- According to the Expedited Funds Availability Act, passed in 1987, the first $200 of a check deposit must be made available by the next business day. The amount was later amended to $225.
- For deposits at ATMs not operated by the bank, federal regulations require funds availability no later than five business days after the deposit.
- Banks may impose cutoff times, after which deposited funds will be credited to the account on the next business day.
- The bank’s policy on held funds should be printed on the receipt for the deposit.
How Long Does It Take for a Check to Clear?
Typically, it takes about two business days for a check to clear. However, the clearing time may vary depending on factors such as the bank’s policies, the check amount and the account history. Refer to your financial institution’s deposit agreement for specific details on their check clearing process.
Why Are Your Checks on Hold?
The federal $225 rule means checks for less than this amount will clear immediately. For greater amounts, a bank follows its own fund availability policy, which dictates the time needed to make funds available from a deposited check. A common policy is to make the funds available on the following business day.
How Long Does It Take a $2500 Check to Clear?
If a check for $2,500 is deposited on Friday, for example, $225 would be available immediately, and the $2,275 balance will be available on a non-holiday Monday. It’s also common to make the entire balance of direct-deposited checks available immediately.
In the following cases, there may be a longer hold of up to five business days on the funds. A federal banking regulation known as Regulation CC covers the exceptions that allow extended holds.
The bank may hold large deposits of more than $5,525 for an extended period. This is known as an “exception hold” and can last for a reasonable period of time, defined in the rules as up to five days–one explanation of why it might take up to five days for a check to clear, in addition to the original hold imposed by the bank.
The exception hold applies to personal, business and government checks. It is permitted when the aggregate amount of check deposits reaches $5,525, meaning smaller checks can also be put on an exception hold if more than one check is deposited.
In the case of a bounced check, a bank customer may re-deposit the check, but the bank may place an exception hold on it the second time around. The bank may have a policy that the check must clear before funds are made available.
Suspicious Check Deposits
A bank may place an exception hold on any check deemed suspicious or problematic. For example, a check that has been dated six months previous to the deposit. In this case, the bank may want to verify the account the check is drawn on is still open and active.
A check deposited into an account opened within the last 30 days may be subject to an exception hold.
If a customer has been regularly overdrawing an account, the bank is permitted to hold funds from a deposited check for an extended period. The regulations mention a review period of six months for checking accounts, meaning no overdrafts in the past six months would help you to avoid an exception hold on deposits.
If in the bank’s judgment collecting the funds from a deposited check is problematic, it may impose an exception hold. The bank would need to verify the check, after which the money would become available to the depositor.
Did You Know?
There are a few scenarios that might fall under the definition of “doubtful collection.” For example, a bank might question a check written out for $1 billion or one that a child has obviously signed. Some checks, such as those unsigned, undated or with unclear routing or account numbers, might not be accepted at all.
Notification and Time Period
If a bank does place an exception hold on a check, it must notify the depositor of the reason and explain the expected date for funds availability. Regulation CC allows exception holds to last no more than seven business days, after which the bank will have to establish the specific reason for the extended hold.
If a deposited check is returned for insufficient funds, the bank will reverse the deposit and debit the account. If the debit results in a negative balance, the customer will be expected to resolve the issue as soon as possible. A bank typically charges a fee for all returned checks.
Following is a partial list of major U.S. banks with their current fund availability policy.
|Bank or Retailer
|Funds Availability Policy
|Bank of America
|For Eastern or Central time zones, a check deposited before 9 p.m. will be available the next business day. For Mountain and Pacific zones, the cutoff time is 8 p.m.
|The bank makes funds available the next business day after the date of deposit. For some accounts, including new customers, accounts with overdrafts, high-dollar deposits and re-deposited checks that have been returned, the bank may place a hold of up to seven days on the funds.
|Checks from government agencies, and those from the same bank, will clear by the next business day. Others may take longer, such as checks for more than $5,525, checks deposited into accounts less than 30 days old, or if there have been multiple overdrafts.
|Deposits made before the end of the day will be credited to the account the same day. These funds may not be immediately available for withdrawal. Funds that arrive in the account by direct deposit are available immediately.
|The first $225 of a check deposit is available immediately, with the remainder available the next business day if deposited before the branch cutoff time. After that time, checks are available on the second business day.
|For check deposits, $100 is available the day of deposit; the full balance is available the next business day.
|Checks drawn on PNC Bank are available to pay (for checks presented to the bank) if deposited before the cutoff time of 10 p.m. All other funds are available the next business day.
|Government checks, checks drawn on HSBC, certified checks and cashier’s checks are available the next business day. For others, $225 is available the next business day, and the balance is available the second business day.
|Check deposits are available the next business day unless a hold is placed.
|Funds are available on the next business day after the cutoff time of 2 p.m. Deposits made after the cutoff time may also be available on the next business day.
|Checks drawn on Ally Bank and government checks are available the next business day; for all other checks, $300 is available the next business day, balance is available the second business day.
|Pre-printed, government, payroll, tax, cashiers’ and retirement account checks cashed for up to $5,000; two-party personal checks cashed for up to $200.
|Money Services will cash a wide variety of checks but requires a current valid ID.
Banking rules can be confusing and complex. But by federal regulation, funds availability policies must be posted somewhere in the bank, which is also expected to print the information on deposit slips and give notice to account holders if the policy changes. If you still have questions or are unsure why a deposit is being held up, call your bank’s customer service line or head into a branch to discuss the matter.
John Csiszar contributed to the reporting for this article.
Information is accurate as of Jan. 5, 2023.
The article above was refined via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of our editorial team.
The information related to Chase was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product. Product details may vary. Please see the issuer’s website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for this product.
Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.
- HelpWithMyBank.gov. "I deposited a check. When will my funds be available?"
- FDIC. "Expedited Funds Availability Act."
- Federal Reserve Board. "A Guide to Regulation CC Compliance."
- HelpWithMyBank.gov. "I made a large deposit. When will the funds be available?"
- HelpWithMyBank.gov. "Are there exceptions to the funds availability (hold) schedule?"
- HelpWithMyBank.gov. "What is an exception hold on a redeposited check?"
- Checkeeper. 2022. "Prevent Your Checks from Being Rejected."
- Forbes. 2022. "Returned Check Fee: The Cost Of A Bounced Check."
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