account contains one low monthly maintenance fee of $3.
  • Overdraft Protection:
    • Cash Reserve Account: Adds a flexible line of credit to ESL Free Checking or Premier Checking Account. It automatically helps make sure transactions are covered.
    • CheckOK: Money management service provides overdraft protection by linking your ESL checking and savings accounts.
    • Opt-out of Courtesy Pay: prevents a Courtesy Pay Overdraft fee from occurring. This will prevent a payment from going through if there aren’t enough funds in the account.
  • Monitor account activity with mobile and/or online banking.
  • Set up text or email alerts for specific account balances.
  • Transfer funds from another ESL account via an ESL ATM, mobile and/or online banking, TEL-E$L, live chat or telephone banking, or at an ESL Branch.

About ESL Federal Credit Union

With more than 100 years of locally-owned history, ESL Federal Credit Union serves as a full-service financial institution to more than 384,000 members and 13,200 businesses. Founded in 1920, the company provides personal banking, business banking, mortgage services, and wealth management services through its locally-based 23 branch network, telephone, mobile, online, and live chat center.

The Rochester-based financial institution employs approximately 900 people in the Greater Rochester area and holds more than $8.6 billion in assets. Since 1996, ESL has paid out 26 consecutive Owners’ Dividends to its members totaling more than $185 million. Since the creation of its Community Impact initiative in 2018, ESL has reinvested more than $40 million in grants throughout the community. The company has appeared on the Great Place to Work® Best Small & Medium Workplaces list for 11 years since 2010. ESL Federal Credit Union is headquartered at 225 Chestnut Street, in Rochester, and can be found online at www.esl.org.

Find and connect with ESL on Twitter (@ESLFCU) and Facebook.com/ESLFCU.

For more information, contact:

Rich Pulvino, APR
Manager, Corporate Communications
rpulvino@esl.org
585.336.1009