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.
Read on to find out the deposit availability times at the top ten credit unions, as well as reasons why your funds might be delayed.
When You Can Use 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 Top Credit Unions
|Credit Unions||Fund Availability||Cut-off Time for Deposits|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||Cash, check, and electronic deposits generally available the first business day following deposit.||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 Union||Cash, check, and electronic deposits generally available for immediate withdrawal.||Closing time on a business day.|
|Pentagon Federal Credit Union||Cash, check, and electronic deposits generally available for immediate withdrawal.||Closing time on a business day.|
|Boeing Employees Credit Union||Cash, check, and electronic deposits generally available the first business day following deposit.||3:00 p.m. on a business day. (Pacific Time)|
|Schoolsfirst Federal Credit Union||Deposits available on the same business day.||4:30 p.m. on a business day.|
|The Golden 1 Credit Union||Cash, check and electronic direct deposits available for immediate withdrawal.||3:00 p.m. on a business day. (Pacific Time)|
|Alliant Credit Union||Deposits available on the same business day.||2:00 p.m. on a business day.|
|Security Service Federal Credit Union||Cash and check deposits available on the first business day.||Closing time on a business day.|
|Star One Credit Union||Deposits generally available on the same business day.||Closing time on a business day.|
|San Diego County Credit Union||Cash, 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.
This means that banks may be able to hold your funds for a longer amount of time, depending on the situation or circumstance. Often times, this hold time is referred to as an exception.
Exceptions, as detailed in the act, may allow banks, credit unions, savings associations, etc., to exceed the “maximum hold periods” specified in the availability schedule.
The exceptions are considered “safeguards” to the banks, since they are ways the banks can lessen, and hopefully avoid, any kind of risk or fraud.
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
There are many reasons that could explain why your credit union chose to put a longer hold on
6 Reasons Your Funds Are Delayed
There are ultimately six (6) categories that the cause of delayed funds may fall into:
1. The credit union suspects a fraudulent transaction, or any other reason to cause doubt in collectibility.
This exception may be applied to all checks, and in order to trigger the doubt, credit unions must disclose the reason to the banking consumer.
The basis for reasonable cause of doubt can be any number of reasons, but some of the more common reasons may be:
- A stop-payment order has been placed on the check
- There are insufficient funds in the account to cover the check
- The check will be returned unpaid
- The check was deposited six months after the date of the check (stale date), or the check was post-dated (future date)
- The depositary institution believes the depositor is engaging in some kind of fraudulent behavior
Regardless of what the exact exception might be, the credit union or bank must disclose the reason to the depositor, and indicate that the check may not be paid.
2. The size of the deposit is very large (e.g., more than $5,000).
Your credit union may place a hold on the check if the deposit amount is larger than what is usual for a typical business day — generally this amount is $5,000 or more.
It’s important to note that your credit union may combine deposits made to multiple accounts, held by the same depositor, even if the depositor is not the sole or main accountholder.
3. Your account was opened recently.
A person’s “account” is considered new for the first 30 calendars it is open, beginning the first day it was established.
An account is not considered new if a banking consumer has had another account, within 30 calendar days, at the same bank they are opening a new account at.
Your bank or credit union may hold on to the funds for an extended amount of time if your relationship to the establishment is in its early stages.
4. Previous history of deposits to accounts that been repeatedly overdrawn.
If you have, or had, an account that has been repeatedly overdrawn in the previous six months, the bank or credit union may place a hold on the check your are trying to deposit.
Banking institutions define “repeatedly overdrawn” in two (2) ways:
- If the account was overdrawn, or would have been overdrawn had a check or other charges been paid, for six (6) or more banking days during the preceding six months, or
- Customers who incurred overdrafts on two (2) banking days within the preceding six-month period if the negative balance in the account(s) at that time was $5,000 or more
The bank or credit union may also consider this exception if the account would have been overdrawn by $5,000 or more, had the check or other charges been paid.
5. Checks that have been returned unpaid and are being redeposited.
If a bank or credit union is suspicious of a check that has been redeposited multiple times, they may delay the time in which you receive your funds.
This exception does not apply to checks that were returned unpaid simply because of a missing signature or incorrect date.
6. There is some kind of emergency condition.
Your credit union may delay your deposited funds under any one of the following specified emergency conditions:
- An interruption of communications, computer, or other equipment facilities
- Suspension of payments by another bank
- Any emergency condition beyond the control of the depositary bank or credit union
Therefore, don’t be surprised when the deposit doesn’t post on the same day.
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.
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 MyBankTracker.com. She is an expert in bank fees and policies, money psychology and consumer spending.