1 New Direction Within Your Reach! A Financial Literacy Training Presentation for our Members by:
2 Maintaining a Checking Account Keeping track of Deposits and Withdrawals
3 Why Should I Keep a Check Register? Keeping and balancing a check register is necessary to wisely manage your money. Even if you don t write many actual checks, you will normally have multiple deposits and withdrawals from your account that will cause your account balance to change many times. It can take a little time and practice, but it definitely pays off! Here are the benefits of keeping and balancing a check register: Reasons to Keep a Check Register I know exactly how much money I have It saves me money in overdraft fees I can put extra money in a savings account to earn more money Faster at identifying and resolving any potential fraud or mistake
4 How to Record Transactions in your Check Register Write down in your register whenever: You deposit money in your checking account You write a check You use your debit card You deduct a fee that your financial institution charges You withdraw money from your account The trick is to keep up with it as you go and to avoid trying to remember it all later. It is very easy to forget to write down debit card transactions. However, do not solely use automated phone (MARS) or online services (REX) to keep track of your account. These services should be used as an added balancing resource, but never as a substitute for using a check register.it is easy to track your balance online but without your paper record it can be difficult to remember transactions that have not been processed. In addition, you may not see errors in transactions and it can happen.
5 Recording Transactions in Your Check Register Number/Code: If you've written a check, put the check number here. Or use a transaction code: DC for Debit Card, ATM or a cash withdrawal, D for Deposit, and T for a transfer to your savings account, etc. Date: Always record the date of anything you do. Description of transaction: Make a quick note: Pizza John s birthday (note for ATM withdrawal) General Mart, school supplies (note for a check) Paycheck for August 15-31(note for a deposit) Payment/Debit: Here you record the amounts of money going out of your account. Deposit/Credit: Here you record the amounts of money coming into your account.
6 Keeping your Check Register Balance As you enter each item, be sure to date it. Also, make sure to put in exact amounts to help you balance later on. Then in the far right column, either add or subtract to reach a new total. Make yourself record information at the time you write the check, use the ATM, or make the deposit because some time later, you won't remember what you did. Did you deposit the whole check or did you take some money out? You may lose the receipt for purchase and not remember the amount to record.
7 What do I Need to Balance My Checkbook? When you balance your checkbook, you are comparing your checkbook register and Credit Association statement for accuracy. Since your checkbook register balance and account statement balance rarely match, this can be a bit tricky to do the first few times. However, regularly balancing your checkbook can help you catch errors and fraud before it is too late. You should have the following ready when balancing a checkbook: Copy of your account statement A checkbook balancing form (found on the back of your statement) or use the website link if using e-statements. Calculator Have your transaction, ATM, and deposit receipts handy in case something doesn t match up Once you have all of these items, along with your checkbook register and a pen or pencil, then you're ready to balance your checkbook
8 How Do I Balance My Checkbook? Step 1: Reconcile Your Checks/Debits Determine if there are items that haven't cleared your account. In your checkbook register, check off each cleared check or each check that appears on the check listing, making sure the amount you recorded is the amount the financial institution shows. Step 2: Reconcile Your Deposits Make sure each deposit shown on your account statement is recorded in your check register (especially if you have direct deposit, which you can easily forget to record). Also, go through your deposit slips, paycheck stubs, etc., and make sure the account statement shows all the deposits you made. Check off the deposits in your check register as you did for checks.
9 Step By Step: Checkbook Balancing Step 3: Reconcile Your ATM Withdrawals and Debit Card Purchases Go through the same process with your ATM withdrawals or debit card purchases, checking off each transaction on the account statement in your check register. If the account statement shows transactions that aren't included in your check register, record them now. Step 4: Record Dividends Earned and Fees Check your account statement for any other fees and record them in your checkbook register. Also record any dividends earned in your checkbook register. Step 5: List Outstanding Checks Now go through your checkbook register and make a list of all your outstanding checks (the checks that you did not check off in your check register as having cleared your account), as well as any outstanding debit purchases or ATM withdrawals that have not yet cleared the bank. Total the column of outstanding checks, debits, and ATM withdrawals.
10 Step by Step: Checkbook Balancing Step 6: List Outstanding Deposits Go through your checkbook register and make another list of the outstanding deposits (the deposits that you did not check off in your check register as having cleared your account). Total the column of outstanding deposits. Step 7: Calculating your Balance Now take your statement ending balance and ADD all outstanding deposits and SUBTRACT all outstanding withdrawals. This should equal the balance shown in your checkbook register. If it doesn't, check for math errors in your checkbook register, such as reversed numbers (e.g., $53 instead of $35), subtracting a deposit instead of adding it, adding a check written instead of subtracting it, automatic payments that you forgot to record, etc. If you don't reconcile, see if the amount you're off divides evenly by nine. If it does, it may be a transposed number. It's easy to transpose numbers in your register (you wrote $53.94 instead of $53.49, for example).
11 Additional Check Register Balancing Resources In addition to keeping a check register, it is a good idea to routinely check your account on our REX (online) and MARS (phone) services. This will help you catch errors and detect any problems. REX can be accessed at under the View My Account tab. To enroll in REX for the first time, click on the enroll button on the log in screen. If you are already set up, simply enter your REX ID and REX password. MARS (automated phone service) can be accessed by calling (Memphis area) or To access MARS, you will need your account number and the personal identification number which is normally originally set to the last four digits of your social security number (you can change it once you log in). Check out our new REX Anywhere and iphone App options to check on your account wherever you are! If you still have questions, please call and speak with one of our friendly representatives at ( in the Memphis area).
12 REX iphone App REX is now available on your mobile device! Conveniently access your account by using the FECA App. Download by using FECCA to search by on itunes. Accessing your account is as easy as 1-2-3! 1. Download the FREE App from itunes or the android store. 2. Log in using your existing REX login information. 3. Access your favorite REX features!
13 REX Anywhere If you do not have an iphone, you can still view your account for free on your mobile device.* You can enroll in the service by logging into REX and selecting the Options Tab and then selecting the REX Anywhere option. Simply enter your mobile phone number, your wireless provider, and select the accounts you wish to access from your mobile device. You will be sent a text message with a link (bookmark it for easy access later) where you can enter your REX login information. * Data rates/charges from your wireless carrier may apply.
14 ChexSystems The importance of maintaining a good checking account history
15 ChexSystems Overview It is important to be responsible with your checking account in order to maintain a good debit history. Your history contains facts about you and your deposit or checking account history, similar to a credit report, through a company called ChexSystems. It is made available, as permitted by law, to your current and prospective financial institutions to assess your likelihood of managing your debit accounts responsibly.your ChexSystems report can include such items as: Any checking account closures (paid or unpaid) or balances owed you have had Any returned (bounced) check which retailers have reported about you Financial institution inquiries
16 The Impact of Mishandling Accounts If you mishandle your checking account, you could be facing a number of unpleasant consequences: Your financial institution could charge you fees for each overdraft. The place you wrote the check could also charge you a fee or refuse to take any more checks from you. You could receive calls and letters asking you to repay the money. Your name and account information could be reported to a check verification service, which could cause your checks to be declined at point of sale. Your financial institution could close your checking account. Your financial institution could report your closed account to ChexSystems. If this occurs, other financial institutions could refuse to open a checking account for you.
17 ChexSystems Disputes If you believe that your ChexSystems record contains inaccurate information, you can contact ChexSystems at (800) and they will give you directions on how to send a dispute to the company for review. They will notify you of the results within 30 days (21 days for residents in Maine). If errors are identified, they are immediately rectified. If the investigation still does not resolve your dispute, you are entitled to include a brief statement to your consumer file outlining the nature of the dispute.
18 Paying Back Unpaid Closures Paying back unpaid closures reported to ChexSystems will not cause the record to disappear completely from your report. However, once it is paid in full, the closure is reported as a Paid Closure. Anyone who views your report from then on will see that you still had a closure, but that you did pay it. How does this benefit you? At FedEx Employees Credit Association, once the closure has been paid for one year, you may qualify for our other valuable share draft (checking) accounts that will give greater benefits such as reduced monthly fees (our No Fee share draft account has no fee with direct deposit), higher spending power, and even FREE checks with our Express Club share draft account!
19 The Basics of the Credit Report Important information you should know about your Consumer Report
20 What is a Credit Report? A credit report is a record of your credit activities. It lists any credit card accounts or loans you may have, the balances, and how regularly you make your payments. It also shows if any action has been taken against you because of unpaid bills. The credit report contains several key pieces of information: Identifying Information: Your full name, any known aliases, current and previous addresses, social security number, year of birth, current and past employers, and, if applicable, similar information about your spouse. Credit Information: The accounts you have with banks, retailers, credit-card issuers, utility companies, and other lenders (accounts are listed by type of loan, such as mortgage, student loan, revolving credit, or installment loan; the date you opened the account; your credit limit or the loan amount; any co-signers of the loan; and your payment pattern over the past two years). Public Record Information: State and county court records on bankruptcy, tax liens, or monetary judgments (some consumer reporting agencies list non-monetary judgments as well). Recent Inquiries: The names of those who have obtained copies of your credit report within the past year (two years for employment purposes).
21 Consumer Reporting Agencies A company that gathers and sells credit information is called a consumer reporting agency (CRA). These types of companies collect information about your credit activities, store it in giant databases, and charge a fee for supplying the information. The most common type of CRA is the credit bureau. There are three major credit bureaus that operate nationwide, plus in many smaller companies serving local markets. The three major credit bureaus are: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Your credit rating is drawn from your credit report, which indicates your borrowing, charging, and repayment activities. A good rating helps you reach financial goals; a poor rating limits your financial opportunities. Since your credit report influences whether you are able to buy a home and get a job, it is extremely important to protect your credit rating by making loan and bill payments on time and by not taking on more debt than you can handle.
22 Checking your Credit Report for Accuracy It is important to review your Credit Report from time to time. An individual may request a free copy of a credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies annually. Try to get started. Since credit reporting agencies collect information from parties that have previously extended credit to you (such as a credit card company or bank), it is important to review over the information for accuracy. If you do find inaccuracies, you should immediately contact the credit reporting agency that it came from. Contact information for the credit reporting agency can be found on every report. The credit reporting agency will then contact the provider of the information to correct the error. The process can take up to 45 days.
23 Certificate of Completion I, certify that I have read and understood the information in the New Direction Within Your Reach course. I also have read the welcome sheet. Topics covered include Maintaining a Checking Account, Chexsystems Overview, and Basics of Credit Reporting. Your Signature Date