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What is Bank Overdraft ? What are the advantages and disadvantages of overdraft? Read the Full Article

What is Bank Overdraft: Overdrafts are financial tools that play an important role in personal and business finances, providing a safety net when unexpected expenses arise. In this article, we will learn about the intricacies of overdrafts, what they are, how they work, their advantages and disadvantages, the process to avail this facility, and whether it is available for savings accounts.

What is Overdraft?

Overdraft is a financial arrangement that allows an account holder to withdraw money in excess of his or her account balance up to a specified limit. Essentially, it provides a recourse for individuals or businesses when faced with unexpected expenses. Overdrafts can be a valuable financial tool, providing flexibility and peace of mind.

Facility to withdraw more money:

Overdraft facility is a predetermined credit limit that a bank offers to its customers. This limit represents the maximum amount that an account can go into negative territory. Once this limit is reached, any further attempts to withdraw funds will be rejected until the account balance comes back within the allowed limit.

Overdraft Benefits:

Flexibility in Financial Management: Overdrafts provide flexibility, allowing account holders to deal with temporary financial challenges without having to deal with bounced checks or declined transactions.

Emergency Fund Buffer: It acts as an emergency fund, preventing financial stress when unexpected expenses arise such as medical bills, car repairs or home maintenance.

Interest only on amount utilized: Interest is generally charged only on the amount used, providing a cost-effective solution compared to other types of credit.

Quick access to funds: Overdraft provides quick and easy access to funds, ensuring timely resolution of financial obligations without the need for a lengthy approval process.

Overdraft Disadvantages:

Interest cost: While interest is charged only on the amount used, rates can be relatively high compared to other types of credit, potentially increasing the financial burden if not managed judiciously.

Fees and charges: Banks may impose fees and charges for maintaining an overdraft facility, and additional penalties may be imposed if the agreed limit is exceeded.

Dependency Risk: Frequent reliance on overdrafts may indicate financial instability, which can potentially affect credit scores and long-term financial health.

How to avail overdraft facility:

Check Eligibility: Determine the eligibility criteria set by the bank, which include factors such as credit history, income stability and account conduct.

Submit application: Complete the required application forms provided by the Bank, providing accurate and up-to-date financial information.

Approval process: The Bank will evaluate the application taking into account the financial position and creditworthiness of the applicant. Approval time may vary.

Get overdraft limit: Once approved, the bank will assign an overdraft limit based on the financial profile of the applicant.

Is overdraft available in savings accounts?

Yes, many banks offer overdraft facility for savings accounts. However, availability may depend on the bank's policies and the creditworthiness of the account holder. Some banks automatically provide overdraft facilities for certain types of accounts, while others may require a separate application.

Do banks provide overdraft facility in savings accounts?

Banks vary in their policies, and while some offer overdraft facilities for savings accounts, others may not. It is important to contact your specific bank to understand their offerings and requirements.

FAQ (Frequently Asked question):

Q.1) Can I get an overdraft without a good credit score?

Ans: While a good credit score increases your chances, some banks may offer overdrafts to individuals with low credit scores, but may impose strict terms.

Q.2) Is the overdraft limit fixed, or can it be changed?

Ans: The overdraft limit is set by the bank based on your financial profile. It can be adjusted over time based on changes in your financial situation.

Q.3) Can I use overdraft for any purpose?

Ans: Generally, overdraft funds can be used for any legitimate purpose. However, it is important to follow the terms and conditions set by the bank.

Q.4) Are there overdraft options for emergency funds?

Ans: Yes, options include personal loans, credit cards, and emergency savings. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is essential to choose based on your specific needs.


Overdraft facilities are valuable financial tools that provide flexibility and convenience to account holders. Understanding the advantages, disadvantages, and application process is important for responsible and effective financial management. Be it for managing unexpected expenses or providing a financial safety net, overdrafts can play an important role in your overall financial strategy.

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