Home Business & Finance How Long Does It Take for a Check to Clear?

One of the most ardent questions of anyone who writes checks is how long does it take for a check to clear? There isn’t a universal answer to this question since the process factors in various circumstances and conditions. On average, the funds will leave your account in two working days. However, the process might be slowed down by sundry factors. For example, checks that exceed $10,000 could take as long as ten working days to clear. At the same time, cashier’s checks funds are usually cleared on the following business day.

The deposit receipt

As a rule, the funds from the paying institution have to reach the bank in five business days. But that’s not always the case. Let’s see how a simple look at the deposit receipt tells you how long it’s bound to take. Whenever you make a deposit, you receive a deposit receipt. This includes the time and the date when the check is estimated to be cleared. Besides this information, the receipt will also indicate the hold time for your check. The hold time stands for the period of time the check is placed on hold and is calculated by taking into consideration your account balances and account background. The date on the receipt indicating when funds will be available is generally pretty accurate, with the slight delay of one or two business days.

Bigger deposits

The clearing time for large deposits differs from bank to bank. And this is not the only factor to influence how fast a $15,000 check will be cleared. The relationship between the customer and the bank also weighs in heavily on this one. For example, a client who maintains a steady balance in his account at all times and wants to deposit a large sum could see his or her check cleared on the next business day. However, things are slightly different when we’re talking about a customer who has the average balance of $2. As a rule, this client’s check will be put on hold for eight to ten business days. Another thing that could delay any client’s check being cleared are several returned deposits and abnormal overdraft activity.

How Long Does It Take for a Check to Clear

Checks on hold

When a check can’t be cleared, the bank will put it on hold and it will be resent for approval. This further delays the process. Delays are generally caused by closed, blocked or frozen accounts, as well as insufficient funds. If everything goes smoothly, the funds should reach the bank in five working days. However, in some cases, the funds could be made available for you, despite the fact that the bank hasn’t yet received the funds.

Fund availability

Fund availability refers to the funds being released to you when they haven’t reached the bank yet. It’s worth making the distinction between the time it takes to clear a check and fund availability. Despite the fact that the funds are entirely or partially available, that doesn’t actually mean they are yours until the check is cleared at the bank. Due to the fund availability policy of each bank, you can access the deposited amounts before the checks get fully cleared. The policy varies with each bank. Let’s take a look at the most popular banks and their policies of fund availability.

  • Citibank allows you to access $200 of the total deposit on the same business day the deposit is made. Checks that don’t exceed $5,000 are cleared in three business days, while checks that go over $5,000 can take up to four days.
  • Bank of America makes available the first $200 within one business day after making the deposit.
  • Wells Fargo’s fund availability allows you to access the first $200 of the deposit a day or two after the deposit has been made.
  • Chase bank customers will have access to at least $200 of the deposit following the first business days after the deposit has been made.
  • PNC Bank customers can withdraw $100 from the deposit on the day when this is made. Another $100 become available the following business day.
  • TD Bank follows the exact same policy, with $100 available on the day of the deposit with an additional $100 on the first business day after the deposit.
  • Sun trust generally makes $200 available on the spot or on the following business day after the deposit, at the latest.

The great majority of banks are bound to offer the depositor around $200 that are immediately available whenever a deposit is made. A simple online banking check will show you the current available balance and the current account balance. The former indicates the sum that you can withdraw or use, while the latter also includes the money that hasn’t been cleared yet.

Cashier’s checks

How Long Does It Take for a Check to Clear

Cashier’s checks are issued by banks and, since they are sent by financial institutions, they are guaranteed by the bank. Most of the times, cashier’s checks will be used when acquiring something with larger sums, like a car or a house. In this case, the recipient will require a guarantee to ensure payment. Here is where cashier’s checks come into play. They offer reassurance that the check clears. These types of checks are more secure than personal checks. Since the bank holds the funds, the verification process runs smoother and the great majority of banks can make the funds available as soon as the following business day. In the less fortunate scenario, when the bank believes the cashier’s check is fraudulent, the process will take several weeks for verification and clearance.

When to contact your bank

It’s important to make a difference between days off (national holidays, Saturdays and Sundays) and business days (Monday through Friday, excluding national holidays). For example, if the deposit check was made on a Friday, you’ll have to wait until Monday to start counting the business days. The answer to the question how long does it take for a check to clear varies between one to two business days. When the check doesn’t clear in one or two days, there could be several issues at hand: a problem with the paying institution, your account balance, your account history or the amount, just to name a few. On this note, expect a $10,000 check to take several more days to clear if you’re notorious for bounced checks or overdrawing .

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Gabrielle Moreno

Hi, my name is Gabrielle, but all my friends call me Gaby. Having a degree in foreign languages, I first intended to develop a career in translations, but then I realized human interaction is more satisfying and got engaged in educational projects. Writing is my second best skill after teaching. I started writing about jobs and education based on my experience of not knowing what career path to choose. Sharing my knowledge and experience is the most rewarding aspect of my work, especially when I see it really touches people. Therefore, I look forward to reading your comments, thoughts and opinions. Feel free to contact me.


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