Safe Pay FAQs

  • I have always had Safe Pay on my account, why do I have to 'say yes' to keep this service?
    Recent action by Congress now requires consumers to tell their financial institutions whether or not you would like to include Safe Pay on your checking account. Effective August 15, 2010 all existing accounts must 'say yes' for this service to remain on your account.

  • How can I 'say yes' to keep this service on my account without any interruptions?
    To keep Safe Pay on your current checking account without any interruptions, you must visit one of our locations to sign the Safe Pay form.

  • How does Safe Pay work?
    When we receive an item for payment that causes the balance in your account to go below zero, we may pay the check or debit up to a $500 negative balance including the Safe Pay fee.

  • Is Safe Pay a loan?
    No. It is a courtesy service provided by the credit union to help you manage your money. This service can be withdrawn at any time by the credit union.

  • How do I 'say yes' for this service?
    You may visit one of our locations one of our branch locations and sign the Safe Pay form.

  • What if I go over my Safe Pay limit?
    If you exceed the Safe Pay limit, any additional items will be returned or declined when presented for 

  • Is there a charge for Safe Pay?
    Safe Pay does not cost anything unless you use it. If you overdraw your account by using Safe Pay, a $34.00 Safe Pay fee will be assessed for each item paid. Items that exceed the Safe Pay limit of $500 (including Safe Pay fees) will be assessed a $34.00 insufficient fund fee for each item and returned as NSF.

  • What types of transactions qualify for the Safe Pay service?
    If you inadvertently overdraw your account, Safe Pay will cover preauthorized debits (ACH), bill payer items, Visa card Debit Card transactions and checks up to the Safe Pay limit.

  • Can I use Safe Pay to pay a Essential FCU loan payment?
    No. You cannot use Safe Pay to meet this obligation.

  • What if I do not want Safe Pay?
    We can change your account status so that no overdrawn items are paid using the Safe Pay service. If you say no the Safe Pay service, any future overdrawn items presented for payment against your account will be returned unpaid and a $34.00 overdraft fee will be assessed after funds for overdraft protection (if applicable) have been depleted. You may also be charged additional fees by the merchant/payee. Carefully consider your decision to say no to this program.

  • Does Essential FCU offer traditional overdraft protection?
    Yes. Essential FCU members can choose from several overdraft protection options. If you do have Overdraft 
Protection on your account, it will use whatever account(s) you have set up, in the order you arranged. Then, if you have qualified for Safe Pay, it will default to that service.

  • What is the difference between Overdraft Protection and Safe Pay?
    Overdraft Protection and Safe Pay are two separate services offered by Essential FCU. Overdraft Protection allows funds to be transferred from a previously designated account to pay an item. Overdraft protection will NOT allow the account to overdraw (go into a negative balance) to pay an item. Safe Pay is a non-contractual courtesy, offered at the sole discretion of the credit union, to members who maintain their checking accounts in good standing. Any Safe Pay amount covered by Essential FCU in the Safe Pay process is NOT considered an account holder loan and is not subject to interest being charged. Each overdraft item that is paid is subject to the Safe Pay fee. Safe Pay is an enhanced protection in addition to Overdraft Protection.

  • I thought I had Safe Pay. Why did you return my check as an NSF?
    The Safe Pay maximum is $500, including all Safe Pay fees. Items are returned NSF if you go over the amount or if you have been taken off the list because you did not rectify your account balance. Safe Pay can be taken away if Essential FCU determines your account is no longer in good standing.

  • How long do I have to bring my account into balance?
    Generally speaking, you should bring your checking account to a positive end-of-day balance as soon as possible and certainly within 20 days. However, depending on the situation, we can ask for repayment at any time. Any deposit that is made will automatically be applied to any overdrawn balance and associated fees first.

  • What happens if I can’t bring my account(s) to a positive balance?
    Your Safe Pay will be suspended or revoked until the account is returned to good standing, regardless if you've reached the $500 limit or not. If your account balance is negative for 30 days, you could lose your checking privileges at Essential FCU.