You deposited your check — but when will that money become accessible to you? Fund availability policies at banks and credit unions can vary depending on the type of transaction and the time of the deposit. These factors will determine when the money you deposited will become available for use or withdraw.

When You Can Touch Your Deposited Funds

Knowing when you will have access of your money can be helpful since you can plan to do things like pay bills on a certain date.

Many times, check deposits can leave the recipient worried about when the money will become fully accessible, and at times, both parties are confused about when the transaction will become finalized.

Some credit unions offer funds immediately after the deposit has been made, while others make you wait until the next business day. Use the following table to compare how long it takes for your deposits to become available at the top 10 credit unions.

Fund availability policies at the top 10 credit unions

Credit UnionsFund AvailabilityCut-off Time for Deposits
Navy Federal Credit UnionGenerally available for immediate withdrawal.Settlement time (2:00 pm, local time, for a staffed office or 12:00 noon, Eastern Time, for a Navy Federal Automatic Teller).
State Employees Credit UnionGenerally available for immediate withdrawal.4:00 p.m. on a business day.
Pentagon Federal Credit UnionGenerally available for immediate withdrawal.3:00 p.m. on a business day. (Eastern Time)
Boeing Employees Credit UnionCash and check deposits generally available the first business day following deposit.7:00 p.m. on a business day. (Pacific Time)
Schoolsfirst Federal Credit UnionDeposits available on the same business day.2:00 p.m. on a business day.
The Golden 1 Credit UnionCash, check and electronic direct deposits available for immediate withdrawal.Closing time on a business day. 3:00 p.m. at ATMs.
Alliant Credit UnionDeposits available on the same business day.2:00 p.m. on a business day.
Security Service Federal Credit UnionCash and check deposits available on the first business day.Closing time on a business day.
Star One Credit UnionDeposits generally available on the same business day.Closing time on a business day.
San Diego County Credit UnionCash, check, and electronic deposits generally available on same business day.3:00 p.m. on a business day. (Pacific Time)

Ideally, all deposits will be available as the chart indicates above, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, the credit union may hold your money for an extended period of time for various reasons. To control the hold period on deposits, the Expedited Funds Availability Act was passed in 1987, which regulates how deposit hold policies are carried out at all banks and credit unions in the U.S.

Know When Your Check Deposit Has Cleared

Another important thing to keep in mind is that even though the amount was posted to your account and accessible to you, it does not mean that the check has cleared.

There is no set time frame on how long it takes a check to clear at credit unions and cannot be determined before the check is first submitted for deposit. The actual transaction is a multistep process — heavily dependent on the paying institution — with several factors (like type of transaction and amount of deposit) that could possibly delay your bank from receiving the funds.

Generally if there are no issues, your credit union should receive the funds within five (5) business days, after which the check will clear.

Your Case May Vary

The policies set forth above by credit unions, when it comes to posting deposits, are general rules that apply to the majority of deposit transactions.

As always, you may have deposits that take longer to clear and post to your account. It may not be available in the same day or the next business day. There are many reasons that could explain why your credit union chose to put a longer hold on a specific deposit transactions.

Possible reasons may include, but are not limited to:

  • The credit union suspects a fraudulent transaction
  • The size of the deposit is very large (e.g., more than $10,000)
  • Your account was opened recently
  • Previous history of repeated returned deposits

Therefore, don’t be surprised when the deposit doesn’t post on the same day. Usually, you’ll be notified on the deposit receipt when your specific transaction is being held for an extended review.

If not, you should contact your credit union to find out why your deposit is taking longer than usual to clear.

Theresa is a research analyst at She is an expert in bank fees and policies, money psychology and consumer spending.

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