Can You Withdraw Out of Your Ledger Balance?

by Jack Ori ; Updated April 19, 2017
Your ATM receipt may not tell you your ledger balance after you make a transaction.

When you check your bank balance, you may see two different balances: the ledger balance and the available balance. Although it sounds like the available balance is the balance you should focus on, your ledger balance is actually your "real" balance as far as the bank is concerned. It doesn't include credits or debits that haven't posted to your account yet. Thus, you should pay more attention to the ledger balance when determining whether you have enough money to make a withdrawal.

Definition

Your ledger balance is your current bank balance, as opposed to your available balance. Your available balance includes credits or debits from transactions that have not yet posted to your account, such as deposits or withdrawals you made in the last 24 hours. Thus, it is safer to use your ledger balance than your available balance because if a transaction doesn't clear, your available balance may not be correct.

Withdrawals

When you withdraw money from the bank, it is listed as a debit on your account. The withdrawal impacts your available balance until such time as it posts to your account, at which point it is debited from your ledger balance. Thus, when you withdraw funds from the bank, you always withdraw them from your ledger balance. However, it may not seem like it when you check your statement immediately after making a withdrawal.

Overdrafts

If you withdraw more money from your account than is currently posted to the account, you may be charged an overdraft fee, even if a deposit posts to your account soon after you make the withdrawal. Overdraft fees are usually about $25 to $35 per item. Always use your ledger balance to determine whether you have enough money in your account before making a withdrawal. You won't have an overdraft fee if you keep your withdrawals within the limit of your ledger balance.

Consideration

Debits to your account can sometimes take several days to post. If you use your debit card to rent a vehicle or reserve a hotel, the reservations desk may put a pre-authorization on your account for far more than the actual amount you will ultimately pay. Thus, you might not be able to withdraw money to pay for other things until the pre-authorization clears, which can take several days.

References

About the Author

Jack Ori has been a writer since 2009. He has worked with clients in the legal, financial and nonprofit industries, as well as contributed self-help articles to various publications.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
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ssi emergency supplement benefitstaxation of structured settlementsexample w4 formmedicaid forms floridablack book appraise used carnj hardest hit fundhow to protect your debit card from scannersroth ira down paymenthow much is the penalty for early withdrawal of 401khow to get delinquency removed from credit reportare dentist bills tax deductiblecan i have two dental insurancesrental property walkthrough checklisthow much do you get for donating plasmahow to calculate capital expenditure from cash flow statementhow long does court take for a speeding ticketsavings bond maturityecuador money conversionhow to complete form 8949donating washer and dryerwhat is tricare primewhat is a constant growth stock1099 misc deductionsmichigan debt statute of limitationsmy belk cardreverse compound interest calculatortransunion 90 day alerthow to calculate the dividend growth ratewhat does ledger balance meancashing checks at krogertax refund calculator w2irs form 3115 instructionsrecovered stolen carstanf tnbactrim for skin infectionnon qualified pension plan definitionethical principles veracitylease buyout apartmentnys statute of limitations on debthow to redeem a savings bondflorida medicaid application formhow much does phalloplasty surgery costwithdraw cash without atm cardwill paying off my car loan increase my credit scoremortgage explanation letter sampleself employed fuel expensessynonym for thriftcommon shares outstanding formularefund check cashingeservice gap com make paymentmissouri state tax returnsorthodontist for low income familiesfidelity 401k loans ruleshow to wire money to wells fargocan i deposit a check to my netspend cardrepossession laws in alabamafilling out a w4posb ledger balancemichigan statute of limitations on debtreverse tubal ligation costsallie mae loan limitpge pay onlinedoes a misdemeanor affect getting a job637 fico scoreprefered dividends formulaform 8863 worksheetfico score percentileoverdraft credit scoremedex coresallie mae student loan forgiveness programflexible budget advantages and disadvantageshardship withdrawal from irahomes with mother in law suites for saleapplying for snap nycw on a credit cardusps money order ratesowner equity equationhow to remove an evictionny rn license reciprocityhands on atlanta volunteer opportunitiessavings bond values
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