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Use COP when in a bind



Picture of a guy with his pockets inside out with no money.
Don't be caught without money.

What is it?

Courtesy overdraft protection, often referred to as COP, is a cushion for the times that members may need to take an account negative. Many credit unions allow members to use COP to withdrawal their checking account negative without having that withdrawal returned or rejected. Usually a limit is placed on how much a member can go negative. SOCU’s COP limit is $750. Members can take their checking account balance negative up to $750, without having a return initiated on those items. Often an introductory period is required before members are eligible for COP. This period is 60 days for new checking account members at SOCU.

Should I use COP?

Go negative, no return, no hassle, no negative affect on my checking account, why wouldn’t I do this? Using COP, although it is a great perk, does usually have a fee associated with it. Most times this fee is assessed for each item or withdrawal that is processed while members are negative. At SOCU this fee is $29. Other credit unions may assess different fees. All fees are included in the limit. For example, members are not allowed to withdrawal a full $750, because the fee being assessed would put them over the limit. When using COP factor in your expected fees to determine if you will go over the limit.

When should I use COP?

It is always a good idea to use COP sparingly and responsibly. When going negative on a checking account, members should make sure that they will have enough funds to bring their account positive again quickly. Accounts that sit negative for more than 30 days can be closed. Members should use COP when they run into instances when they have no choice, but to use the service. Keep in mind that COP is a perk that can often be revoked for overuse or improper use, so make sure the terms of your credit union are being followed.


It is always a good idea to use COP sparingly and responsibly. When going negative on a checking account, members should make sure that they will have enough funds to bring their account positive again quickly.


What happens if I don’t use COP?

If a member does not have COP, debit card transactions will be rejected if funds are not available. Other withdrawals that result in a negative balance will cause an NSF fee and the subsequent returning of the item to the original processor. This means members will need to pay a fee (SOCU’s NSF fee is $29) and also make sure that the company, person or business is paid the funds in which they did not receive. Most businesses also charge an NSF check fee on their end as well.

How do I sign up?

When opening a checking account, COP will be turned on at 60 days if the account is in good standing. No sign up is required to receive this perk. If you have any questions about this process or how COP works please contact us.