Why Isn't My Money Available at My Bank?

It can be frustrating when you money is not available at your bank immediately. When you make a deposit, you expect to be able to access the money as soon as you deposit it. However, the money may not show up as available as soon as you put it into the bank.It helps to have a clear understanding of how the deposits are processed and why your money may not always be available. Even though things have gotten more digital and sped up the process, there may be reasons that your check has not cleared yet.

1
Understand How Your Money Gets to Your Bank Account

ATM.jpg
Image Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images

When you make a deposit to your bank, the deposit will be credited to your account. However, the bank does not instantly receive the money from the check that you deposited. The banks have to send the checks to a regional clearinghouse where they are then sent on to their banks and the money is taken out of the account there. If the bank is from out of state or in a different part of the country, it may take additional time for the check to go through the clearing process. If the check is local, your bank will usually extend you a credit while they are waiting to collect the money from the other bank, but if it is for a large amount or from out of state, they may wait to make those funds fully available to you. With a direct deposit the funds are electronically deposited, which is why you can receive credit for them right away.

2
Watch Out for the Next Business Day Notice

Many banks have a time when they switch over to operate on the next business day. One reason they do this is so they can send the majority of the day’s work on to the processing center so everything can be processed by midnight. When you deposit a check and the receipt says next business day or the date on the receipt is for the next day, it means that although they received the money, the check will not be sent to the processing center until the next business day. Instead of your money being available the next morning, it will be available the business day after that. Usually there should be a sign that states next business day in the teller’s window, and it will print on your receipt. The ATM will also inform you if it has been switched over to the next business day. Some banks will switch over the ATMs first and you may be able to complete a transaction on the same business day by going inside. They may have one teller that switches over at the very end, so it does not hurt to ask if someone is still on the same business day if you need the money more quickly.

3
Be Aware of Holds on Your Account

Another reason that your money may not be available is because the bank put a hold on your bank account. The bank may put a hold if the check is for a large amount, it is an insurance check or it a check from out of state. The larger the check, the more risk the bank is at when it gives you immediate access to the funds. Most checks take a few days to process, but the bank allows you to access the money, because most checks do clear. However, if you spend the $10,000 check and it comes back as not being good, you will likely have a hard time coming up with that amount to cover what you spent. The bank must inform you if they put a check on hold and explain how long it will be until the funds are available to you. You may be able to avoid a hold on your account if you change the types of transactions you do.

4
Monitor for Mix-ups with the Bank

Occasionally, you may not have the money available to you because of a mix up with the bank. When you make a deposit, it should show up in your account history, even if the funds are not immediately available to you. There are times when the money may accidentally be posted to the wrong account. When this happens there will not be a record of the deposit when you pull up the account history. You will need to contact the bank and find out what happened. It is important to keep your receipts until everything has cleared so that you have proof of the deposit. Your receipt also contains important tracking information, which will make it easier for the bank to find your missing deposit. Take the time to contact the bank about the discrepancy in your account, and you should be able to work out a solution.