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Start Smart Teen Financial Program - Frequently Asked Questions


For Teens

Q: How do I check my account balance?

A: Checking your account balance is easy. Once you are registered for our online banking system, you will be able to log in at any time and view your account balances and transactions. You can also use online banking on your mobile device (Android or iPhone) with our mobile app, or access a mobile-friendly version on your mobile internet browser. Along with online banking, you are always welcome to visit OUCU and check your account balances in person, or call our call center at (740) 597-2800 to get information about your account over the phone. You will also receive a notification via email that your e-statement is available to view in online banking each month.


Q: What’s the difference between a debit card and a credit card?

A: A debit card and a credit card look similar, but work very differently. A debit card, which you have the option to receive when you open your account, not only allows you to get cash from the ATM, it withdraws money directly from your checking account whenever you use it to pay.

A credit card is a loan from a financial institution. When you use a credit card, you are spending part of the loan, not money in your checking account. A credit card has a maximum spending limit, and you can use it to make purchases in any amount up to the maximum limit, and then pay it back in monthly installments. You pay interest, which is a fee to the financial institution, every month.

Q: What happens if I overdraw my checking account?

A: If you accidentally overdraw your checking account – or spend more money than you have – you may still be able to complete the transaction if you have the money in your savings account. The credit union will automatically transfer money from your savings to pay your transactions. This can happen up to 6 times a month, but you’ll have to pay a $1 overdraft fee. Since the number of automatic transfers is limited, it’s really important to keep track of how much you have in your accounts, especially when writing checks.

If you’re paying with your debit card and you don’t have the money in either account your card will be declined in most cases. You won’t be charged an overdraft fee, but you won’t be able to make your purchase and you’ll have to find another way to pay.

If you write a check and you don’t have the money in either account, the check may be paid, and your account will go into the negative, or the check will be returned. If the check is paid, the payee, the person or business you wrote the check to, will get their money. A $30 insufficient funds fee will be charged and will have to pay back the negative amount in your account. If the check is returned, the payee won’t get their money. A $30 returned check fee will still be charged and the payee may also charge you a fee for writing a bad check.

To stay on top of your account balance, set up a text or email alert through CU Alerts to notify you when your balance gets low.


Q: How does mobile deposit work?

A: Mobile deposit is a great feature that is included in the free OUCU iPhone and Android apps and on the mobile website. Instead of waiting to deposit a check in person at an OUCU branch, you can use the app to snap a picture of it and deposit it straight into your account. Simply log into the app, agree to the mobile deposit terms and conditions, and the app will lead you through the process of depositing a check. For more information, visit the mobile check deposit section of our website.


Q: Do I need to order paper checks for my checking account?

A: You are not required to order paper checks. Your debit card works the same way as a check; it withdraws money from your checking account when you use it. If you anticipate having to make a payment for a product or service that does not take debit cards, you can order checks. We even have mini-packs of checks available for members who occasionally write checks but don’t need many.


Q: What is direct deposit and how does it work?

A: When you start working, your employer may offer direct deposit, or the option to have your paycheck deposited into your checking account electronically rather than giving you a paper check. It is convenient because you don’t have to deposit your paycheck yourself. Your employer will need your checking account and the credit union’s routing number to set up your direct deposit.

Q: How do I set up account alerts?

A: It’s easy to set up both text and email alerts to notify you of changes to your account. For example, you can set up an alert to let you know when you have less than $5.00 in your account so you don’t accidentally overdraw. To set up your alerts you must set up your email and mobile phone number:
• Log in to your online banking account
• Click on “All Services” tab at the top of the page
• Click on “CU Alerts”
• Click on “Alert Addresses” tab
• Choose “Add New” to add new email
• To activate the email, you will be sent an activation code. Retrieve the code from your email and enter it where prompted, then click “Activate my Address”
• Follow the same procedure to set up your mobile phone number

You can set up your alerts on the CU Alerts page. See the CU Alerts section of our website for details and frequently asked questions: http://www.oucu.org/home/personal/electronic/account-alerts


For Parents

Q: Does my teen have to be present to open the account?

A: We know that sometimes it’s hard to coordinate your busy schedule with the rest of the family. If you wish to open an account for your teen but don’t have time to visit the credit union together, you can complete the Member Account Agreement at home when it fits your schedule. Simply request a blank agreement in person, by phone or email. Once completed you can drop it off, or mail it in, along with a photo copy of your identification (driver’s license for parent and driver’s license or Social Security Card for teen). You will be listed as a joint owner on the account. This is a great way to help your teen understand the process of managing their account from start to finish.

Q: What does it mean to be a “joint owner” on my teen’s account?

A: Being a joint owner means you and your teen have equal rights to all the funds in the account. Your teen’s name will be listed as primary on the account, but you will be able to make deposits, withdrawals, request transaction information or close the account. Joint owners will also be responsible for negative balances. Once the account is set up with joint ownership, the credit union cannot be restrict either users’ access to the funds. When your teen becomes an adult and is ready to manage money on his or her own, you can request to have your name removed from the account.

Q: What does it mean to be a cosigner on a loan for my teen?

A: A cosigner is responsible for the loan payment in the event that the primary borrower cannot make the payment. The loan will be listed on your credit report. Any missed payments will reflect on your report and may impact your score. If you apply for a loan of your own, the payment that you have cosigned for will be included in your loan application and may affect your ability to have additional credit extended. Although cosigners are liable for payments, they do not necessarily have an ownership interest in any collateral secured by the loan (i.e. legal claim to the vehicle for an auto loan).

Q: How can I monitor my teen’s account?

A: As a parent, you want to make sure your teen is getting off on the right foot. Because you will be a joint owner on the account, you will have access to a number of easy to use tools that allow you to keep an eye on the account and monitor balances and transactions.

With our online banking system, you can view and monitor your teen’s account in real time. The system also gives you the option to set up custom email and text message alerts that notify you of account changes the instant they happen. Set your account to send a notice when an account balance falls below a certain amount, when a debit card transaction occurs and more, all through the online banking system. You can set up online banking so you and your teen have your own login and password to access the account. (See the teen FAQ section above for instructions on how to set up alerts)
These alerts can be delivered to both you and your teen, keeping you up to date on the account and helping your teen learn to manage and use their account responsibly while you both receive account updates.

Q: If I have access to the information in my teen’s account, do they have access to my account?

A: No. Your teen would only be able to access your personal account if you give them access to your online banking with a login and password. Because they are a minor, you are a joint owner on their account, but they are not a joint owner on your account. Information about your account cannot be provided to anyone who is not listed as an owner on your account.