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FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

Please explain the check clearing law.

Check 21, the federal law on check clearing, has been in effect since 2004. The law allows financial institutions to use electronic image capturing and transmission technology to improve the check collection process.  The process produces an electronic check for processing instead of a paper check for clearing, which is why you get your check back at the cash register. Paper checks used to take several days to clear through the Federal Reserve. Now if you write a check, generally your account will be charged in one to two business days after your purchase.

What is Courtesy Pay?

Available for our standard checking account members, Courtesy Pay is an extra layer of protection from returned checks. Have you ever inadvertently bounced a check or forgot to write a SmartCash VISA Check Card purchase or ATM withdrawal in your check register? The Credit Union has added Courtesy Pay to help you avoid those embarrassing situations. If you accidentally overdraft your account, the Credit Union will pay the overdraft for you...¦even if it makes your account negative. You will then be charged the returned check fee of $25.00 and have thirty days to bring your account current. As always, the Credit Union will first look in your savings account to transfer monies from there to cover the draft, then to your overdraft line of credit, and finally to the Courtesy Pay option which will cover you up to $500. With Courtesy Pay, you won't incur additional fees from the person or business you wrote the check to. Consider Courtesy Pay as an added layer of account protection.

How do I get a copy of a substitute check?

The procedures for requesting and receiving a copy of a personal check will remain mostly the same. The only difference is if an original copy of the check is requested, a substitute check may be sent instead.

I deposited a check into my account and it was returned (bounced). I did not receive the original check back, I got a copy instead. What do I do now?

I did not receive the original check back, I got a copy instead. What do I do now? As a result of the Check 21 federal law, you received a copy instead of your original check. The copy you received is called a substitute check and it is legal tenure, as good as the original check. It can be re-deposited if you wish.

Can I download my Credit Union account history information to my personal computer?

If you have a share draft/checking account and the QuickTeller online service you can download account history information to your personal computer. Once you are logged into the QuickTeller online, on the left hand side is a menu of options. Under Export It, you have the options to download, Scheduled Transfers, Transfer History, Account History, or Register Names on an account. Still have questions, for additional information, click on "Help" on the online menu.

What is the Teen Checking account?

The Credit Union realizes the importance of getting kids started on the right foot when it comes to financial matters. This account gives our teen members, ages 13 to 17, the financial freedom of being responsible for their own money while under the tutorage of their guardian/parent and the Credit Union. This account comes with all the conveniences of our standard checking account with the exception of lower spending limits on the SmartCash Visa Check Card. Our young member will have access to their account via QuickTeller phone and online access, free overdraft protection from their savings, along with other great features. Contact a Member Service Representative for additional information.

How do I establish an account?

To establish an account visit a Member Services Representative or download a membership application. Complete the application and deposit $5.00 into your share account. Congratulations – the benefits of membership are now available!

Please note, due to federal regulations additional identifying information may be required. Please refer to the membership application for more details.

How long do I have to be a member before I can apply for a loan or purchase specialty tickets?

You can join the Credit Union and immediately take advantage of all the benefits of membership. Go ahead, join today and start the refinance of your car right away!

What are the hours for both locations?



Towson

Monday -Wednesday & Friday 8am - 4pm
Thursday 8am - 6pm

Perry Hall

Monday - Thursday 9am -5pm
Friday 9am - 6pm
Saturday 9am - 12noon

What are the phone hours for the Credit Union?

The phone hours are the same as the office hours. However, if you have someone's direct extension, you can reach their desk to leave a message for them before and after regular business hours by dialing their extension once you hear the closed message.

Where are you? Can I get directions?

Towson Office. 23 West Susquehanna Avenue, Towson, MD 21204. From I695 (the Baltimore Beltway) take exit 26A York Road, heading south. Follow York Road south to the fourth light - turn right onto Washington Avenue. (There is a parking garage right before the turn.) Follow Washington Avenue through the heart of Towson past the post office. Immediately before the road ends at Towsontown Blvd, turn left into the parking lot.

Perry Hall Office. 8640 Ridgely's Choice Drive, Baltimore, MD 21236. From the I695 inner loop. Take the White Marsh Blvd, Route 43 exit 31-C (left exit). Go to the third light and turn left, toward US 1 North. The next light is Belair Road, turn right. Once you crest the hill, take a left at the next light onto Ridgely's Choice Drive; the Credit Union is on your left. From the I695 outer loop. Take exit 32-B toward Bel Air US 1 North. Go approximately 1.7 miles and turn left on Ridgely's Choice Drive. The Credit Union is on your left. See www.mapquest.com for more details.

Please explain check holds.

Check holds are a security feature where the Credit Union makes deposits unavailable until the funds are processed through the Federal Reserve System. The funds are placed into your account the day you transact the deposit and you will receive the current dividend rate on the funds, but they are not available for use until they have gone through the process of being presented to the financial institution where the check was drawn and the funds made available to the Credit Union. This is done to protect your account from future bounced checks in the event a deposit is returned.

Check holds vary based on whether or not the financial institution it was drawn on is local or non-local. Local check holds will not exceed two business days, non-local check holds are normally five business day. With both types of holds, $200 is available the first business day after the deposit. As with every rule, there are exceptions, please refer to the "Check Hold Policy" brochure available at both locations or request one by emailing info@bcefcu.com.

Please note:
the funds will be held against the account where the majority of the deposited money went. If you prefer the hold be placed on funds elsewhere, please let the teller know at the time of deposit.

Why does my change of address have to be in writing?

The Credit Union believes in account security, we don't sell your information to anyone and we don't believe in giving it away either. We request your change of address in writing so we can verify the signature against your membership application. Thieves have been known to change an address on an account and then request additional services be mailed to the new address and you would never know; we're trying to prevent this.

How do I use a debit card?

The SmartCash card is what they refer to as a check card. You can use it to access your checking account without the hassle of writing a check. To purchase something, simply present the card for payment where ever you see the Visa logo. If the sales clerk asks you debit or credit, you can choose either; it depends on if you're comfortable punching in the four digit Personal Identification Number or if you prefer to sign your name. (Some warehouse companies ask that you use the debit access only.) Complete the sale by using your PIN or signing the receipt. Now save your receipt to verify that the money came out of your account by verifying it against your monthly checking account statement.

To get money out of an ATM machine, place the card in the machine the way the picture on the machine asks, and then follow the directions on the screen. Normally the first thing you do is punch in your PIN, then choose what you want to do; account transfer, balance inquiry, withdraw cash, or at the BCEFCU branch machines – deposit a check or cash. It should only take a minute or two to access your account. The Credit Union reminds you that your safety comes first and to always go to a well lit ATM and to be aware of your surroundings.

How many times can I use my debit card in a day and what is the daily maximum dollar amount?

You can access your account nine times a day with a $500 maximum at an ATM, and, 15 times a day with a maximum of $1,000 for purchases. The Credit Union will not charge a fee for the first eight withdrawals a month, after that there is a $1.00 fee per transaction – unless you use a BCEFCU machine (they're always fee-free!) The Credit Union cannot guarantee you will not be charged a fee (surcharge) to use another financial institution's machine. We have made an alliance with three area Credit Unions that allow you to use their machines fee-free. However, remember that using them still counts against your eight withdrawals a month. Go to the ATM/Phone Banking page under the Products & Services menu to see the listing and location of the other Credit Union machines. In addition, we are also affiliated with Allpoint, America’s largest surcharge-free ATM Network. There are over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs across the United States conveniently located at retailers like 7-Eleven, CVS, Target and Walgreens.

If I'm eligible for membership through my employer and I retire or leave, do I need to close my account?

No, the Credit Union's policy is, "Once you're a member, always a member." You do not have to close your account, but if you have payroll deduction to a loan from your paycheck you should contact the Loan Department to make other payment arrangements.

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