Support Personal Accounts
The following questions are commonly asked about personal accounts, including overdrafts, debit card usage, and more. Check to see if your question is answered here – it may have a quicker solution than you think!
Incoming direct deposits are set up on the depositor’s end (usually an employer or government agency). They will need Coast Central’s routing number and your account number in order to initiate direct deposits to your checking. Ask them for any paperwork you may need to fill out (none will be necessary on our end).
Coast Central’s routing number is 321172248. If you have checks, this will appear in the line of numbers at the bottom of each one, followed by the check number. Your checking account number will appear here as well (12 digits), on the right. If you don’t use checks, you can call us or drop by any of our locations to obtain your checking account number.
If you are requesting that the deposit be made to a savings account, your account number will be your member number, plus the applicable account type (e.g. S1). For processing purposes, many companies will require all digits (no letters) in an account number. In this case, please use a “5” in place of the “S.” For example, a Membership Savings is called an S1, so you would tell your depositor to use the account number 12345S1, or 1234551. An S7 (Liquid Assets) would be 12345S7, or 1234557. An S7.1 account would be 12345571.
You may receive a letter (or E-Letter, if you’re subscribed to our E-Statements services) notifying you that a direct deposit will soon begin for your account. This is simply a required notification confirming that your deposit has been set up properly.
To change the account to which your direct deposit is sent, please update the depositor with your new information.
These days, there are a lot more ways to pay bills besides cash or a check. Coast Central Online, our online banking system, can help you set up payees and request cashier’s checks to be mailed to any payee of your choice.
Depending upon the person or company you’re paying, you may also be able to set up bill pay via ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfers or credit/debit card payments online. Companies like PG&E, AT&T, City Garbage of Eureka, various mobile phone service providers, and many more will accept this kind of payment. You may either visit their website and sign up to pay your bills online, or manage many bills from one place with a site like MyCheckFree.
To set up electronic payments from your account, you will need your routing number and account number. You can use the same guidelines as above, regarding direct deposits, to obtain the appropriate numbers.
You may receive a letter (or E-Letter, if you’re subscribed to our E-Statements services) notifying you that an automatic transfer will soon begin from your account. This is simply a required notification confirming that your transfer relationship has been set up properly.
Although our checking accounts theoretically come with monthly service charges, we offer many ways to have these automatically waived. Approximately 80% of our members pay no fees on their Basic Checking accounts by meeting one of the following qualifying factors:
Six or fewer checks clear during the month
Any direct deposit is made to the account during the month
You have an open loan with a balance of $1,000 or higher (excluding Visas and lines of credit)
You have a minimum daily balance in the account of $500 or more
Your combined balances in all accounts at the credit union are $3,000 or higher
The primary member on the account is age 60 or older (see “Primetime Checking” below)Interest Checking Fee Waiver Qualifications
Any direct deposit is made to the account during the month
You have an open loan with a balance of $1,000 or higher (excluding Visas and lines of credit)
Your combined balances in all accounts at the credit union are $5,000 or higher
The primary member on the account is age 60 or older (see “Primetime Checking” below)
Some of these factors can be determined automatically by our computer system, but others (for instance, if the qualifying factor is established across multiple member numbers) may need to be brought to our attention. If you find that you’re paying a monthly service charge but do in fact meet one (or more) of the above qualifiers, please contact us.
Qualification for monthly fee waiver is evaluated on a month-to-month basis, with balance evaluations taking place on the 27th of each month.
Each member will have their own record-keeping preferences; what’s most important is that you do keep a record in some way of each and every transaction you make. Even if you have a knack for keeping track of things in your head, we always recommend keeping a written register of all debit and credit transactions to your account. We can provide you with a transaction register if you drop by any of our member services branches, and these are usually included with every box of checks you order through us.
If you’re concerned about the time it takes to note every transaction immediately, you can keep track at intervals of your preference if you make sure to keep a receipt for every transaction you make. In this case, be sure to check your online banking transaction history, E-Statements, or paper statements regularly to ensure that all transactions have cleared (and that no unexpected or unauthorized ones have occurred). This will help you keep your balances in check much better than memory or a quick balance inquiry.
Important: If you rely solely upon balance inquiries via ATM or online banking, we cannot guarantee that the stated balance (or even the available balance) is fully accurate. Coast Central cannot control the amount of funds charged or held by merchants, which can sometimes differ substantially from the balance on our system. You may also have outstanding checks which have not yet cleared. You need to keep track of what has cleared on your account, and what may still be pending, in order to know how much you can spend.
You may notice that your vouchers (receipts), online banking, and some other documents list a balance and an “available” balance. The available balance takes into account any pending holds on your account due to debit card purchases or check holds (often including ATM deposits). Transactions attempted for more than this amount will be declined.
Amounts held by pending debit card purchases generally drop off when the transaction clears (when it is withdrawn from your actual balance), within a few business days. ATM deposit holds are generally removed on the same or next business day; if you are concerned about when funds will be available, please contact our Member Support Center. Check holds placed at the time of deposit will be released on the date printed on your voucher, unless we notify you otherwise.
Important: Please note that while our system may state a particular available balance, we cannot guarantee that amounts held on your account are accurate. Coast Central cannot control the amount of funds charged or held by merchants, which can sometimes differ substantially from the balance on our system. You may also have outstanding checks which have not yet cleared. You need to keep track of what has cleared on your account, and what may still be pending, in order to know how much you can spend.
Since your Visa Debit Card is accepted both as a debit card and anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted, it may be run as either a “debit” or a “credit” transaction. Debit purchases (when you use your PIN) are processed through a different system and allow for immediate withdrawal of funds from your account. Credit purchases (non-PIN transactions) hold for an amount specified by the merchant, then are “cleared” from your account when the transaction posts, generally within a few days. If the transaction does not post within 3 days, the hold for the specific amount expires on the third day and the funds become available again. Even though the funds become available again, you are still responsible for the transaction and you must leave sufficient amount of funds in your account to cover the charge.
Credit transactions generally require a signature but in accordance with recent regulations, merchants are allowed to perform transactions under certain threshold amounts without a signature. Please contact our Member Support Center for additional details.
Notify the credit union immediately (or as soon as possible if discovered outside of business hours). You can call our Member Support Center at (707) 445-8801, or during evenings and weekends, you may be able to visit our Bayshore Mall or Ray’s Food Place locations. See our Contact Section for exact hours of availability.
If your checkbook has been lost or stolen, we will need to close your checking account in order to prevent any unauthorized activity. Specific outstanding check numbers may be approved to clear with your permission. You will need to order new checks and shred any of your old existing supply. Unless your Visa Debit Card has also been lost or stolen, however, you can usually continue to use the same card. It will only need to be reprogrammed to match your new checking account information.
In the event that you later find your lost checkbook, you may be able to reopen your checking account, depending on the circumstances. If there has been any possibility of an outside party obtaining some of your checks (or even noting the information on them for later abuse), we advise keeping the old account closed and starting fresh.
Notify the credit union immediately (or as soon as possible if discovered outside of business hours). You can call our Member Support Center at (707) 445-8801, or during evenings and weekends, you may call (800) 682-6075 to block the card directly with our processor. During some evening and weekend hours, you may also be able to visit our Bayshore Mall or Ray’s Food Place locations. See our Locations & Hours section for exact hours of availability.
When a debit card is lost or stolen, the card number must be blocked, including any additional cards (with the same number) belonging to joint members. A new card (or cards) will be issued automatically and sent to the mailing address on file for your account. For your security, a new PIN will be issued for each card as well. You may change your PIN by visiting any of our member services branches during business hours.
Cards are blocked at the time of notification (either to us or our processor), so any charges made prior to this time will still attempt to process. If you are worried about unauthorized charges, please contact us.
If you see a transaction on your Coast Central Visa Debit Card and believe it is unauthorized, the best thing to do first is to contact the company who made the charge. If a number is listed within the transaction (in your statement’s account history or online banking), try giving them a call. You can also use directory assistance or search the Internet for contact information. Sometimes unexpected charges turn out to be legitimate (the company name may vary from what you were expecting), or it could be a simple misunderstanding. If you are positive the charge was unauthorized (and you did not participate whatsoever), you may pursue a Visa dispute through Coast Central.
To begin the dispute process, come in to any member services branch and fill out a Visa dispute form. If you live out of the area, you may also send a letter with your name, member number, and the charge(s) in question. Please provide as much information as possible, and your signature is required. Mail the letter to:
Attn: Card Services Department
2650 Harrison Avenue
Eureka, CA 95501
If you have questions about the dispute process, our Card Services Department can be reached at (707) 445-8801, ext. 291.
Once we receive your dispute, Our Card Services Department will review your request and investigate the situation. If they find the charge(s) to be fraudulent or unauthorized, you will receive a credit. Please refer to our EFT Disclosure for specific details on error resolution.
Please note that if you participated in the transaction(s), you will need to attempt to resolve the situation with the merchant. Refer to the terms and conditions applicable to your relationship with them. For example, charges resulting from “free trial” periods generally do not qualify as unauthorized. If you complied with the merchant’s terms and conditions and are unable to resolve the situation with them, you may pursue a Visa dispute through Coast Central.
If you received merchandise and returned it for a refund, a dispute cannot be filed until 30 days after the return date (to give the merchant time to issue a credit). If 30 days have passed and no credit has been received, you may pursue a Visa dispute. You must provide a copy of your shipping receipt showing the tracking number and that the package was insured.
For ATM disputes (transactions made at an ATM, not through a merchant), you may also be able to resolve the issue by calling our Member Support Center at (707) 445-8801.
Although our checking accounts include a low monthly service charge, there are many ways to waive this fee if you qualify. The following factors (determined on a month-to-month basis) will waive this monthly fee. Please see the above “Is my checking account free?” question at the top of this section for a full list of fee waiver qualifications.
If you find that you do meet one or more of the above qualifications, please contact us. Some of these qualifiers can be determined automatically by our computer system, but others (for instance if the qualifier is established across more than one member number) must be loaded manually. We would be happy to evaluate your account and find out whether you’re eligible for a monthly service charge waiver.
All Coast Central ATMs are available to our members at no charge (click here for locations). Transactions made at outside ATMs will incur a $1.50 foreign transaction fee. If you use an ATM belonging to another financial institution, they may charge you a fee as well – up to several dollars per transaction. If you are unable to visit one of our ATMs, your best bet is to locate a Co-Op Network ATM. Since Coast Central belongs to the Co-Op ATM Network, our members can use any ATMs on this network with no additional surcharge.
You can also locate a Co-Op ATM with your mobile device if you’re out and about. If you text message your current location (address/intersection and zip code) to “MY COOP” (692667), you will receive a text message reply with the closest Co-Op ATM(s). This is a free service, but be sure you know your mobile service provider’s rules about fees as well.
This small charge is applied whenever you do a transaction at an outside/foreign (non-Coast Central) ATM. To avoid paying a fee, use a Coast Central ATM whenever possible.
Other financial institutions may charge you a (generally much higher) fee for using their ATMs as well. You can avoid fees from outside institutions by locating a Co-Op Network ATM. See question above (“Which ATMs can I use for free?”) for additional details.
You have a number of options for reordering your Coast Central checks. As long as your previous order was placed through us (or our check vendor, Deluxe) you may use any of the following options:
Online through Deluxe.com
Via phone (interactive voice response) at (877) 838-5287
In person at any of our member services branches
If you need to make changes to your address or other printed information on your checks, please visit us in person or speak with Deluxe representative by phone.
“Verified By Visa” is an extra layer of added security that some online merchants use to increase the security of your online transactions. When you go to make a purchase at a participating merchant, you will be prompted to set up a password that will be asked of you each time you use another VBV merchant in the future. As this method gains in popularity, it helps increasingly to protect you from online fraud. If someone has your lost or stolen Visa card, or has obtained unauthorized access to your card information, they won’t get far without your VBV password.
You can also use Verified By Visa to change or reset your password, view participating merchants, see a demo of how the service works, and read even more frequently asked questions. You can register for the service there as well, if you haven’t already.
Visa cards are accepted at many merchants worldwide, but due to high fraud rates in certain countries, credit or debit transactions may be blocked (or blocked above certain limits). Even in countries with no such restrictions or within the U.S., our card processor may flag unusual activity as fraudulent and try to contact you to verify transactions. If they are unable to reach you, your card may be temporarily blocked while we wait for your verification.
Be sure to notify our Member Support Center at (707) 445-8801 whenever you’re traveling out of the area, to see if there are any current transaction limits or blocks to be aware of. We can also place a note on your account regarding where and when you’ll be away – this allows us to verify seemingly suspicious transactions much more quickly without having to contact you for verification.
Courtesy Pay is a discretionary overdraft convenience service offered to qualified members which helps to minimize declined transactions and bounced checks. If approved, it is applied in addition to ordinary overdraft protection (via automatic account transfer), and is only applied if available funds in all applicable accounts have been completely depleted.
Without this service, a check written against insufficient funds would bounce – sometimes multiple times if the merchant continues to resubmit it, incurring a fee each time. With Courtesy Pay, the check clears (if within the applicable limit), preventing inconvenience for both you (the member) and your payee(s). One fee is charged and the overdraft situation can be more quickly and easily resolved.
If you are qualified for Courtesy Pay, you will receive a letter informing you of how the program works, including all terms and conditions. New member accounts will be evaluated after 45 days. You may opt out of Courtesy Pay at any time.
Different from a Courtesy Pay fee, an “overdraft fee” is charged when we must make a transfer from one of your accounts to another, to cover what would otherwise be an overdraft. When funds are present in another account, this can be preferable to the higher Courtesy Pay charge to cover your transaction(s).
Sometimes, when only some of the funds needed to cover an overdraft are present in other accounts, our computer system will transfer whatever it can before Courtesy Pay (if applicable) kicks in. You may experience an overdraft fee in addition to a Courtesy Pay fee in this case.
Overdraft transfers can only be made for accounts authorized by the member for this purpose. Please contact us if you are unsure which accounts you have set up for overdraft protection, or complete an Overdraft Protection Authorization Form to update your coverage.
The best way to prevent overdrafts is to keep careful track of your transactions. You may choose to document every purchase as it is made, or periodically check your receipts against your online banking account history, E-Statements, or paper statements, depending upon your situation. The bottom line is, the better you document your account activity, the better you know what your balance really is and how much you can spend.
Important: You should not rely solely upon the balance stated on your receipt or online banking in order to determine how much you can spend. These balances (even your stated “available” balance) may not include all applicable holds to your account. You may have outstanding checks or debit purchases which have not yet cleared, and debit card purchases are not always held for the exact amount of your transactions. Coast Central cannot control the amounts held or charged by merchants, nor the order or timing of cleared checks, so it is always best to keep track of your actual transactions as they occur.
New memberships (with checking accounts) are automatically evaluated after 45 days. If qualified, you will receive a letter welcoming you to the Courtesy Pay service and explaining our terms and conditions. If you do not receive this letter, you may need to establish more positive account history with us before you’ll be qualified.
If you’ve been a member for some time, you may already have this service (your qualification letter may have been sent quite some time ago). If you’re curious to see whether you have Courtesy Pay already, please contact our Member Support Center.
You may opt out of Courtesy Pay overdraft protection at any time. Simply call or write us with your request.
Opting back in later is a possibility; however, you may have to requalify.
When the reasons for overdrafts are unclear, the best thing to do is sit down with your statement or online banking history, then go over each transaction in chronological order (this is not always the same order that they appear on your account history). When transactions are posted to your account on a different day, the original date is shown on that transaction line in your account history. You may also need to check receipts in order to determine the exact order that transactions were placed.
Start with a previous day’s balance, before fees started occurring and when you know everything was in order with your account. As you subtract transactions in the order they occurred (again, do not necessarily use the order on your account history), you should begin to see what happened. The most common reason for unexpected overdrafts is the assumption that sufficient funds were present in the account. If you forgot about an outstanding check or hadn’t taken a pending debit card transaction into account, you (or a joint member) might have spent funds that weren’t actually there.
If you go through this process and still can’t determine how the overdraft(s) occurred, please contact our Member Support Center or drop by one of our member services branches. We’ll help you sort out your transactions and figure out what went wrong.
You’ll want to choose an overdraft protection method that best suits the way you use your accounts, and the way you would like your transactions to be handled. You may use the following information for guidance:
If you keep close, careful track of your balances, and you prioritize the clearing of your transactions, Courtesy Pay can help you avoid the inconvenience and embarrassment of a declined card or bounced checks. Since Courtesy Pay allows your check(s) to clear up to your approved limit, you save yourself the trouble of having to renegotiate payment with your payees. Please note that you must be qualified to receive Courtesy Pay services.
If you are primarily a debit card user, especially if you don’t keep close track of your transactions, you may find that Courtesy Pay is more of a burden than a convenience for you. Since a fee is charged for each transaction we cover beyond a zero balance, these can sometimes rack up quickly. If you’d prefer to have most transactions declined when there are insufficient funds in your account, you may choose to opt out of Courtesy Pay.
General overdraft protection (via automatic account transfer) incurs a significantly lower fee to transfer funds from other credit union accounts. This service also attempts to cover multiple transactions at once by transferring funds in $100 intervals, which helps to save you money. If funds are present in another designated account, this transfer will be made; otherwise, transactions are usually declined. You will need to fill out an Overdraft Protection Authorization Form to request this service for your account.
You may also elect to set up no overdraft protection at all. If you never keep funds in any other account besides checking, or if you prefer to keep your savings funds separate and not connected to your checking account, this option may benefit you. Most debit card transactions will decline if there are insufficient funds in checking.
Important: Since Coast Central cannot control the way that merchants choose to hold funds or charge you for your purchases, it is not guaranteed that every transaction will decline if there are insufficient funds in your account. Many gas stations, for example, initially hold only $1.00 instead of the full transaction amount. Thus the transaction may be approved if you only have $5.00 in your account, but when the full amount clears, you will become overdrawn if the transaction amount is more than $5.00. Please keep careful track of your transactions to be sure you don’t spend more than you have available.
If you attempt a transaction which totals more than the available balance in your checking, our system will attempt to make transfers from accounts you designate (provided you have requested this service). You may select up to four accounts that our system will try before a transaction is declined.
Overdraft transfers are made in increments of $100 when possible, always rounding up to the nearest $100 in order to cover additional transactions. Since an overdraft fee is charged for each transfer, our system tries to anticipate and cover future transactions as well, to prevent you from receiving multiple overdraft fees whenever possible.
Occasionally, an ATM or Point of Sale (POS) purchase will decline even when a member has overdraft protection. This occurs when funds are not present in the first or second designated savings accounts, because our system may time out before the third account on these types of transactions. If this occurs, please contact our Member Support Center for assistance.
If you have overdraft protection set up to draw funds from a line of credit or Visa card, transfers will fail if you are late on your loan payment (even by one day). Amending this situation should resolve the problem.
Overdraft protection can only transfer funds from available balances. If you have a check hold on one of your designated accounts or a pending ATM deposit, these funds cannot be used for overdraft protection until the hold is released. Likewise, the $50.00 held in your Membership Savings is unavailable for overdraft transfers.
We recognize that Courtesy Pay fees can sometimes rack up faster than anticipated, and sometimes you need time to pay things back. For this reason we offer a Fresh Start Repayment Plan, which allows you to convert your entire Courtesy Pay-related overdraft into a small loan-like account (interest free), then pay it off over a period of up to four months. This clears out your checking account, bringing it back to a zero balance so you can “start fresh.”
To set up a Fresh Start Repayment Plan, visit any of our member services branches, or call or Member Support Center for more details. If you have already taken advantage of this program, and have since been requalified for Courtesy Pay, you may be able to set up another Fresh Start. This decision will be made at our discretion.
Regulation E, also known as the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Act, is a federal regulation that affects your rights and liabilities as a banking consumer. In 2010, the U.S. federal government updated Regulation E and made some major changes that affect our members with overdraft protection.
Beginning August 15, 2010, Regulation E required us to “opt out” all of our existing overdraft protection users from fee-based coverage on ATM and everyday debit transactions, unless they specifically told us they preferred to “opt in.” (Note that this doesn’t include checks, electronic transfers, or recurring debit transactions.)
All new accounts now require an “opt in” or “opt out” preference at the time of opening. This preference will govern how transactions are handled on your account until we receive further notice from you.
Informational Handout & Opt In/Out Form – read more and compare your options.
The above PDF form is printable and may be returned to any member services branch, if you prefer.
Unless you opted in at the time of opening your account, or before the Reg E conversion process took place in 2010, not all of your transaction types will be equally covered by your overdraft protection. Since Reg E required us to essentially “turn off” protection for ATM and everyday debit transactions unless you requested otherwise, these transactions will be handled differently than others when overdraft protection is needed.
Regular overdraft transfers will still be made (when you have funds available in designated accounts), but Courtesy Pay coverage – if you have it – will vary depending on your “opt in/out” status.
Please note that “everyday” debit transactions are different from “recurring” debit transactions. Everyday transactions are for things like gas purchases, groceries, or coffee, while recurring transactions are those set up for periodic payments with billers, such as utility companies. If you’re opted in, all of your transactions will be treated equally, but if not, ATM and everyday debit transactions you attempt when there are insufficient available funds in your account will be declined. Recurring debit transactions, electronic (ACH) transfers, and checks will still be paid up to your Courtesy Pay limit.
Long story short: in order to have all transactions equally and fully coverable by overdraft protection and Courtesy Pay, you must opt in for Reg E coverage. If you opt out, your coverage will only be partial.