USAA paid an ACH of $4480.00 when I only had a balance of $600.00

I am in deep water is seems thanks to USAA. I made a payment to my Amex Personal Loan from the Amex website. The payment was supposed to be $44.80. Due to a typographical error, I made a payment of $4480.00. Amex wasn't able to cancel the payment because the payment was made the same day (lesson learned).


I called Amex and let them know the problem. They said, "no problem" and that I will be charged a $27.00 fee. So I made the proper payment, expecting USAA to refuse to pay the ACH payment coming from Amex Peronal Loans. I wake up this morning and check my balance and see that USAA has PAID the $4480.00 bill from my checking account, putting me about $3800.00 in the RED. What bank would pay a bill and overdraft a customer almost $4000.00????


So, I transferred $500.00 from BoA, pulled cash from my USAA credit card, and mad a cash advance on my BoA credit card. What is worse is that I have a student loan payment coming through today and it is going to refused since I won't have any money in my USAA checking account for a few days.


AGAIN..WHY would USAA pay a bill (instead of just refusing to pay and charging me an overdraft fee) and put my checking account $4000.00 in the negative????


Thank you for reaching out to us today @Xanduur. I do regret to hear of this experience. I was able to locate your profile and will share your concerns with a subject matter expert for review. Once reviewed they will contact you. -Emily

 I hope I can answer in an expedited manner. As it stands, I am financially ruined for the next several months. I would like to know why USAA chose to put me in the red for $4000  versus just not paying this payment and simply charging me an NSF fee.


Given the significant issue of identity theft these days are we to understand that if an identity theft criminal were to obtain our checking account information one way or the other and started making deposits to other accounts that USAA will make the payments in full regardless of the balance in our checking account???

I intentionally keep the balance on my checking account low so if someone were to obtain the checking account info or debit card info that he would only be able to withdraw a limited amount of money out of the account.

Simple Question: Is it the policy of USAA to make a payment in full even though that payment exceeds the balance in the checking account? Yes or No?

Xanduur: Track your credit score to see if it is impacted by this transaction. If it is make sure USAA has your credit score put back to where it was before this issue. Keep in touch.

Stand United
39 Year Member

@ Stand United - I do believe that USAA will put members in the red.  Read some of the stories re: fraud that have occurred especially with college students.  It does involve a fraudster depositing money into the member's account and then starting to make copious withdrawals.  Even if the member catches on right away, I am not sure that USAA has always been good about helping out or alleviating the situation.  Also this brings up another point - do not have joint accounts with your children, grandchildren, etc because if their accounts go into the red USAA can pull money from your personal accounts to offset the negative balances on any account that you are linked to.  If you need the ability to speak on behalf of your children, etc, do it with an authorization or power of attorney.  

Hi Xanduur,
Did you have overdraft protection enabled on the account?

With overdraft protection the balance may go temporarily negative while the system tries to compensate, for example with a transfer from the backup account or a charge to a credit card if those are listed as primary and/or secondary sources of funding.
The overdraft protection should only apply if the secondary source has the funds available to support the payment. Which is another reason not to have overdraft protection activated on your checking account because if someone is able to obtain the account info then they can not only empty your checking account but they can empty your secondary savings account as well. Unfortunately it looks like USAA has gone into silence mode on this one so let me send a private message to them and see what the reply is. More to follow.
When using a credit card as overdraft protection the cash advance may not show up on the account until the next day

So the account balance may temporarily look negative and only reflect the actual ‘protected’ balance after overnight reconciliation

It is just one possibility

One should also be aware of the terms and conditions on their credit cards and request hard limits so that the financial institution issuing the card does not raise the limit to cover a pending charge without consent

I actually would have appreciated them raising my limit to cover the erroneous payment amount. I wouldn't be thousands of dollars in the red. Instead USAA did the worst option and they claimed the "system/computer" is at fault...and they cannot do ANYTHING to help. Talking with them is like dealing with a cross between a lawyer and an Human Resources representative. :/

I did have overdraft protection in place, but there was not enough credit to cover such a large payment. I have since removed it.

The catch is that my account more than "appears" negative. I spoke with USAA today it it seems my student loan will bounce because of the negative balance this evening. STAY AWAY from the overdraft protection!!! If there had been no overdraft protection the loan payment would have just been denied and that would be it. Now I'm going to get multiple NSF fees from this erroneous loan payment, my student loan, AND the correct payment amount I made to Amex. 


USAA's makes the same claim time and time again. It is the SYSTEM and NONE of the employees who work at USAA can fix the problem. Since when did Skynet start running USAA? I so miss the days when USAA was run by people who worked to help their customers.