New BYU study shows low-income customers on average don’t use overdraft product excessively Aug 11, 2014, 8:38 am By Heidi Carmack Pfaffroth

Bank of American Fork is serious about offering safe financial products designed to help you do the things you need to do. We don’t design our products to be predatory or to contribute to unhealthy financial habits, and we’re constantly evaluating the products we have to make sure we’re offering is valuable to customers.

Recently, the Brigham Young University statistics department did a study on the use of one of our products, Bounce Protection. They found that our lower-income customers are using this product less frequently than our middle- and upper-income customers.

Bounce Protection is an overdraft-protection product. Many of our customers like Bounce Protection because it helps them avoid embarrassing situations when their purchases would be declined, and it provides a safety net for unexpected financial situations and emergencies.

However, overdraft products can be known for their potentially predatory nature, so Bank of American Fork commissioned a study. Using a product like this excessively could be expensive for customers, and although we rarely receive complaints about Bounce Protection, we wanted to understand how our customers are using it. If our lower-income customers were using it more frequently, we would be concerned about the way we’re educating them about how to use Bounce Protection or about their overdraft options.

We like to see our customers make financially healthy decisions. If you’re ever unsure about whether your use of a product is helping or hurting your financial goals, feel free to reach out to us via social media, our website or our call center.

We want to make sure we’re offering potentially valuable products like Bounce Protection, but with education and information to help you use those products responsibly. We’re doing our best to do our part to help you make good financial decisions, including:

• Educating new checking account customers on Bounce Protection and less-expensive alternatives.

• Offering information about using Bounce Protection.

• Sending monthly statements that show year-to-date use of the product.

• Allowing customers who can’t pay the negative balance within the first month to repay it over time, without additional interest or fees.

This recent BYU study results are consistent with our policy of not offering predatory products or services, and we’ll always keep evaluating our products to that end. So what can you do to make sure you use this product responsibly? Start here for a great article about using Bounce Protection healthfully.

Fiscal fitness is all about using the right products and services for you in a responsible way. For example, the type of overdraft protection you use may be dependent on your current financial and credit situation, as well as your financial goals. Remember to talk to your banker (or call us at 800-815-BANK) about the goals you’re trying to achieve, besides the products you’re thinking about, because there may be a better option for you.

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