It may come as a surprise, but every bank has different procedures and policies that determine how long it takes for a check to clear. Knowing how long it takes for a check to clear is important for money management. It’s helpful to know when funds are expected to be in your account.
When you deal with checks it can seem confusing as to how much money you have actually available. After you look at your receipt or account balance you may notice two different figures. One will read account balance, the other will read available balance. The account balance is what is posted to your account, including funds that have yet to clear. The available balance is the true amount of money in your possession, or the money you actually accessible to you.
The reason these two numbers may be different is because it takes time for your bank to verify the funds for the check you deposited. A person who lives paycheck by paycheck should have a good grasp on how long it takes for a check to deposit. You do not want to be surprised if a check takes longer than expected to clear.
Compare the time it takes to clear a check at the top 10 banks.
How long it takes for a deposited check to clear
Depending on who you bank with will determine how long it takes for a check to clear. All banks are built and organized differently. Some banks offer funds available the next day, while it may take up to three or longer for others. Use the following table to get a breakdown how long checks take to clear at the top 10 banks.
How Long It Takes a Check to Clear at the Top 10 Banks
|Bank||Standard Deposit||Mobile Deposit|
|Bank of America||Same day as long as it is before the cut-off time (posted at branch and ATMs).||Next business day as long as deposited before cut-off time (varies by region).|
|Wells Fargo||Next business day.||Available next day if deposit is made before 9 P.M. EST, and on second business day if after.|
|Chase||Funds available after midnight if deposited before 8 P.M. local time.||Funds available one to two business days after deposit if deposited before 8 P.M. local time.|
|Citibank||All checks deposited subject to standard two to three day clear time.||All checks deposited subject to standard two to three day clear time.|
|U.S. Bank||$200 available upon deposit. Rest of funds available next business day, but may take up to five if account is newer than 30 days old.||Deposited funds available next business day (cut-off time 9 P.M. CST Monday through Friday).|
|PNC||Funds available next day, or two business days if account is less than 30 days old.||Available next day. Out of state checks through remote deposit take two days to clear.|
|Capital One||Funds present on first business day after initial deposit. (cut-off 2 P.M. local time).||Funds available next day with 360 Checking or a Capital One Bank account.|
|TD Bank||Available next day if deposited before 8 P.M. EST cut-off time.||Available next day if deposited before 8 P.M. EST cut-off time.|
|BB&T||BB&T Checks- Available same night Non-BB&T Checks- Available first business day after deposit.||All mobile deposits take three days to clear.|
|SunTrust Bank||Available next day as long as before cut-off time (4 P.M. at local branch and 9 P.M. EST for ATM deposits).||Available next business day if deposited before 9 P.M. EST.|
(Note: business days do not include Saturday, Sunday, or holidays.)
Waiting for a check to clear
If you have written a check to someone and are waiting for it to clear, the process is different than if you were to deposit it. You have to take the payee into consideration, and when he/she decides to deposit the check, and their banking institution’s policies. You cannot truly predict when the funds will be pulled from your account on a check you wrote, because the other person may wait a while to deposit it on their end.
Review your online statement, account balance at an ATM, or call your bank to verify when the check is deposited.
What about cashier’s checks?
Cashier’s checks are a bit different. Depending on where the cashier’s check originated from will determine how long it takes for the funds to clear. Most banks will make the funds available to you the next day. Practice caution when depositing a cashier’s check.
There are many counterfeit cashier’s checks in circulation. Do not be fooled if the funds are shown available in your account. It can take banks several weeks to figure out a cashier’s check is fake. When a bank finds a fake cashier’s check they retract the money you deposited earlier from your account. Learn how to spot a counterfeit cashier’s check to prevent the chance that you fall for a scam.