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.

 

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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