How to Remove a Hold on Your Bank Account


Bank accounts make finances safer and more convenient. Your bank account balance has Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance, and you can easily send and receive money. However, bank accounts can get holds on them. These holds will limit your banking experience, but you can get them off your account quickly with the right plan. This article shows how to remove a hold on your bank account.

What is a hold on a bank account?

A bank account hold restricts your ability to access funds. Banks cannot put your account on hold indefinitely, Most bank account holds last two to seven business days, but banks can extend the hold’s duration under reasonable circumstances.

Why banks place holds on bank accounts

Financial institutions don’t want to put holds on people’s accounts, but sometimes it becomes necessary. Banks use holds to protect themselves and consumers from additional losses. A bank may place a hold on your account if it detects suspicious activity or fraud. You may also get your account on hold if you deposit a large check ($5,000 or more) and have a history of incurring overdraft fees (especially if you currently have an overdrawn account). 

How long does a bank account hold last?

Most bank account holds last two to seven business days. Large checks between accounts that use the same bank may incur holds that last two business days. If the check writer uses a different bank than you, it can take up to seven business days for the hold to get removed. The bank can extend the hold’s duration under particular circumstances.

Removing a hold on your bank account

While a bank uses account holds to protect themselves and consumers, holds can be frustrating and restrict your access to vital funds. Some consumers have emergency expenses and not much time to spare. You can use this approach to remove a hold on your bank account sooner. 

Give it some time

Don’t rush to contact your bank about a recent account hold. It takes two to seven business days for most holds to clear. Your bank wants you to have the best possible experience, so you don’t move your funds to a competitor. It’s best to remain patient for a few days. 

Contact your bank

If you have already waited a few days or have an urgent expense, you can contact your bank about the account hold. You can send an email, but calling a representative will speed up the process.

Be prepared to give an explanation

The representative will ask for details surrounding your bank account hold. Each bank has different policies around bank account holds. Reviewing these guidelines can help you provide a better explanation and get your hold removed sooner.

How to remove a hold on your debit card

Most merchants put a hold on your debit card while they reach out to your bank. Your bank will proceed to put a pre-authorization hold on your account that lasts a few business days. A pre-authorization hold lets you access funds not used for the purchase. However, this process can create problems for expenses with indeterminable amounts, such as a hotel check-in or gas holds. You should ask the merchant how long a hold will remain on your debit card and contact your bank if the hold remains on your card for a few days.

How to prevent bank account holds

Bank account holds are annoying, but you can use preventative measures to keep your account in optimal standing. These strategies will help you prevent bank account holds.

Implement direct deposits

Direct deposits immediately clear and do not trigger holds. You would have to wait a few days for your check to clear, and a large check can trigger a hold. You won’t have to worry about those issues with direct deposits, and you’ll also save a trip to the bank.

Cashier’s checks

Cashier’s checks are better for large deposits. These checks clear more quickly than traditional checks. The bank backs these checks, which gives them increased security. Two bank employees will sign the check, and watermarks will add an extra layer of protection. Since the bank backs these checks and therefore trusts them, they get quicker clearance.

Debit cards

Each transaction with a merchant can put a pre-authorization hold on your debit card. You should ask merchants if they put holds on your debit card, as holds can create a false sense of security. You may accidentally overdraw your checking account because hold amounts can be higher than anticipated. Most of these holds get removed within a few business days.

Keep Your Finances in Good Condition

A bank account hold limits your ability to access funds. Most of these holds go away in a few business days and let you use the remaining funds in your account. You should monitor your holds and finances to ensure everything goes smoothly. If you have a question about a hold, you should jump on a call with your bank. Banks want you to continue doing business with them and have many representatives who are happy to answer your questions.


How do you get a hold taken off your bank account?

You can contact your bank to speed up the process or wait for your hold to get removed within two to seven business days.

How long does it take for a hold on a bank account to be removed?

Most holds get removed within two to seven business days.

How long can a bank legally hold your money?

A bank can legally hold your money for up to two business days for a check and seven business days for an outside check. Banks can keep the hold for longer than seven days under certain circumstances.

Sign Up
Sign Up
Sign Up