Even with all of the financial tech available at your fingertips, like online banking and mobile apps, it can still be a drag to figure out how to deposit a check these days. Whether it’s trying to take a not-so-blurry photo to submit to the bank pending review, or attempting to get to an actual branch before closing, these hassles are easily avoided by signing up for direct deposit.
What is a direct deposit?
How long direct deposit takes depends typically on each company’s pay schedule, but most employers now offer direct deposit as an option, and some even require it, depending on your state.
Having direct deposit means paychecks are automatically added into a designated bank account every pay cycle.
When starting a new job, the employer will typically hand out paperwork explaining how to set up a direct deposit.
It could take one or two pay cycles for a direct deposit to be set up, so you might need to pick up your first check-in person or get it by mail.
But after that, how long a direct deposit takes just depends on how often you are scheduled to get paid.
If your company pays you every two weeks, expect to see your paycheck deposited directly every other Friday, for example.
Set up your direct deposit with
SoFi Money today.
When Does Direct Deposit go Through?
When direct deposit happens, it usually happens pretty seamlessly. Your account balance will reflect this new payment automatically once it’s posted to the account. So, you don’t have to worry about depositing the funds like you would with cash or a check.
Direct deposit has become increasingly popular, and billions of electronic payments are processed every year. Funds move from one bank to another with the help of the Automated Clearing House network (ACH).
When employers pay wages through direct deposit, or even when consumers auto pay bills electronically from checking accounts, the ACH network is usually responsible for routing those payments to the final destination.
Even the Social Security Administration no longer prints checks. Instead, they require that you receive funds electronically, through direct deposit or a debit card.
There are a few additional benefits to choosing direct deposit. Besides the automation and secure peace of mind gained from knowing your account will always have your paycheck, you also don’t have to wait by the mailbox or visit a bank to deposit a check.
As long as direct deposit is set up correctly at the start, you should never miss a paycheck. Plus, now there will be an electronic record, which makes it easy to search the account transaction history to see all paychecks in one place.
Sometimes, direct deposit even means getting paid faster. Rather than remembering to pick up a check and waiting to deposit it, most direct deposits will post on the actual payday or by the next business day, making it easy to know when money is coming into your account. This accuracy and timing can also help you with other financial goals.
If you know when exactly you are getting paid, it’s possible to schedule your other bills or automatic transfers to come out of your account after the direct deposit is scheduled, avoiding overdraft fees or negative balances.
How to set up a direct deposit
When figuring out how to set up a direct deposit, especially at a new job, remember to have the following information available to make it as simple as possible:
• Your bank account number(s) and type of account
• Bank routing number
• Bank name and address
• A blank, void personal check
This information can all be found on a personal check, or by contacting your bank or financial institution directly.
How long does it take for direct deposit to post?
Some employers decide to pay on a monthly, biweekly, or weekly pay schedule. Your employer’s pay frequency will determine when they have to submit payroll, which affects when employees will get their direct deposit.
Most employers have the option to submit their payroll a few days before payday. If your paycheck date falls on a non-banking day, such as a holiday, sometimes you’ll get your pay a day early.
But employers might also try to get payroll done early in the event of a bank holiday so that you still receive your direct deposit on time. To learn the exact time a direct deposit will post to your account, you can contact your bank directly, or watch to see what time of day the first few direct deposits come into your account.
Another perk of direct deposit is that it can help you reach your long-term financial goals and savings, too.
Instead of just listing one account when you sign up for your direct deposit, you could list two—for instance, a checking and savings account.
This way, you get to designate a set amount of money to move into your savings account automatically, while leaving what you know you’ll need in checking for bills and smaller payments.
This can also help if you have specific upcoming savings goals, such as debt payoff or an upcoming vacation that you want to make sure you save for.
However, keep in mind that a checking account with a traditional bank might not be the best place to keep your money if you want it to grow.
The average checking account interest rate is 0.06 , meaning your money will not be able to grow quickly, even if you do split up your direct deposit into your checking and savings accounts.
Direct deposit and alternative finance solutions
Looking for an account where you can easily set up a direct deposit? SoFi Money® is a cash management account where you can spend, save, and earn all in one. It has no account fees and is mobile-friendly, including check deposits.
With SoFi Money you’ll have access to unlimited ATM fee reimbursements and you can use any ATM that accepts Mastercard around the world.
If you create a SoFi Money cash management account, you could add it as one of your options for direct deposit. It’s a great alternative way to help manage your money.
We work hard to charge zero account fees. With that in mind, our fee structure is subject to change at any time.
The membership of SoFi Money also includes access to complimentary career coaching, discounts on loans, unemployment protection, and more.
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SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank.