In our present digital age, waiting for a paper check to clear may seem archaic. With the advent of mobile banking, direct deposit and real-time payment providers, like Venmo and Zelle, some people might feel frustrated by waiting for a check to clear. Yet banking customers do need to wait for paper checks to clear, and with good reason. Letâ€™s take a look at the factors involved for a check to clear, and the reasoning behind them.
To understand how long it takes for a check to clear, it helps to know how a check is cycled through the bank payment process:
When you deposit a check at a bank, either with a bank teller or at an ATM, youâ€™ll get a receipt that states when the funds will be available. If the check has not cleared by the date specified, you may contact the bank to find out why.
In general, you can expect most checks to clear the day after you deposit them, as long as you make the deposit on a weekday and during bank business hours. If you deposit a check on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday, the bank will treat the deposit as being made on a Monday, the first business day of the week; in which case, the check will usually clear on a Tuesday.
Many banks will credit you with an immediate $100 on a check deposit, as long as the check is written for more than $100, and is deposited with a bank teller or at an ATM.
Your check could take longer than one business day to clear for a number of reasons:
There are good reasons for a bank to hold a check before clearing it for payment, but in general most checks are paid within one or two business days of being deposited. Most banks would say that the amount of time a paper check takes to clear is based on the check amount and whoâ€™s paying the check.
Check with your financial institution to learn more about its check-clearing policies. You also may find this information on your bankâ€™s website or in your bank account agreement.