How quickly can I get money after I deposit a check into my checking account? What is a deposit hold?

Answer: Each bank or credit union has its own rules as to when it will let you access money after you deposit a check, but federal law establishes the maximum length of time a bank or credit union can make you wait.

If the transaction was made using a debit card or other electronic fund transfer, you may have additional protections under federal law. Electronic fund transfers include ATM transactions, purchases using your debit card, some online bill payments, and payments you’ve set up to be deducted from your account automatically.

Generally, if you deposit a check or checks for $200 or less in person to a bank employee, you can access the full amount the next business day. If you deposit checks totaling more than $200, you can access $200 the next business day, and the rest of the money the second business day.

If your deposit is a certified check, a check from another account at your bank or credit union, or a check from the government, you can withdraw or use the full amount on the next business day if you make the deposit in person to a bank employee.

If you make a check deposit at an ATM at your bank, you can withdraw or use the full amount on the second business day.

Your bank or credit union has a cut-off time for what it considers the end of the business day. If you make a deposit after the cut-off time, the bank or credit union can treat your deposit as if it was made on the next business day. A bank or credit union’s cut-off time for receiving deposits can be no earlier than 2:00 p.m. at physical locations and no earlier than noon at an ATM or elsewhere.

The amount of time a bank or credit union holds funds you deposit by check is sometimes referred to as a “deposit hold” or “check hold”. Some banks or credit unions may make funds available more quickly than the law requires, and some may expedite funds availability for a fee. If you need the money from a particular check, you can ask the teller when the funds will become available. A receipt showing your deposit does not mean that the money is available for you to use.

It may take longer for you to access your deposit for a few reasons:

  • If you have a new account or if your account has been overdrawn too many times in the past six months;
  • If you make a deposit over $5,000;
  • If you make a deposit at an ATM owned by someone other than your bank or credit union; or
  • If the bank or credit union reasonably believes the deposited check may be uncollectible.
  • If you or your bank redeposit a check that has been returned unpaid.

TIP:

Your bank or credit union may have a different timetable for check deposits made through your mobile phone (i.e., by taking a photo of the check within your institution’s mobile banking app).  Be sure to ask your bank or credit union for this policy.

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