How Long Does It Take For a Check To Clear

This comprehensive guide provides an in-depth look at the various factors that can affect the time it takes for a check to clear,
Ketcha Brandon
How long for check to clear

Whether it is a returned security deposit or a birthday gift from your grandparents, checks are not yet totally obsolete. Even though checks are useful for transferring large sums of money between people, they usually take more time to deposit as compared to other transfer methods, like a wire transfer or a PayPal payment.

How long does it take for a check to clear depends on the check's amount, how it is deposited and your specific bank credit union's policies.

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How Long Does It Take For a Check to Clear

Most often, it takes around two business days for a check to clear, though this can vary from check to check.

It is always good to review your financial institution's deposit agreement, which usually specifies how long they typically hold checks for. Banks may withhold check deposits for several days so as to ensure that the funds are available and the check doesn't bounce before you spend that money. Have in mind that if you spend the funds and then the check bounces, you could incur a fee.

Though Checks take long to process, there are still a few factors that might cause a check to clear faster than two days. Banks are generally required by law to make the first $225 of a check deposit available by the next business day.

Like for example, if you deposit a check on Weekend, it is considered to be deposited on Monday, so the first $225 of the check will be available on Tuesday.

However, the $225 rule does not apply to new accounts still less than 30 days of age.

Some checks are designed to clear faster than standard check, and these will become available in full by the next business day. These checks include:

  • Checks issued by the government
  • Cashier's check
  • Certified Checks
  • Checks from the same financial institution.

ALSO READ: How to Order Checks From Chase

Depositing a Check at a Bank

Depositing a check at a bank or credit union branch is often the quickest way to have access to those funds. So long as the check is deposited before the institution's specified cut-off time, it should be available within a day or two.

Even though the curfew time for a branch deposit can vary, it cannot be earlier than 2 P.M., by law.

Mobile Check Deposit

Though it occasionally takes a little longer to complete, mobile check deposit, which lets you deposit a check by taking pictures of it using the bank's mobile app, usually takes the same amount of time as an in-person deposit.

There are deadlines for depositing checks using mobile devices. For instance, in order for a mobile check to clear by the following business day at Bank of America, it must be deposited by 9 p.m. ET (for Eastern and Central time zones) or 8 p.m. PT (for Mountain and Pacific time zones).

ALSO READ: How to Order Checks Online From Bank of America

Reasons Your Check Deposit Might Be Delayed

  • There are often a few reasons why a bank might extend a check's hold:
  • The check has been redeposited.
  • The check is from an international bank
  • There is reasonable cause to believe the funds are from suspected fraud
  • The receiving account is new or has been repeatedly overdrawn.
  • The check amount is more than $5,525. It is good you keep in mind that only an amount more than $5.525 can be held for longer.

In this cases, the financial institution may hold the check for as long as a week, after which the funds will clear or the check will bounce.

Other Ways to Send Money To Someone

There are several alternatives for sending money that are faster than depositing a check.

Money Order

Though physically similar to a check, money orders are paid upfront and are guaranteed not to bounce due to insufficient funds. Since the money is prepaid, there is no waiting period for funds to clear, and the recipient can often access the funds immediately upon cashing it.

ALSO READ: Can You Buy a Money Order With a Credit Card? (Find Out Here)


Zelle is a well known money transfer institution and more than 1,700 financial institutions offer Zelle through their mobile apps or online banking system. It is a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment service that allows you to digitally send and receive money, typically within minutes.

Wire Transfer

The money from a domestic wire transfer usually appears in the recipient's account the same day if it is started before the institution's cutoff time. However, wire transfers usually have expensive costs. Based on Bankrate's analysis, the average cost of a domestic outgoing wire transfer is approximately $26.

Final Thoughts: How Long Does It Take For A Check to Clear

As earlier said in this article, a check will most often clear in one or two business days. There are a few cases in which a check might be held for longer, such as if it is a large deposit amount or an international check.

Make sure to review your bank’s policies for what to expect in terms of check hold times. It’s important that the check clears before those funds are spent so you don’t incur any fees.

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About the Author

Ketcha Brandon
I am Ketcha Brandon, An article writer, content creator, Video producer, Financial Consultant and a certified Google Publisher. I write content for Our website provide information on topics such as bank accounts, Money transfers,…

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