An overdraft is when you write a check or make a transaction that requires more money than you have in your checking account. Financial institutions will cover, at their discretion, the remaining amount for a fee: typically $30 - $35. Some institutions may charge a different amount for bounced checks, whether you're enrolled into overdraft service or not! This is usually a smaller fee than the one for overdraft transactions ( between $8 - $15).
While it's a good idea to opt-in for the ability to overdraw your account in case of emergency, you should opt-out if you find yourself doing so more than once a year (at the most). Not only would recurring overdrafts be expensive, but they may result in your checking account being closed and you being unable to open a new one in the future.
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