What Does Pending Withdrawal Mean?

by Sophie Johnson
ATM withdrawals might first appear as pending withdrawals.

A person could become befuddled looking at the codes and banking terms a bank statement uses to describe transactions. One phrase everyone should decode is pending withdrawal. A pending transaction is one that will be completed in the near future. The bank knows about it, but the funds haven’t been moved. A withdrawal, meanwhile, takes funds from your account. Together, the words pending withdrawal mean funds are leaving your account soon, perhaps in one to three business days.

Relevant Withdrawals

Withdrawals include ATM transactions, checks you've written, debit card purchases -- these called point of sale transactions -- and automated clearing house transactions. ACH withdrawals include electronic checks you've approved and automatic withdrawals, perhaps used to pay recurring bills. It's important to know that pending withdrawals don't include checks you've written, even if the bank is about to pay them. Only those transactions your bank knows about because they were electronically authorized when you initiated them fall under the pending withdrawals umbrella.

Available Balance

Pending withdrawals affect how much money you can immediately access. To know your open funds, check your available balance -- not your current balance, ledger balance or posted balance. Only the available balance has already subtracted the pending withdrawals your bank will pay in the near future. That makes the available balance closer to financial reality. Remember though -- the available balance does not include checks you've written that have not yet cleared.

About the Author

Sophie Johnson is a freelance writer and editor of both print and film media. A freelancer for more than 20 years, Johnson has had the opportunity to cover topics ranging from construction to music to celebrity interviews.

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