Current Balance Vs Available Balance: What’s The Difference?

Checking your account which you often used to pay your bills from is the most common thing that you do for ensuring optimum balance. So, it is important to understand what are the differences between current balance and available balance in the account when you check your account balance.

Current Balance Vs Available Balance

The terminology of bank accounts is often confusing and hence it leads to misunderstanding which tends to lead to overspending by the user and the result will be penalties. There are differences between the current account balance and available balance. It is good to know what they are and how they affect the dollars you can spend.

Yes, there are two kinds of account balances. Here we will get into detail about Current Balance Vs. Available Balance.

Current Balance or account balance

Your current balance or account indicates the total amount of all the funds that are in the account at any time. This balance will get updated and will change at the close of the bank every day and remain in the stand till the close of business on the next day. Although the term “current” seems to be like the figure that you see is a display of up-to-date numbers in your account, it is not always the case. There are differences, and hence you are here to know about current balance vs. available balance, right?

Any purchases, fees, holds, any other charges or deposits that have been done by you on the account after the bank posting or closing period closes will not appear and you can see the changes only after the next business day posting period.

Moreover, the current balance indicates the overall current balance that will be actually remaining in your personal or business account for the given period of time. As we mentioned earlier, this balance gets revised at the end of every day of the bank business. And this remains without any change till the next closing day of the bank business. This is the reason that you may not have noticed immediate changes in the amount after you have done a purchase or withdrawn funds or made deposits. It is the next day that the changes will be reflected in the accounting system of the bank.

Available Balance

Whenever you get to know your balance in the account, you may have come across the terms current balance vs. available balance. From previous points you have got some idea on current balance. Now is the time to know about the available balance of an account.

To be put in simple terms, available balance is the balance that is immediately accessible for you.

The available balance of an account is the actual display number of the amount of funds that is carried in your account which you can access immediately. If you withdraw above this limit, it causes you overdraft issues, charges and penalties in most cases. No matter how much it shows in your current or account balance, you have to adhere only to the available balance amount in the account.

This available balance in the account will be immediately updated throughout the day. It will reflect the charges, holds, fees, any pending transactions and all the cleared deposits as and when they happen. The bank uses this available balance amount in order to calculate the overdrafts and penalties if you in cases exceed the limits.

Similarly, when comparing current balance vs. available balance, the available balance will also include the funds that are recently debited from your account that includes Visa card authorizations and the transactions which are yet to be processed by the bank to the account. This available balance is the amount that is available for withdrawal from your account.

Which balance do you have to consider spending?

Even if you have sufficient balance in your account as you think, still there are differences when it comes to current balance and available balance. So it is good to consider the available balance in your account when you try to do a transaction or purchase or withdraw money. Since Available Balance is the account balance that is updated immediately with the factors of withdrawals, deposits, and all other pending transactions on an account, you can get a more accurate amount of dollars that is available to spend.

Transactions that will not be reflected in an available balance

Outstanding Checks and Bill Payments

If you have set up any automatic bill payments facility, then that kind of transaction will not be reflected in the Available Balance of your account. The account balance will remain the same until they are clear. These transactions will be reflected in your account only when they get cleared and then can be seen in the current and available balance in the account.

Debit Card Holds

In many cases, when you use the Debit Card, those transactions may not immediately reflect in your account. After the merchant sends the amount that you have transacted for pre-authorization and after the transaction is actually done, it will be cleared or deducted in your account. If the transaction is pending, it will be accounted for from the Available Balance.

Typically hold amounts remain in the account till the funds get transferred to the merchant. After the hold is released, the Available Balance will not include this amount. Hold is usually released after 72 hours. However, authorized purchases still may get cleared from the account and after that time you can observe the changes in your Available Balance. 

Important points in current balance vs. available balance

  • The available balance indicates the amount in the account owner banking that is accessible for usage, immediately. For the current balance, it is the sum of cash as of now in an account of the user. Current balance always seems to equal or greater than the Available Balance.
  • Available Balance can tell you the immediate changes or effects of transactions during banking, but in the case of current Balance, it will take some time to get updated.
  • Available Balance updated as soon as a payment is done in any form. Current Balance stays in the account for a given period.

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