How Long Does It Take For A Check To Clear?


When writing a check or placing a check in the bank, there is one common question that is asked of the teller by the customer, “How long does it take for a check to clear?” The answer to this question can depend on a variety of factors, including:

The Amount of the Check

Checks that are deposited in larger amounts may not be available in full to the account holder. If the account holder has cash-back privileges they may be able to access a portion of the check but not able to access the full amount for between seven to ten business days of the check being deposited into the account.

The Method Used to Deposit the Check

Depositing the check into the ABM machine can cause a delay in the clearing of the check as the check is deposited and must first be processed at the local bank. Once the check has been processed (as many as two business days later) the check begins the process of clearing and can take an average of seven to ten business days.

The Type of Check

Personal checks may take longer to clear than other types of checks like those that have been issued from the employer and those that have been issued by the government. Personal checks can take up to ten days to clear.

How Long Does It Take For An Out Of State Check To Clear?

Waiting In Line At The BankWhen depositing a check into the checking account it is important to understand that the average wait time for the check to clear is seven days, but there can also be factors like those listed above that can increase this time.

If you’re waiting on a payment, or recently made a payment, you may be asking yourself how long does it take for an out of state check to clear? This question is particularly important considering that late payments may accrue fees or result in products or services being revoked. When calculating the time it will take for a check to clear, there are a number of aspects to consider:

Local Checks

Local checks tend to clear more quickly because they arrive more quickly by mail. It should take about two business days for such checks to clear. However, keep an eye on government holidays when banks and post offices are closed.

Out of State Checks

Out of state checks— that is, those drawn on banks in a different check processing region— tend to take a little longer to clear. In addition to taking longer to arrive, out of state checks may be held by the bank accepting the deposit for anywhere from five to 11 business days. However, longer holds typically only apply to checks in excess of $20,000.

Banks are simply interested in ensuring that the funds will, in fact, be released by the bank they were drawn on. For larger checks, a staggered release may apply. In this case, the first $100 could be available within one business day of depositing the check, another $4,900 might be available within five business days, and the remaining $15,000 would then be available 11 business days after the original deposit date.

How Long Does It Take For A Large Check To Clear

How Long For Large Checks To Clear?Deposits to banks are often cleared in one day, especially when the account owner has a good history with the bank. If you have a bank balance above the amount of the check you’re depositing, the bank will often clear a check deposited for some portion of the amount already in the bank. Large checks are often a problem, because banking fraud is often suspected when checks are written for large amounts, if the amount is outside the norm for the account holder.

Most checks are processed through electronic means, a system called check truncation. This allows funds to be available the next business day for checks against local institutions, 2-3 days for many checks from neighboring regions and 6-10 business days for out-of-state checks.

All deposit clear according to the banks schedule for local, in-state and out-of-state checks. In the case of large checks, the bank may elect to process the check the old fashioned way. Checks must be sent to the bank they are written against and if the money is there, it will be cleared and the funds released for deposit.

A $10,000 check may have its funds released in increments of a few hundred to a few thousand in your account in the meantime. Because the bank has to verify the $10,000 check it will be received manually at the institution it is written against. If the check writer has funds that cover the check the funds will then be paid to the depositing bank and funds will be released to the account holder.

If the account holder has a good banking history with the bank (few bounced checks and no fraudulent transactions) the bank may advance some portion of the $10,000, until the check officially clears.

Due to a process called check truncation, most checks are processed electronically. In most cases, it takes one day for a check to clear because of this system. Larger sums are considered more likely to be subject to more scrutiny by the bank. Therefore, these paper checks will often skip electronic processing and will sent to the institution they were drawn against to be cleared.

How Long Does It Take For A Check To Bounce

Depending upon the banking institution or the merchant the check is written to, how long does it take for a check to bounce could be instantaneous or take up to several days.

Woman Signing a CheckModern technology allows a merchant to check your bank account to determine if you even have the funds to cover the check. If you write a check to an individual, they may immediately take the check to your institution or deposit it into their account. In that case, it could be anywhere from 48 hours to five business days allowed for the check to clear, again depending on the institution.

Once a check bounces, it is not over. It can be run through the system up to three times to give the check writer the opportunity to honor it, and by then, the fees will accumulate making the amount of funds multiply to an astronomical amount.

If mailing a check, depending upon where you mailed it to, it could take many days to even reach its destination plus up to ten business days to be cleared by your bank. Most banks and credit unions offer an over-draft protection program which means that they will cover a insufficient amount check and then charge you an extra fee for covering the check.

Overall, it is not a good idea to write a check knowing there are no funds to cover it. Not even post-dating a check, which is writing a pre-dated check in anticipation of having the funds in place to cover it on a specific day, is not advised. Additionally criminal charges could be imposed upon a person who has a check bounce regularly even if they had good intentions on paying it and may cause you to be ineligible to have a checking account anywhere.