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How long can a bank hold a check until you have access to the

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How long can a bank hold a check until you have access to the funds?
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Typically it can take up to 10 days for a reasonably large check to post to a person's account (a few thousand dollars or more). This is because if it was written on a different bank, it has to go to the depositing bank's clearinghouse bank, which is usually in a different state, then to the issuing bank's clearinghouse bank, then back to the issuing bank. It takes a couple days between each bank in the process (4 total) so the depositing bank won't make a final credit to a person's account until it has passed through both clearinghouse banks back to the issuing bank and they honor it.
Usually they will only allow the first $100 of the check to be immediately available for withdrawal with the rest being available after around 10 days.
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