How to Know When Your Funds Are Available

Two business days. That’s the average amount of time it takes before the money you dropped into your checking account is actually available to you. But that’s just the average—depending on the type of deposit you make, you could access your money immediately, or you may have to wait longer than just two days. It just depends. So, before you make any withdrawals or transfers, it's best to learn all about TD bank’s funds-availability policies. Otherwise, you may get dinged with a not-so-fun overdraft fee. Here’s a quick overview of how funds availability works.

What is bank funds availability?
Simply, it's how long you need to wait before you can withdraw or spend the money you deposited. The federal government gives banks guidelines for this time period, and then banks use them to create their own funds availability policies.

Banks give you their policies whenever you open a checking account. The print may be small, but it’s worth reading—or if you’re unclear on something, don’t be afraid to ask your bank rep questions. This way, you’ll know what the rules are so you can better plan your budget and make transactions at the right time—when funds have been made available to you.

When can you expect your funds to be available?
It depends on the type of deposit made into your account. There are a few factors at play.

Business hours
Most bank deposits are processed on business days (Monday–Friday), and all have daily cut-off times to validate deposits for that business day. Looking at your bank’s policies can be helpful here, too, or better yet, visit them online or give them a call if you have any questions.

Deposit type
Cash and direct deposits are most often made available same day. Banks typically make most checks available within a couple days.

Deposit amount
Larger deposits over $5,000 usually take more time to clear. Your bank might also make a portion of it available sooner.

Bank history
If you’re a new customer, a bank might hold onto your deposit longer than if you were an existing customer (at least at first). This is simply a security measure. It doesn’t hurt to ask the bank their funds availability policy when you open your account.

Why might you not have immediate access to your money?
You earned it. It’s yours. So why the wait? Banks hold funds for a few reasons, and none of them are meant to inconvenience you.

A temporary waiting period is typical in making your funds available. It’s usually associated with money deposited into your account in the form of a check. And this waiting period is there for a reason: to verify the deposit. A delay might feel like a nuisance, but it gives banks time to ensure everything’s OK—which is good for their customers, too.

If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not your funds are available, contact your bank to get a clear picture. Hearing about the status of your deposits straight from them will help you plan your spending and rest a little easier. Peace of mind—it’s priceless.

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This article is based on information available in November 2021. It is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific financial, investment, tax, legal, accounting, or other advice and should not be acted or relied upon without the advice of a professional advisor. A professional advisor will recommend action based on your personal circumstances and the most recent information available.