Understanding the Simple Deposit Multiplier

Understanding the Simple Deposit Multiplier

Banking can be a complex thing, but understanding what’s known as the simple deposit multiplier doesn’t have to be. The simple deposit multiplier is the multiple by which a bank can lend out funds based on the reserve requirements. It ensures the bank maintains the minimum amount of money on hand to keep bank operations up and running. It also gives the bank the opportunity to boost the economy.

What Is a Deposit Multiplier?

Also called the deposit expansion multiplier or simple deposit multiplier, a deposit multiplier is the maximum amount of money banks can create based on reserved units. To put it another way, it’s the multiple that banks use to know how much they can lend out vs. money kept on hand (say, in checking accounts) according to the existing reserve requirement. The deposit multiplier is typically a percentage of the amount deposited at a bank.

Why does the deposit multiplier concept matter? It plays a key role in the fractional reserve banking system, or FRB. This system involves the stipulation that banks must keep a certain amount of money on hand in reserves to conduct their day-to-day business. More specifically, the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, mandates that banks hold a certain amount of money, known as required reserves, to make sure there is enough month for withdrawals from depositors. Any excess money that remains after the bank fulfills its daily operations can be loaned to borrowers (say, for mortgages). The amount that can be used for loans is determined by the deposit multiplier.

By accepting deposits and then making loans, banks have the ability to increase and decrease the money supply. When a financial institution lends out money in excess of its required reserves to businesses and consumers, it can amplify the money supply. That’s why the deposit multiplier metric matters; it’s a key way that the Federal Reserve and central banks can control the money supply as part of an overall monetary policy.

Recommended: How Long Does It Take For a Direct Deposit to Go Through?

How Does a Deposit Multiplier Work?

Here’s how a deposit multiplier works: When the account holder puts money in any of the different kinds of deposit accounts offered, the bank holds a percentage of it. This percentage is called the reserve requirement, which is set by the Federal Reserve. It helps ensure that the bank keeps an adequate amount of cash reserves available to meet the needs of withdrawal requests.

Keeping money accessible on demand can be critical. This protects against people trying to withdraw cash in keeping with fund availability rules and finding that their money is unavailable, which could be a deeply problematic and distressing experience.

A deposit multiplier is the multiple that allows banks to lend out money that’s deposited in the bank. This is the maximum amount of money the bank can lend out according to the value of its reserves. It is typically expressed as a percentage. You’ll learn more about that in a moment.

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Real Life Examples of a Deposit Multiplier

To understand a deposit multiplier, it’s wise to understand a few basic banking concepts.

•   For banks, deposits are liabilities, because it is money owned by the account holder, and loans are assets for banks, because that money belongs to the financial institution and must be repaid.

•   Banks also have reserves, which are deposits in the bank or in the Federal Reserve. Reserves are cash available to the bank.

◦   There is also an amount the bank must keep on hand, known as required reserves.

◦   Excess reserves is the term used to describe when the bank has more reserves than is required; these funds can in turn be lent out.

Now, if someone makes a $1,000 deposit, the bank’s liabilities and reserves would increase by $1,000. If the required reserve ratio is 10%, that means must keep $100 on hold and available, but the other 90%, or $900, may be lent. This allows the bank to expand the economy and profit.

To see how the simple deposit multiplier works, consider an example in which a deposit of $10,000 was made and the required reserve ratio is 5%, meaning $500 has to stay on hand.

The deposit multiplier formula is: 1 / reserve ratio.

So with a required reserve ratio of 20%, the deposit multiplier is five. That means that for every dollar in the bank’s reserves, the financial institution can boost the money supply by up to $5. If the reserve ratio was 5%, the deposit multiplier would be 20, and the bank could build the money supply by $20 for each dollar held in reserve. As you see, the lower the reserve ratio is, the higher the deposit multiplier is and the more it can lend out.

Recommended: Benefits of Using Mobile Deposit

How Do You Find the Simple Deposit Multiplier?

The simple deposit multiplier is a ratio between bank reserves and bank deposits. It’s important for maintaining the money supply of the economy and the banking system.

As noted above, this figure is calculated by dividing 1 by the required reserve ratio. For example, if the required reserve ratio is 10%, this means the deposit multiplier is 10. For banks, this means that for every $10 deposited, a total of $1 must be kept in reserves, and the bank can increase the money supply by $10 for each dollar it’s holding.

Deposit Multiplier and the Economy

The Federal Reserve, which is the U.S. central bank, uses the deposit multiplier as one of its monetary tools to control the supply of money in the economy. Usually the money that is deposited in a bank is unlikely to stay in the bank. The money that a consumer deposits in a bank is lent out to another consumer in the form of a loan. The deposit multiplier measures this change in checkable deposits as bank reserves change.

Banks are creating money by expanding the amount of reserves into a larger amount of deposits. If the bank decides to keep a small amount of deposits as reserves that means more money is sent to other banks and more deposits are created at these other banks. If a bank decides to keep a larger sum of deposits as reserves, that means less money or new deposits are made in other banks or circulated among consumers.

When money is loaned out to a consumer, at some point that loan will be repaid and deposited back into the banking system. If there is a required reserve ratio of 10%, then 10% of that new deposit will remain in the bank and the rest can be loaned out into the economy. This cycle fuels economic growth, not to mention profit for the bank.

Recommended: How to Deposit Cash in an ATM

Deposit Multiplier vs Money Multiplier

While these two terms sound quite similar and are closely connected, they are not quite interchangeable. Consider the differences between a deposit multiplier vs. money multiplier.

•   The deposit multiplier is the maximum amount of money banks can create by lending funds. Some deposited money must remain on hand according to the required reserve ratio, but the rest can be used to grow the economy as indicated by this figure. The deposit multiplier is calculated as one divided by the reserve ratio.

•   The money multiplier is the increase in the bank’s money supply. It measures the change in money supply created through bank lending and is usually lower than the deposit multiplier since banks don’t lend all of their reserves.

Recommended: Guide to Maxing Out Your 401(k)

The Takeaway

The deposit multiplier is a tool used by financial institutions. It expresses the maximum amount of money a bank can create based on its cash held in reserves. The figure is calculated as one divided by the required reserve ratio; the lower the reserve ratio is, the higher the deposit multiplier is and the more a bank can lend out. The deposit multiplier can help to optimize an economy’s money supply, which is why this metric is used by central banks all over the world.

If you are a personal banking client, you probably aren’t too focused on the deposit multiplier. You likely want convenience, high interest rates, and low fees. If so, check out what SoFi offers.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

How do you use a deposit multiplier?

The deposit multiplier is used to determine the amount of money that can be created with the funds in a bank’s money supply.

How are deposit levels calculated?

In banking, the loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR) is calculated by dividing the bank’s total amount of loans but the sum of deposits over a specific time period. Loans are considered assets, by the way, since the money is the bank’s, while deposits are deemed liabilities, since they belong to the account holder.

What is the formula for a simple deposit multiplier?

To find the deposit multiplier, you divide one by the required reserve ratio. So if the reserve ratio is 5%, the deposit multiplier is 20. If the reserve ratio is 10%, the deposit multiplier is 10.


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The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


*Awards or rankings from NerdWallet are not indicative of future success or results. This award and its ratings are independently determined and awarded by their respective publications.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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Tips for Maximizing Time and Money

Tips for Maximizing Time and Money

Your finances and time, if managed well, can elevate your quality of life significantly. Finding ways to make the most of these two resources can enhance how secure and enjoyable your days are.

Read on to understand the time-money relationship and how to make it work as well as possible.

What Does ‘Time Is Money’ Actually Mean?

The phrase “time is money” means that a person can translate their available hours into money by getting paid to work. If you’re sitting around relaxing, for instance, you could instead be working and earning cash.

This saying can be further explained in terms of opportunity cost. Say a person has an hour to spend. That person can choose to work for that hour or they can choose to do something that does not yield any income, like reading a book. The person who reads the book loses the opportunity to earn income for that hour. If the person can earn $50 an hour, the opportunity cost of choosing to read a book is $50. Thus, time is money.

Of course, it’s every person’s decision about how much they want to work versus enjoy their free time as they see fit. Some people are driven to work 60 or more hours a week and are focused on how much they can deposit in their checking account. Others, craving work-life balance or, say, taking care of children, work much less (if at all). They have chosen a different path.

What Is the Relationship Between Time and Money?

Balancing time and money can involve a trade-off. To make more money, some people spend more time on their careers and have less time for the other obligations and pleasures in life, whether that means spending time with family, relaxing, or pursuing hobbies and passion projects. Working long hours can mean less time to clean, shop, and otherwise handle chores. If one makes enough by working, they can perhaps delegate those duties and hire someone to handle them.

For example, a lawyer might be able to afford to pay a landscaper $50 an hour to do yard work while they earn $300 an hour working with a client. The lawyer nets $250 by doing so. If the lawyer does the yardwork and not the landscaper, the lawyer loses the $300 they could have earned doing legal work. Seen through a financial lens, it could be sensible to embrace strategies that maximize your earning power with the limited time you have. If, however, you are a person who earns less than a lawyer and/or you love to garden and care for your property, you might well decide to do the yard work yourself.

Recommended: What Is the Time Value of Money (TVM)?

Tips for Managing Time and Money

As you may see from the yard work example above, good time management is not just about working every waking hour. It’s about allocating time for tasks wisely and balancing work and personal lives. Otherwise, your health, mood, and personal relationships could suffer. Not every minute of your time should have a price tag on it.

Here are some time and money management tips to get you started.

Prioritizing Tasks

You only have so many hours in a day to get things done, so prioritizing is critical. Work, picking children up from school or daycare, grocery shopping, and preparing food are daily and weekly priorities. So too are things like exercise, meditation, seeing loved ones, and doing whatever feeds your spirit, from rafting to reading. Plan your priorities daily, but typically no more than three or you could feel overwhelmed.

Writing Down Your Schedule

Your daily schedule is critical, but planning your time weekly and monthly can also keep you on-task and organized. More than that, it can help you visualize your available time and consolidate tasks so you can make your life more manageable. For example, can you combine one task with another? Can you go to the grocery store while your child is on a playdate, saving you a trip? Can you fit in a workout during your lunch hour? Organizing your time and life can make you much more efficient and reduce stress.

There are many calendar-keeping tools available, from cool journals to apps. Using alerts on your mobile phone can also help you keep track of the “musts” on your daily schedule.

Putting Time Limits on Tasks

Spending more time on enjoyable tasks and putting off the less palatable ones is human nature. But it’s also procrastination that can leave you short on time and stressed about deadlines at work and at home.

One good solution: Set time limits for activities, and schedule them wisely. Tackle a difficult project when you have the most energy, such as first thing in the morning. Block off an hour or two. If you split up challenging tasks into manageable chunks, you won’t become overwhelmed. Just getting started and seeing some progress can motivate you to continue.

Focusing on One Task at a Time

Multitasking can be a fast track to inefficiency. Walking the dog and listening to a podcast is one thing, but trying to write a report while your child is doing homework (and asking for help), is another — and probably not efficient — one.

Given a quiet room and time to focus, you might knock out the report in an hour or two. Multitasking, on the other hand, can mean for many of us that nothing receives your full attention and is done well.

Removing Interruptions While Working

Social media, pop-up notifications, emails, phone calls, colleagues who want to chat on Slack, family members, and pets all can enrich and inspire your life, but when you are balancing time vs. money, face the facts. They pull you away from work and from being efficient. Find ways to eliminate interruptions, and you’ll likely accomplish more things, more quickly.

If you have an urgent task and work at home, consider going to a coffee shop or a library where you might have more peace. If colleagues at work are a problem, ask to use a conference room temporarily to get your work done or say you are on deadline and pull back from chat apps and email alerts. To avoid technology distractions, try putting your phone away in a drawer so that it is out of sight and out of mind while working.

Creating a Realistic Budget

When it comes to the financial aspect of money vs. time, budgeting can really optimize your efforts to wrangle your funds.

A budget helps you account for your income, expenses, and savings so there are fewer surprises and so you hit your goals. Many people, in fact, believe that being disciplined with money or more accountable for it is a major key to wealth.

Making a budget typically involves looking at your monthly after-tax income, including keeping track of money from side hustles and the like. Then, you will subtract the cost of your monthly necessities (housing, food, medical care), as well as debt, and then allocate what’s left to spending and saving. This process should reveal if you are living within your means, or are you spending more than you earn?

If your expenses exceed your income, look for ways to cut back on spending, such as eating out less, biking to work instead of driving or calling an Uber, or perhaps consolidating high-interest credit card debt with a lower-interest personal loan. The ultimate goal is to create a budget that you can live with and with room to save for long-term goals, like the down payment for a house or for retirement.

Finding Ways to Invest Your Money

A reasonable goal for long-term financial planning is to set aside 10% of your income and invest it. You can educate yourself with books, podcasts, websites, and apps to, say, learn the pros and cons of stocks vs. bonds. A professional financial advisor can also help you to find the best vehicles to build wealth. For example, a 401(k), a diversified portfolio of stocks and mutual funds, or a passion like watch investing or whiskey investing can all play a role in your investing.

Remember, however, the golden rule for investments, though, since they are not covered by the FDIC, or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Only invest what you can afford to lose.

Using Time for Yourself Wisely

Work-life balance is increasingly a goal for Americans, and a number of companies are experimenting with four-day workweeks as one path to achieving this.

Overwork and burnout are real dangers for those who Incessantly strive to capitalize financially. It’s definitely wise to schedule time for yourself. It can be as simple as meditating, spending time with family, working out, volunteering, or pursuing a hobby. Spending time on things that bring you joy can spur you to be your best when you are working, too.

Automating Your Bills and Payments

Automating your monthly bills can be a win-win. Paying bills on time is the biggest single contributor (at 35%) to your credit score, and taking care of those charges before they accrue late fees also makes good money sense.

What’s more, in terms of the time vs. money equation, setting up automated bill payments will also free up some space in your schedule. Your bills will be paid on time each month, without you having to click around websites or write checks and buy stamps to mail them. It will take a few minutes of work up front, but the task is then much easier.

Watching Your Spending

Remember that budget you diligently prepared? Stick to it by following the 30-day spending rule. Wait 30 days before purchasing an item to avoid overspending and racking up debt. If you do spend too much, you’ll pay unnecessary fees on overdrafts or credit card interest payments.

The Takeaway

There’s little doubt that time and money are two valuable but limited resources. Making the most of each requires some smart strategies, such as budgeting, scheduling, reducing overspending, and finding work-life balance. But by respecting the value of time and money — and managing them well, you’ll likely enjoy a better quality of life, today and in the future.

Want to have more time and watch your money grow faster?

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Is time worth more than money?

The answer to this question is subjective. To a person who is terminally ill, time is clearly the most precious commodity; they might rather have less money and more time. In another scenario, someone might say money matters more. They might be willing to work every free minute for years to ensure they have a high-paying career, even if they don’t have much free time to enjoy the luxurious life they lead.

Is it worse to waste my time or money?

Neither wasting time nor money is a great idea, though many of us of course do so from time to time. A better approach can be to minimize the waste and balance your life so you have both enough time and money. This often requires prioritizing, planning, and budgeting.

What are the benefits of managing time and money wisely?

A key benefit of managing time and money wisely is better quality of life. Effective time and money management will make all aspects of your life easier because you gain peace of mind and may stress less about your money and your schedule. You can take control of two very important variables.


Photo credit: iStock/busracavus

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


*Awards or rankings from NerdWallet are not indicative of future success or results. This award and its ratings are independently determined and awarded by their respective publications.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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What to Know about Credit Card Cash Advances

What to Know about Credit Card Cash Advances

Sooner or later, most of us hit that moment where we need some cash — and fast. Maybe a major car repair or medical bill arrives, you get laid off, or you simply overspend for a period of time: All are ways that you can unfortunately find yourself in a hole financially.

A particularly expensive (or unlucky) month might make a credit card cash advance seem appealing. But before you go ahead and get a bundle of bills from your credit card issuer, read up on the consequences of doing so.

Can You Get Cash Back from a Credit Card?

Yes, it’s possible to get a cash advance on a credit card. But just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should.

A credit card cash advance is a stopgap for a financial emergency that can come with high costs to a person’s immediate financial situation. Furthermore, if not paid back quickly, it may also affect their credit history in the long term.

While a cash advance is certainly easy (it’s similar to making an ATM withdrawal from your checking account), there are typically better and more affordable options for most financial needs.

A credit card cash advance is used to get actual cash against a credit card account’s cash limit, which might be different from the credit limit. It’s essentially a loan from the credit card issuer. Here’s how it usually works:

•   You put your credit card into an ATM, enter the card’s PIN, and choose an amount to withdraw. The cash is then dispensed for you to use as you see fit.

•   If you don’t know the card’s PIN, a cash advance can be completed by going into a bank or credit union with the credit card and a government-issued photo identification.

•   A cash advance check directly from the credit card company — sometimes included with mailed monthly billing statements — can also be used to get a cash advance.

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


Why Do People Use Cash Advances?

Why use a cash advance from a credit card? The bottom line: convenience and speed. ATMs are plentiful in most towns, and it takes just a few minutes to complete the process of getting a cash advance at an ATM. There’s no approval process required either.

Some people may assume they don’t have enough time to access other kinds of credit. This isn’t always true, however. For instance, funds obtained through an unsecured personal loan are sometimes available in just one to five days after approval of the loan.

As fast and simple as a credit card cash advance may seem, however, there are significant costs involved. Realizing the financial impact of these withdrawals may encourage a person to look elsewhere for funds.

Recommended: 39 Passive Income Ideas to Build Wealth

Cost of Withdrawing Cash from a Credit Card

A cash advance is an expensive way to borrow money. To put it in perspective, they’re just a step up from payday loans (which typically have much higher interest rates than credit card cash advances, extra fees, and short repayment terms). Here’s a closer look at how these expenses can pile up.

Cash Advance Fee

It’s typical for credit cards to have a fee specifically for cash advances. This fee can be anywhere from 3% to 5% of the total amount of the cash advance. This fee is added to the account balance immediately — there is no grace period.

Higher APR

The average APR, or annual percentage rate, a credit card issuer typically charges for a cash advance is quite a bit higher than normal purchase charges. Currently, the average credit card interest rate on purchases is almost 25%. But what is the APR for a cash advance? The rate is likely to be between 25% and a whopping 30% or more, according to recent research.

What’s more, unlike interest charged on regular purchases, there is no grace period for the interest to start accruing on a cash advance. It starts accumulating immediately and increases the account balance daily.

ATM Fee

Getting a credit card cash advance from an ATM may also mean incurring an extra fee charged by the ATM owner, if that’s not the financial institution that issued your credit card. These fees currently average $4.73 or so per transaction. As you see, the ATM fee can increase the charges for a cash advance, which often add up quickly.

Payment Allocation Rules

If you’re thinking that a cash advance can be paid off first and then the interest rate will revert to the lower rate charged on regular purchases, guess again. While federal law dictates that any amount more than the minimum payment made must go toward the highest interest rate debt, the minimum payment amount is typically applied at the credit card issuer’s discretion. This might well work in the card issuer’s favor, not yours.

Recommended: How to Increase Your Credit Limit

A Hypothetical Scenario

You might be wondering just what a cash advance looks like in actual dollars and sense, so let’s consider this scenario.

Say a person is carrying a credit card balance of $1,000 with an APR of 25%. Perhaps they are trying to financially survive a layoff and need funds, so they find out how to get a cash advance on their credit card and take out $1,000 with a 30% APR. When they receive the billing statement, they pay $1,000 toward their credit card balance.

The minimum payment due amount of $35 is applied to the regular purchases that are accruing interest at a rate of 25%. The remainder, $965, is applied to the cash advance balance that’s getting charged a 30% interest rate.

In order to completely get rid of that 30% APR, the account holder would have to pay the full $2,000 balance.

The cash advance will only be paid off when the entire credit card balance is paid in full, which means they could be setting themselves up with higher interest charges for a long time to come.

Waiting until the next monthly statement is available will just increase the amount due. Every day the cash advance accrues interest, it costs the cardholder more money. The faster the balance is paid off, the less interest will accrue.

Using a credit card interest calculator can be enlightening when figuring out how much purchases or cash advances will really cost with interest applied and how much time it might take to pay them off.

Personal Loans vs Cash Advances

Now you understand how to get a cash advance from a credit card and the expenses involved. So what are the alternatives to this kind of a cash advance? Ask friends or family for a loan? Find ways to make money from home?

While those options are certainly acceptable, an unsecured personal loan might also be an option for some people. These loans can allow you to get funds at a lower interest rate that you can use to pay off your high-interest debt. Here’s how they usually work:

•   An application for a personal loan online can typically be completed in minutes and, if approved, the borrower may possibly get the funds within a couple of days. Personal loans can be used for a variety of reasons.

•   Some common uses for personal loan funds are debt consolidation, wedding expenses, unexpected medical expenses, and moving expenses, to name a few. It’s even possible to use a personal loan to pay off that credit card cash advance, which may cost you a lot less in the long run.

There are several benefits to personal loans that are worth knowing about:

•   Personal loans are likely to offer a more manageable interest rate on the money borrowed than the typical interest rate on a credit card cash advance. Of course, the personal loan’s interest rate will depend on the borrower’s creditworthiness, but it’s likely to be lower than the one tied to a credit card cash advance.

•   When personal loans are used to pay off a cash advance, they can simplify a person’s debt. With a single personal loan, there is only one interest rate to keep track of, as opposed to juggling two high interest rates: one for the cash advance and one for regular purchases charged to the credit card.

•   Credit card debt is revolving debt, which means that the borrower’s credit limit can be used, repaid, then used again, as long as the borrower is in good standing with the lender. A personal loan, however, is installment debt, and has fixed payments and a fixed end date. Unlike the revolving debt of a credit card, the funds from a personal loan can only be used once, and then they have to be repaid.

Personal Loans and Credit Scores

Another upside of choosing a personal loan over a credit card cash advance is that responsibly managing a personal loan might positively impact the borrower’s credit score.

One factor that goes into calculating a FICO® Score is the percentage of available credit being used, the credit utilization ratio, and it accounts for 30% of a person’s total score.

In the hypothetical scenario above, if the borrower had a $3,000 credit limit on their credit card, by using $2,000 of their total available credit, their credit utilization rate would be a whopping 66% (if that one credit card was the only account appearing on their credit report).

It’s fairly typical that credit card users continue to make charges on their accounts, which is likely to keep their credit utilization ratio high.

Installment debt, such as a personal loan, is looked at in a slightly different way in credit score calculations. Making regular payments on an installment loan may carry slightly greater weight than might someone’s credit utilization rate in calculating their credit score. Thus, making regular payments on a personal loan is likely to demonstrate responsible borrowing as the balance is paid down.

As you’ve now learned, considering a variety of funding sources when you need money fast is a smart money move. When you do so, a credit card cash advance may well be seen as a last-resort maneuver.

The Takeaway

Life can certainly deliver some unexpected financial challenges now and then — moments when you need cash quickly, for instance, but don’t have any available. While a cash advance from your credit card may seem like a fast, simple solution, tread carefully. There are significant costs associated with this withdrawal which could leave you with more long-term debt than you’d like. It’s probably wise to explore your options first.

While money management can be tricky at times, partnering with the right financial institution can help improve your financial life.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

What is a credit card cash advance?

A credit card cash advance is a quick, convenient way to access cash using your credit card. You insert it into an ATM or visit a bank branch to obtain the cash. However, this will likely involve your owing significant fees and being assessed a considerable interest rate on the money you have borrowed.

What are the costs of a credit card cash advance?

A credit card cash advance will involve a fee that’s typically 3% to 5% of the total loan amount. In addition, there may be an ATM fee of several dollars. The money that you are advanced begins to accrue interest right away, and this usually is at a higher rate than your rate on purchases. What is a cash advance APR usually? Between 25% and 30%.

What is the difference between a credit card cash advance and checking account withdrawals?

A credit card advance is significantly different from a checking account withdrawal. With a credit card advance, you are quickly getting access to cash from your credit card issuer. It is a form of a loan, and your interest rate will likely be between 25% and 30% until it’s fully repaid. With a checking account withdrawal, you are accessing your own money, so there’s no interest fee involved, though you might be charged a several dollars if you use an out-of-network ATM for the transaction.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


*Awards or rankings from NerdWallet are not indicative of future success or results. This award and its ratings are independently determined and awarded by their respective publications.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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How to Withdraw Money From a Bank Account

Bank accounts can be a great place to stash your cash: They keep your deposits secure while typically earning interest. When you need to access that money for bills, everyday purchases, or big expenses, you’ll have a variety of ways to get cash, including withdrawing funds from an ATM, visiting a bank or credit union branch, or using mobile methods.

Below, you’ll learn how to withdraw money from a checking account and a savings account, plus tips for tracking transactions and avoiding overdrafts.

Checking vs. Savings Accounts

There are two main types of bank accounts you’ll probably have as the hub of your daily financial life: a checking account and a savings account. (You might have other types of deposit accounts, including money market accounts and certificates of deposit as well.)

•   Checking accounts are designed for spending, meaning you’ll regularly take money out to cover expenses. You might write a paper check, swipe a debit card (or enter in the card number online), add the account to a digital wallet or peer-to-peer payment app, or direct debit from the account online to pay bills. You can also easily withdraw cash from a checking account to make cash payments.

•   Savings accounts are designed for — you guessed it — saving. Ideally, you’ll leave the money untouched most of the time. But once you’re ready to use some or all of the cash you’ve saved to make a big purchase, you’re still able to withdraw that money as needed.

Previously, the Federal Reserve limited savings account withdrawals to six a month as part of Regulation D, but in April 2020, it removed this requirement. Worth noting: Many banks and credit unions still adhere to the six withdrawals per month, but they’re not federally mandated to do so.

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Common Withdrawal Methods

There are three common ways to withdraw money from a checking or savings account, though each bank and credit union may offer its own policies and options.

Withdraw Via ATM

Automated teller machines (ATMs) offer an easy way for you to access your cash from your checking account — and sometimes even your savings account. ATMs are often located at physical bank and credit union branch locations, but they’re also commonly found inside stores, gas stations, and other businesses.

You’ll simply slide in your debit card (or ATM card) and punch in your PIN. You’ll then be able to access a few different account features, including withdrawing cash. A few points to note:

•   Many banks and credit unions have their own branded ATMs, but there are also ATM networks to which your financial institution may belong. Typically, as long as you find an ATM within your bank’s network, transactions are free.

Otherwise, your bank may charge you an ATM fee. (The ATM operator may also charge its own fee for using the machine.) One recent study found that the average out-of-network fee was $4.73 per transaction.

•   ATMs may have withdrawal limits per transaction, and your bank or credit union may also limit the amount you can withdraw from an ATM per day. One reason why these caps exist: They can protect you against fraud in case someone gets access to your debit card and knows your PIN. Typically, the daily limit for ATM withdrawals can range from $300 to $5,000 depending on your financial institution and the type of account you have.

Visit a Bank In-Person

If you bank at a traditional financial institution, you might withdraw money from your checking account or savings account in another way. You could visit the bank or credit union in person and get money from the teller. There are a few ways you can do this:

•   Write a check to cash: If you have a checkbook, make a check out to “Cash” for the amount you’d like to withdraw. Present this to the teller, who will take the money from your account and give it to you. Don’t write the check until you’re at the bank — if it falls in someone else’s hands, they’ll be able to cash the check as well.

•   Fill out a withdrawal slip: Banks and credit unions usually have withdrawal slips that you can fill out. You’ll need to fill out your bank account number to use this method.

•   Present your ID: Maybe the easiest way to withdraw money at a bank is to simply visit the teller, present your ID and/or debit card, and tell them you’d like to withdraw money from your account.

Keep in mind that a bank or credit union may have a limit on how much cash you can withdraw at one time or in one day. For instance, you may not be able to walk into a branch and make a five-figure withdrawal without first clearing it with your bank. If you plan on making a very large cash withdrawal, it’s wise to contact your bank first about their policies.

Online or Mobile Transfers

The world of online banking has revolutionized how we access our money. In fact, there are many banks and credit unions that are online-only, meaning they don’t have physical locations. The benefits of online banking can include higher interest rates and lower fees, but it does mean you’ll have to get creative with how you access your cash.

Online banks and credit unions typically let you withdraw your money at ATMs and even retail locations, in some instances, but you can also use some other methods to access your cash. Some of these methods may also be used by those who have accounts at traditional financial institutions, if it suits them:

•   Transfer funds: You can do an online transfer from your savings account to your checking account via the bank’s mobile app, then use your debit card to access your money at a point of sale or ATM. Alternatively, you can transfer your money to another bank account you have that offers brick-and-mortar locations.

•   Use a peer-to-peer payment app: If you need cash to pay a friend, family member, or small business, you might be able to use a peer-to-peer payment app, such as Venmo, PayPal, or Cash App.

•   Pay with a digital wallet: You can also add your online banking payment methods to a digital wallet. Many merchants now let you pay from such wallets, meaning you can complete transactions with the tap of a phone.

Recommended: The Difference Between Deposits and Withdrawals

Keep Track of Transactions

When withdrawing money from your bank account, it’s important that you keep track of your transactions. Luckily, banks and credit unions now typically offer digital options where you can monitor your transactions in real time. Either log in on a desktop or mobile device, and you can see your new account balance after withdrawing money.

Many mobile banking apps offer transaction alerts. You can get a text, email, and/or push notification any time you make a transaction from your account. You may also be able to receive low-balance alerts so you know when you need to add more funds to your account.

You can also use the old-school method of balancing your bank account. Every time you withdraw cash or spend with a debit card, paper check, peer-to-peer payment app, or digital wallet, log the transaction in your transaction register. Similarly, when you deposit cash or the account earns interest, you’ll need to reflect that in the register.

Recommended: What Is Cardless ATM Withdrawal?

Overdraft Protection Considerations

Tracking transactions — either with a digital app or old-fashioned register — is important, as it can help you avoid overdrafts or risking a negative balance. Overdrafting is when you spend more money than you have in your account.

Many banks charge fees when you overdraft; some may decline the transaction (say, they won’t pay a check you wrote) and still charge a fee. These can be pricey: Fees can be as high as $35 or even more for an overdraft.

Some banks offer what’s known as overdraft protection. This means they will cover overdrafts up to a certain amount. There may, however, be fees involved for this banking feature. It can be a good idea to find a bank without overdraft fees, if possible. There will likely be a limit to your coverage, such as no fees up to a $50 overdraft.

That said, it’s smart to avoid these overdraft scenarios as much as possible. In other words, stay on top of your bank account balance and make sure there’s always enough money for your automatic bill payments and everyday spending.

The Takeaway

Checking accounts and savings accounts are great resources for storing your money until you need it. And when you do need it, you have multiple ways to withdraw funds, including at ATMs and points of sale, in person at banks and credit unions, and through transfers online and payment apps.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.


Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Is there a limit on how much you can withdraw from a bank?

Technically, there is no limit to how much you can withdraw from a bank account, as it’s your money to do what you please with. Nevertheless, banks and credit unions typically limit the amount of money you can withdraw from an ATM in a single transaction or day. They may also cap how much cash you can withdraw by seeing a teller. You may also need to maintain a minimum balance in your bank account to keep it open; this should be spelled out in the bank’s fine print.

How long does a withdrawal take?

Withdrawals from checking and savings accounts can be almost instantaneous at ATMs and physical bank and credit union branches. Moving money from one account to another within a mobile app can also sometimes be almost instantaneous, but if you’re transferring money from one bank to another, it may take more time to process.

What if I don’t have enough in my account?

If you don’t have enough money in your bank account when you attempt to withdraw it, your bank may decline the withdrawal and charge you a fee. Conversely, you may be able to withdraw the funds if you have overdraft protection — but your bank could charge you a fee for this service as well.


Photo credit: iStock/RgStudio

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


*Awards or rankings from NerdWallet are not indicative of future success or results. This award and its ratings are independently determined and awarded by their respective publications.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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Real Estate Crowdfunding: What Is It?

Real estate crowdfunding allows investors to pool funds together to invest in property. Crowdfunding has become a popular way to invest in real estate, and gain exposure to an alternative asset class without owning property directly.

Adding real estate to a portfolio can increase diversification while creating a potential buffer against inflation. Real estate crowdfunding platforms make it possible to invest in commercial and residential properties online, with potentially low barriers to entry. But accredited and nonaccredited investors (retail investors) are subject to different rules.

How Real Estate Crowdfunding Works

Real estate crowdfunding platforms seek out investment opportunities and vet them before making them available to investors. The platform then enables multiple investors to fund property investments at lower amounts than the actual property would cost. The minimum investment varies by platform, and might range from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $5,000.

Real estate investors then gain a proportional share of the profits. Depending on the nature of the investment, investors may see interest payments, rental income, or dividends. If a property is sold or assets are otherwise liquidated, investors could also see a profit.

Regulation crowdfunding makes real estate crowdfunding possible, as entities can raise capital from investors without registering with the SEC, as long as they offer or sell less than $5 million in securities.

Real Estate Crowdfunding Examples

Investors can join a real estate crowdfunding marketplace and browse investment options, which may include:

•   Individual residential properties

•   Retail space

•   Office buildings

•   Warehouses and storage facilities

•   Multifamily housing

•   Real estate investment trusts (REITs)

•   Real estate funds

Rather than concentrating capital in a single piece of property, real estate crowdfunding allows investors to distribute their capital among different types of properties. If you’re interested in how to invest in real estate in a hands-off way, crowdfunding can help you do it.

Crowdfunding Explained

What is crowdfunding? In simple terms, it’s the act of raising money from a crowd or pool of investors.

Crowdfunding is possible through Title III of the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. The Act’s purpose was to make it easier for small businesses to raise funds following the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subsequently adopted a series of rules allowing crowdfunding to be applied to real estate investments.1,2

Recommended: Alternative Investments: Definition, Example, Benefits, & Risks

Alternative investments,
now for the rest of us.

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Crowdfunded Real Estate for Accredited and Nonaccredited Investors

Today, accredited and nonaccredited (retail) investors can invest in crowdfunded real estate, but there are different rules for each.

Accredited Investors

An accredited investor, according to the SEC, is someone who:

•   Has a net worth exceeding $1 million, not including the value of their primary residence, OR

•   Had income exceeding $200,000 annually ($300,000 for married couples) in each of the two prior years and expects the same level of income going forward, OR

•   Holds a Series 7, Series 65, or Series 82 securities license

Investors who meet the qualifications to be accredited in the eyes of the SEC may invest any amount in crowdfunded real estate.

Nonaccredited Investors

Retail investors who don’t meet the criteria for accredited investors may be limited in how much they can invest in any Regulation Crowdfunding offering in any 12-month period. If either your income or net worth is less than $124,000, during any 12-month period you can invest up to $2,500, or 5% of your income or net worth, whichever is greater.

If both your income and net worth are $124,000 or higher, during any 12-month period you can invest up to 10% of your annual income or net worth, whichever is greater (not more than $124,000 total).

Advantages and Disadvantages of Real Estate Crowdfunding

Here’s a closer look at how the potential benefits and drawbacks of this alternative strategy compare.

Pros

Holding crowdfunded real estate in a portfolio can offer potential advantages:

•   Minimum investments may be as low as a few hundred dollars.

•   Crowdfunded property investments may yield above-average returns for investors who are comfortable with a longer holding period and highly illiquid assets.

•   Investors have flexibility in choosing which type of property investments they’d like to fund, based on their goals and risk tolerance.

•   Direct ownership isn’t required, which means there’s no need for investors to get a mortgage, come up with down payment funds, or deal with the headaches of managing a rental property.

•   Nonaccredited investors are not shut out of crowdfunding real estate, thanks to SEC rulemaking, but are subject to other restrictions.

Cons

While there are some attractive features associated with real estate crowdfunding, there are some things investors may want to be wary of:

•   Real estate crowdfunding platforms may charge hefty fees, which can detract from overall investment earnings.

•   Generally speaking, crowdfunded real estate is illiquid since you’re meant to leave your capital in the investment for the duration of the holding period.

•   Taxes on real estate gains can be complicated, as the dividend portion is typically taxed differently than profit from sales of properties. You may want to consult a professional.

•   Returns are not guaranteed, and properties may underperform as market or economic conditions change.

•   Nonaccredited investors are limited in how much they can invest in crowdfunded real estate by SEC regulations (see above).

Real Estate Crowdfunding Platforms

Online platforms allow investors to crowdfund real estate with a relatively low minimum investment amount. A typical minimum investment is $10,000 though some platforms allow investors to get started with $500 or less.

When comparing platforms that crowdfund real estate, it’s helpful to consider:

•   Minimum and maximum investment thresholds

•   Range of investment options

•   Investment holding periods

•   Fees

•   Investment performance

•   Vetting and due diligence

It’s also important to look at whether a platform works with accredited or nonaccredited investors. The best real estate crowdfunding platforms thoroughly vet properties before making them available to investors, have low minimum investment thresholds, and charge minimal fees.

How to Get Started

If you’re interested in real estate crowdfunding you’ll first need to decide how much money you’re comfortable investing. How much of your portfolio you should allocate to real estate investments can depend on:

•   Your age and time horizon for investing

•   Investment goals

•   Risk tolerance

•   Risk capacity, meaning how much risk you need to take to reach your goals

There’s no magic number to aim for. Some investors may be comfortable allocating a larger portion of their portfolio to alternative investments like real estate while others may prefer to limit their allocation to 5% or 10% instead.

Once you’ve got an amount in mind you can move on to researching real estate crowdfunding platforms. Remember to look at whether platforms work with nonaccredited investors if you don’t yet qualify for accredited status.

The Takeaway

Real estate crowdfunding offers an exciting opportunity to expand your portfolio beyond traditional stocks and bonds. You might consider this option alongside REITs, real estate funds, or real estate stocks if you’d like to reap some of the benefits of property investing without having to purchase a rental unit or a fix-and-flip home.

Ready to expand your portfolio's growth potential? Alternative investments, traditionally available to high-net-worth individuals, are accessible to everyday investors on SoFi's easy-to-use platform. Investments in commodities, real estate, venture capital, and more are now within reach. Alternative investments can be high risk, so it's important to consider your portfolio goals and risk tolerance to determine if they're right for you.

Invest in alts to take your portfolio beyond stocks and bonds.

FAQ

How would earnings from real estate crowdfunding be taxed?

Owing to the complexity of real estate-related tax rules, you may want to consult a professional. Crowdfunded real estate investments can produce income in the form of dividends or interest, both of which are taxable at the dividend rate. Generally, any profits you clear when exiting would be treated as capital gains, and the holding period determines whether the short- or long-term rate applies.

Would real estate crowdfunding be considered a high-risk investment?

Real estate crowdfunding is risky, as interest rate fluctuations or changing market and economic conditions can affect outcomes. If you’re weighing real estate vs. stocks, remember that the two have little correlation to one another. Holding real estate in a portfolio can help balance risk and provide some protection against market volatility.

What is the difference between an accredited and nonaccredited investor?

An accredited investor satisfies one of three requirements established by the SEC, based on net worth, income, or securities licenses they hold. A nonaccredited investor does not meet these requirements and is generally considered a retail investor. A nonaccredited investor is subject to limits on how they may invest in crowdfunding opportunities.


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