What is a Check Hold?
When you deposit a check, some of the funds may be held for a few days while BECU attempts to verify that the check is payable and won't be rejected by the payer's financial institution.
View this video about check holds and the check-clearing process.
Benefits of a Hold
Here's how a check hold or exception hold can protect you:
The hold is placed to protect the funds in your account.
A hold limits the amount of money you can immediately spend, thus protecting you from having to pay back the full amount if there are any problems with the check clearing (being returned to the bank unpaid).
The purpose of a check hold or an exception hold is to protect your money, not to protect BECU or any financial institution.
Federal regulations provide six exceptions that can affect how much of the total deposited amount is available:
The check is being deposited into an account that's been open for less than 30 days
The check is being processed during an emergency beyond our control, such as a natural disaster or power outage
The deposit account has been overdrawn multiple times in the past six months
Large check deposits ($5,000 or more) in one day
The bank has reasonable cause to doubt the check's validity
If the Check is Returned...
The check can still be returned unpaid after you successfully deposit it. If the check is returned at any time after your deposit:
The deposited item(s) will be reversed.
You'll be responsible for any negative balance in your account, regardless of the reason.
For these reasons, be sure you know and trust the person or organization that issued the check.
How Do I Know if My Check Has a Hold?
There are two ways to see if your check has a hold:
Check your receipt from the deposit and compare the account balance to the available balance on your receipt.
View your balances in Online Banking or at an ATM.
The available balance is the amount you have access to at that moment. But, it's important to carefully track your pending transactions, scheduled recurring payments or outstanding checks you've written.
If we do place an exception hold on your deposited check, we'll let you know in writing within one business day. We let you know how much of your deposit can be accessed and when the remaining funds will be available.
You can learn more about funds availability in the BECU Account Agreements (.pdf).