How Does An Overdraft Work? 

An overdraft occurs when you pay a transaction even though you don’t have enough funds in your account to make the payment. The money is automatically borrowed from the bank who covers the payments that would otherwise be rejected. Overdraft is a type of loan that often comes with significant fees. 

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Why Can’t I Overdraft My Direct Express Card?

Because Direct Express MasterCard is a debit card that doesn’t provide a line of credit, you can use it only as long as you have funds in your account. All of your purchases, withdrawals, and transaction fees are immediately deducted from your account balance. Once you’ve spent or withdrawn your entire balance, you have to wait until your next month’s benefits are paid to continue using your Direct Express card.

What Happens If I Try To Buy Something And Have No Funds On My Direct Express Account?

Unlike a regular checking account, the Direct Express card can’t be overdrawn. If the card has insufficient funds, the payment will be denied.

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There is one exception, however. It is possible to overdraw your Direct Express account if you use your card to pay for gas. That’s why when buying gas with your Direct Express card, you should always go inside the gas station and pay with the attendant.

The Direct Express debit card has no overdraft fees.

What If I Have A Bill On Autopay But Not Enough Money? Will It Overdraft?

When you use a Direct Express card, your bills are paid in real time without postal service or check clearing delays. Your payments with Direct Express are received and recorded immediately. 

Since it’s not possible to overdraw your Direct Express card account, if you have a bill on autopay and no funds, the bill simply won’t be paid. With a Direct Express card, you can‘t spend more funds than what you have in your account. 


  • Wanting to know all the info on what to do when your Direct Express card is lost?
  • Wondering how the Direct Express’s Emergency Cash program works?
  • Do you want to know more about Direct Express Routing Number?

Things To Keep In Mind Before Setting Up An Automatic Bill Payment

If you would like to set up an automatic bill payment, you will need to make sure that you always have enough available funds on your Direct Express card to cover the monthly payments. To check your account balance, you can either call the toll-free customer service number on the back of your card, log into your account through the Direct Express website, or use the Direct Express mobile app. There is no fee for checking your account balance. 

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Direct Express has the option of signing up for low balance alerts. This is a useful feature if you plan to use the card to make automatic online payments, for example paying regular utility bills. Alerts will also allow you to get a warning if your card or account becomes compromised or is used fraudulently.

Go here to learn how to solve other common problems with Direct Express

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