Balance Versus Available Balance

What is the difference between my balance and available balance?

Items may be held against your balance for a number of reasons.  Pending items like the ones listed below represent the difference between your current balance and your available balance.

Membership Hold
A $5 hold will appear on your membership account with Credit Human. This hold is actually your share purchase for membership and cannot be withdrawn without discontinuing your membership.

Hold
Deposit items may be placed on hold to ensure the item clears prior to your use of the funds. A hold may be placed on insurance checks, checks drawn on financial institutions from out of town/state or on some business checks. You are notified at the time of deposit that a hold will apply and how long the hold will remain in place.

Collateral Hold
When a share secured loan is opened, money is pledged in your account as collateral. The money will remain pledged and inaccessible until the loan is no longer open.

Freeze
Funds are often frozen as a means to collect on an outstanding item or as a garnishment or levy.

Card Hold
When using a debit card for purchases, merchants often place a hold on the funds until the transaction is fully processed through the credit union. In some cases, the hold may be for more than the actual purchase – that’s often the case with gasoline purchases. While these holds are removed once the matching transaction comes in, they can impact the available balance and limit the funds available. Using the GO, the Credit Human mobile banking app, online banking or PhoneLink bank-by-phone services allows immediate account access to ensure there are funds available prior to making a purchase.
 

How a temporary debit authorization hold affects your account balance

On debit card purchases, merchants may request a temporary hold on your account for a specified sum of money, which may be more than the actual amount of your purchase. When this happens, our processing system cannot determine that the amount of the hold exceeds the actual amount of your purchase. This temporary hold, and the amount charged to your account, will eventually be adjusted to the actual amount of your purchase, but it may be up to three days before the adjustment is made. Until the adjustment is made, the amount of funds in your account available for other transactions will be reduced by the amount of the temporary hold. If another transaction is presented for payment in an amount greater than the funds left after the deduction of the temporary hold amount, that transaction will be a nonsufficient funds (NSF) transaction if we do not pay it or an overdraft transaction if we do pay it. You will be charged an NSF or overdraft fee according to our NSF or overdraft fee policy. You will be charged the fee even if you would have had sufficient funds in your account if the amount of the hold had been equal to the amount of your purchase.

Here is an example of how this can occur – assume for this example the following:
  1. you have opted-in to our overdraft services for the payment of overdrafts on ATM and everyday debit card transactions,
  2. we pay the overdraft,
  3. our overdraft fee is $25 per overdraft.
You have $120 in your account. You swipe your card at the card reader on a gasoline pump. Since it is unclear what the final bill will be, the gas station's processing system immediately requests a hold on your account in a specified amount, for example, $80. Our processing system authorizes a temporary hold on your account in the amount of $80, and the gas station's processing system authorizes you to begin pumping gas. You fill your tank and the amount of gasoline you purchased is only $50. Our processing system shows that you have $40 in your account available for other transactions ($120 - $80 = $40) even though you would have $70 in your account available for other transactions if the amount of the temporary hold was equal to the amount of your purchase ($120 - $50 = $70).

Later, another transaction you have authorized is presented for payment from your account in the amount of $60 (this could be a check you have written, another debit card transaction, an ACH debit or any other kind of payment request). This other transaction is presented before the amount of the temporary hold is adjusted to the amount of your purchase (remember, it may take up to three days for the adjustment to be made). Because the amount of this other transaction is greater than the amount our processing system shows is available in your account, our payment of this transaction will result in an overdraft transaction. Because the transaction overdraws your account by $20, your account will be assessed the overdraft fee of $25 according to our overdraft fee policy. You will be charged this $25 fee according to our policy even though you would have had enough money in your account to cover the $60 transaction if your account had only been debited the amount of your purchase rather than the amount of the temporary hold or if the temporary hold had already been adjusted to the actual amount of your purchase.