I've been trying not to say that in some replies I've made, but truly that is correct. If you use Deposit@Home or Deposit@Mobile the availability of funds depends on your history with USAA. If you've got plenty of other funds on deposit your funds are immediatly available.
If you're a new customer or don't have well established credit USAA can hold your funds for up to seven business days if you use an image capture deposit.
There are work-arounds for that. The first is to deposit in person. A tax refund check would be avaialble the next day according to the depository agreement ( https://content.usaa.com/mcontent/static_assets/Media/DaD0406_BillPay0704_SvcFee0606.pdf ) There is a handy chart on page 19.
You can always mail a deposit in, it takes a day or two to get there, but then the hold clock starts ticking and the chart on page 19 controls how long it will be but it is almost always quicker than when you use an image deposit service (home or mobile). USAA will provide postage paid envelopes for deposits if you ask.
You can use express mail or fedex and have it there tomorrow so it will be available the day after. Sure that costs 12 bucks or so, but if you need to get access to the money quickly that is an option.
Of course you can have a tax refund direct deposited and that is available the day the government makes the deposit.
The longer your remain with USAA (or any bank really) the quicker your remote deposits will be available. As you build a good history of not bouncing checks, not depositing checks that bounce and build a good credit history hold times decrease.
You can always call and inquire about a deposit, sometimes they can manually remove the hold.
sorry about your hardship, dont listen to these clowns, theya re probably usaa employees. this board is filled with detailed stories about poor service, and these morons reply with either insults, or, "its always been great for me...". i had them hold a transfer from an existing usaa account to ANOTHER USAA ACCOUNT, for 7 days. no check to clear, they werent new funds. just held the money for no reason. i call and after the phone tree game and 10 minutes on hold, get some clown who gives me a b*ll sh*t answer of, "thats our policy.."
F' em, get a new bank. its a pain in the asse to do all that transferring but it will be worth it.
To the OP.... Lots of words to sift through. Soak it all in and keep what you need. I too have been in your shoes. It is hard to get everything you want and need from 1 bank nowadays. It is unfortunate that you had to find out the hard way and at such a critical point in your financial life. Lesson learned. Now you know how USAA will treat your account. My suggestion is this.... Learn the patterns of your bank. I keep several bank accounts open for different reasons. You just have to find banks that suit your needs. For Check deposits, I keep My Fifth Third account open. They always make at least $100 of every deposited check available immediately, with the balance available the next business day. Even large checks... I think it is $3000.00 and bigger, that $100 is still available immediately and the rest held for up to 7 business days. If I need more in an emergency, I can call the bank and have a few more dollars released. Like once I deposited a check for just over 15k. I needed access immediately to $1000. I called them up and explained the situation. They released the 1000 I needed and held the other 14K for an additional 5 days before all the funds were released. If access to the money is not an issue, I will deposit it into my main bank account. I keep that account specifically because they release my direct deposits a day early. Love that feature.... lol
I hate writing checks because I forget that I wrote them (horrible at keeping the ledger). So If I need to write a check, I use my BlueBird prepaid account. They deduct the amount from my acct immediately as if it were a debit or credit transaction. I would use this account for all my electronic needs, but lately I have been running into alot of places that don't accept American Express.
I work with cash a lot, so I keep a local bank account open that will make all cash transactions available immediately. I have had banks that make you wait for cash to settle at the close of the business day. Do some searching around. If you don't like a particular policy at 1 bank, go find another one that suits your needs. So you just have to put several banks together to make up that 1 bank you really want. I can accomplish most anything at anytime I need to with the 3 accounts that I have open now.
It is funny how they like to take their moneys immediately, but you have to wait for yours.
Too many on this site are people who did a full career in the military, then went out to get a government job. Since they're protected and kept by the taxpayer, they don't understand that people in the private sector have risks that they don't.
I've lived on that frustration level myself, and I did work my way out of it. But I still don't like listening to the self-righteousness of government retirees who have it made. At least they THINK they do 'til the whole debt thing collapses--then we'll see how they do if all of what they thought they had is gone!
I did 8 active, 23 reserve, Iraq tour, ran a small business the whole time I was reserve, so I've kept a foot on both sides of the fence. Not counting on the 'ol pension being there when it's time...
Putting a hold on US Gov Checks is a pretty low move. Banks, including USAA, make LOTS of money from NSF fees. It's one thing to charge an NSF fee but quite another to hold US Gov Checks. I haven't heard of any of them bouncing - ever. So unless USAA is worried about someone forging a US Gov Check there is no reason to put a hold.
That said, the ony way USAA would know its a US Gov Check would be if you deposited it at a branch and discussed it with the teller. ATM, mobile, mail-in, and UPS deposites wont do the trick. Those will all be processed by machines which don't care about you.
I agree, the financial planning advice is unnecessary.