Cash Overdraft Definition

Table of Contents

What is a Cash Overdraft?

A cash overdraft occurs when a company’s bank account balance falls below zero, and the bank allows the account to continue making transactions. In other words, the company has spent more money than it has available in its bank account.

Cash overdrafts typically occur when a company has issued more checks or made more electronic payments than the amount of money available in its account. However, in some cases, a bank may also allow a cash overdraft if it has granted the company a line of credit.

When a cash overdraft occurs, the bank may charge the company an overdraft fee, which is a penalty for having a negative account balance. In addition, the bank may charge interest on the amount of the overdraft until the company pays it back.

How Does a Cash Overdraft Work?

To better understand how a cash overdraft works, let us assume that a company has a bank account with a balance of $5,000. The company then issues a check for $6,000, which results in a negative balance of $1,000.

If the bank allows the check to clear, the company will have a cash overdraft of $1,000. The bank may charge an overdraft fee of $35 for the transaction and may also charge interest on the $1,000 until the company pays it back.

It is important to note that a cash overdraft is a temporary solution and should not be relied upon as a long-term financing option. Cash overdrafts can be costly, and the interest and fees can add up quickly, making it difficult for a company to pay back the amount owed.

Managing Cash Overdrafts

To manage cash overdrafts effectively, companies should regularly monitor their bank account balances and avoid spending more money than they have available in their accounts. In addition, companies should consider establishing a line of credit with their bank to avoid costly overdraft fees and interest charges.


In summary, a cash overdraft occurs when a company spends more money than it has available in its bank account. While banks may allow cash overdrafts, they can be costly and should not be relied upon as a long-term financing option. By monitoring their account balances and establishing a line of credit, companies can effectively manage their cash overdrafts and avoid costly fees and charges.


Leave a Reply


Signup our newsletter to get update information, news, insight or promotions.

Latest Post