What Is The NSF Fee And How Can I Avoid It?

You may have experienced dealing with non-sufficient fund (NSF) fines in the past. You’re not alone if you’ve ever forgotten your account balance and wrote a check that you weren’t able to cash on the due date. 

Since life is unpredictable, it’s easy for unforeseen expenses to mount up and escape you. It’s not always easy to keep track of precisely what’s in your checking account. 

Unfortunately, you will have to pay a non-sufficient fund charge if you don’t have enough money to cover a payment when it comes in (NSF). 

When you find yourself in a difficult situation and you do not have the resources to get money, in this case, you can take advantage of a loan. We’ll go into more detail regarding NSF fees, also known as non-sufficient funds fees, and how to prevent them below.

Overdraft Fees Vs NSF Fees

NSF and overdraft fees are somewhat comparable but not precisely the same. When you attempt to make a payment that exceeds your account balance, both of them take place. 

The distinction is that an overdraft fee is assessed when a payment is approved and your account balance decreases, but an NSF fee is assessed when your payment is rejected and returned to you.

You may be eligible for overdraft protection, in which case your bank could accept the payment and place your account in overdraft status as a result. Despite your protection, they can still refuse the payment, in which case you’ll be subject to an NSF fee.

What Does It Mean To Have Insufficient Funds?

When you start a withdrawal from your bank or credit union using a check or pre-authorized debit, but your account doesn’t have enough cash to support it, it results in non-sufficient funds (NSF). In the worst-case scenario, it could lead you to seek bad credit loans Canada, which could affect your credit score.

Cheque functions as an IOU since there is no means to immediately verify your balance, unlike automated banking machine withdrawals or those made at a teller. 

Payments made using pre-authorized transactions are deducted from your account on the day you’ve previously specified.

Avoiding NSF Fees

The first step in preventing NSF fines is to keep a tight check on your accounts. You can keep track of your finances by knowing your checking account’s balance at any moment. 

Even with wise financial choices, there are several circumstances in which an NSF charge might apply. If you are not aware, then we recall that the OD / NSF fee can reach almost 32 dollars, while this amount can vary depending on the financial institution.

What Is The NSF Fee And How Can I Avoid It

If you are not aware, then we recall that the OD / NSF fee can reach almost 32 dollars, while this amount can vary depending on the financial institution.

Maintain A Reserve In Your Account

If at all feasible, always make sure you have some additional cash in your checking account to avoid paying these fees. 

If you have automated bill payments set up, keep a few months’ worths of payments in the account at all times to avoid incurring any unexpected fees on top of your regular expenses.

Since most of the Big 5 banks forgo their premium account fees if you maintain a balance of a few thousand per day in your chequing account, keeping additional cash there may also help you save on bank costs.

The drawback is that you’re holding up money that might be invested more wisely or put to work in a high-return savings account.

Set Up A Budget

An excellent method to manage your money is to learn how to make a budget. Budgets may assist you to arrange your money according to the particulars of your life. 

Never allow transactions to take place without the necessary finances while you are keeping track of every dollar.

Your monthly financial demands may be broken down into several categories as one popular budgeting technique. For instance, the typical 50/20/30 budget suggests:

  • Use Half Of Your Salary For Personal Expenses.
  • 20% Set Aside For Savings.
  • 30% Is Kept Back For Desires.

What Is The NSF Fee And How Can I Avoid It

As previously said, the remaining 30% may be used for whatever needs. The remaining 30% will be used by many individuals to pay off debt or increase their savings contributions.

Configure Bank Account Notifications

Many banks and credit unions provide automated alerts that notify you whenever activity occurs in your account, which simplifies monitoring. Create an account to simplify your banking.

Change To A Bank With Fewer Fees

Of course, there are banks where the costs are cheaper or nonexistent. Numerous online banks provide fee-free accounts, as previously mentioned. An online or otherwise fee-free bank could be your best choice if you often incur NSF or overdraft penalties.

If you choose to change banks, be careful you do it correctly. Closing a checking account may not have an impact on linked accounts, such as a credit card or a line of credit. 

Additionally, you must shut your checking account in good standing, which means that it must have a positive balance. 

Your account may be referred to collections agencies if it is closed as a result of carelessness or persistent hostility. This can make it more difficult for you to get a checking account later on.

Closing a bank or savings account that is still open and in good standing won’t lower your credit score. If necessary, cancel your account and switch to a better bank.

Protect Your Overdrafts

Overdraft protection services are often available with bank accounts, either for an extra monthly charge or on a pay-per-use basis.

This may make it easier for your bank to accept payments even if they do exceed the amount of your account, pushing your account into overdraft rather than just rejecting the payment. 

Most banks charge $5 per month or user, but they also charge interest for the duration your account is in the red.


It is essential to avoid NSF fines since they are pricey. Bank consumers should be on the lookout for additional fees as well. Monthly account fees may range from $5 to $35 per month and add up quickly.

Online banks in Canada with no monthly fees and unlimited free transactions are available. If your check or pre-authorized debit fails, you will still be liable for NSF fines.

Leave a Comment