Managing Your Checking Account

Unit 4: Checking Account Tips

Tips for Managing Your Account

By following these simple tips, you can more effectively manage your checking account.

  • Know your account balance. If you regularly balance your checkbook, you will be less likely to write a check for more money that you have available in your account.
  • Review your monthly statement every single month. It only takes a minute and a minute spent comparing your statement against your check register can save you days of trying to track down mistakes.
  • Use the telephone, internet, or ATM to get the most current information about your account. Typically this information is updated each business day.
  • Ask your credit union about their fees so that you are not surprised when you get your statements. 
  • Do not "float" checks. The "float" is that time delay between when a check is deposited or written and when the money becomes available or is withdrawn from your account. With the increased use of electronic check processing, float time has been reduced or eliminated.


ChexSystems is somewhat akin to the information provided by credit bureaus. Financial institutions report individuals who "mishandle checking and savings accounts." If your name winds up in the ChexSystems database, you could find it extremely difficult to open a checking account. A negative ChexSystems report stays in the database for five years. 

Tips for staying out of the ChexSystems database:

  • Don't write checks without having money in the account to cover them.
  • Find out from the credit union how long it takes for deposits to be credited to your account.
  • Keep track of your balance and reconcile your checkbook with the checking account statement as soon as you receive it, or go online and check it.
  • Before closing a checking account, make sure all checks have cleared, all automatic debits have stopped and you have paid all fees.

To obtain a ChexSystems report:

Consumer Relations
7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100

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