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Understanding Your Balance

One of the keys to managing your money successfully is understanding how your banking activity affects the balance of your account.

Your banking activity could include debits, credits, or transfers, and, based on the way these activities post to your account, your available balance is impacted:

Transaction Types

First, let's define the different types of transactions:

  • Credits – deposits or transfers of money into your account. Credits include cash or check deposits you make at the teller line or ATM, Automated Clearing House ("ACH") credits such as automated payroll deposits, and online banking transfers into your account from another account
  • Debits – withdrawals or transfers of money out of your account. When you write a check, use your ATM or Visa® Debit card to withdraw funds or make a purchase, or make online transfers out of your account such as a bill payment, we debit your account for the amount of the transaction

Current and available balance

Next, it is important to understand the difference between what is listed as your current balance and your available balance. These are not always the same figures.

  • Your current balance is the amount of money in your account at the beginning of the day after all of the prior evening’s transactions have posted. All wire transfers, online bill payments or transfers made during the current day post immediately and adjust the current balance by the transaction amount. However, you may still have other transactions that are pending, or waiting to be posted.
  • Your available balance represents the difference between the current balance and any pending transactions, except for signature debit card transactions, that have not yet posted. The available balance is the amount that is immediately available for withdrawal.

Transaction posting order

Finally, you need to understand how we post transactions, and how our posting order can affect your account's available balance. Assuming all deposit and withdrawal transactions below are made and received by First Tennessee within the same business day (note: it may take up to 3 days for certain debit card purchases to be presented to First Tennessee from the retailer), they will post to your account in the following order:

  1. Credits in descending dollar amount
  2. Bank initiated debits in descending order amount
  3. Non-returnable debits in time stamp order (e.g., wires, ACH pre-fund transactions, debit card, ATM withdrawal, internal funds transfers, bill pay)
  4. Non-returnable debits not time stamped (e.g., “on us” cashed checks in check number order)
  5. Returnable debits. ACH debit (non pre-fund transactions) by PAR number then checks in check number order
  6. Post-system generated transactions: service charges and fees.

Please be aware that if your account's available balance is insufficient to cover a transaction, your item will be considered "NSF" (non-sufficient funds) and we will either reject or return the transaction or pay according to our standard overdraft practices or if you authorized the bank to pay overdrafts on ATM and everyday debit card transactions. Most NSF items result in an NSF or overdraft fee to your account.

Click the links below to view some account posting scenarios and how they would impact account balance.

Scenario 1 | Scenario 2

Additional Information


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