Consumers Eye Overdraft Protection Fees

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SILVER SPRING, Md.-According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling's (NFCC) July online poll, 26% of consumers intend to opt in to overdraft protection-in spite of being charged a fee for the service.

According to NFCC, industry studies show that the average overdraft fee charged by a financial institution is $27, with approximately half of the more than $37-billion generated in fees in 2009 coming from debit card and ATM overdrafts.

"It is disturbing that this many people live so close to the financial edge. Anticipating that they will overdraw their account, they are willing to exacerbate the problem by paying a fee to have their purchases approved," said NFCC spokesperson Gail Cunningham.

The NFCC polled 2,089 individuals if they would opt in to ensure that purchases are approved, even though a fee will be added. Or, if they would opt out and "risk being embarrassed at checkout," but save the fee.

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