DEFINITION of Available Funds

Available funds is the amount of money that is in your bank account and available for immediate use. 

BREAKING DOWN Available Funds

Available funds are sometimes lower than the account balance — the total amount you have in your account that includes any pending transactions or other amounts yet to clear, such as checks — because it can take several days for deposits or pending withdrawals and authorizations, such as through online billing, to show up in an account. 

It typically takes about two business days for a deposited check to clear, and about five business days for the bank to receive the funds. However, depending on the amount of the check, you may have access to the full amount in two days. Some banks make a portion of the check available immediately or within one business day. For example, your bank might make $150 or $200 of a $500 check available immediately, or within one business day of the deposit, and make the balance of the check available in two days.

Banks place a hold on your deposits because they first want to know if they are legitimate and whether any checks will bounce. While all national banks and federally chartered credit unions are subject to the same hold rules, financial institutions can release your funds sooner, at their discretion.