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Actual Balance versus Available Balance

February 4, 2014

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Ever catch yourself overdrawing your account and you could have sworn that money was in there? Here’s what may have happened. If you made a check deposit after 2:00 p.m. at many financial institutions that money is actually not available until the next business day. If it’s a Friday, you’re not seeing it until Monday! This means if you had $40 in your account and deposited $100 (after 2:00 p.m.), your actual balance is $140, but your available balance is still only $40. If you go grocery shopping that night and spend $75, you’ve just overdrawn your account.

If you’re depositing a check for a large amount, or from an unfamiliar business, there may be a hold placed on the check. On average this can be from 3 – 5 days. While it may seem unfair at first, this is actually done to protect you. You would not want to go spending that money and have the check not clear. Then you would be on the hook to pay overdraft fees on the money you spent that never actually made it into your account. The good news is we will notify you if a check is being held so you should be aware that those funds are not yet available.

With First Source, here are some instances that this will not happen. 1. If you deposit cash versus a check. Cash will always be available immediately, including Saturdays. 2. If you deposit a payroll check. These funds are always available immediately.

What about an ATM deposit? No matter how much you deposit through an ATM, (check or cash) only $200 is available immediately per day. The full amount is available after 2 days. So if you deposit $500 on Wednesday, you’re actual balance is $500. But your available balance is only $200 on Wednesday and Thursday. Your available balance will jump up to $500 on Friday.

Sometimes the actual date a transaction happened can vary from the date when the place you’ve spent the money pulls those funds. You may go to dinner on a Saturday night and spend $50. That $50 may not actually be withdrawn from your account until Tuesday. It’s up to you to know that you’ve already spent it. The best thing you can do is keep your register current and check your balance frequently online.

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