Stimulus checks are starting to hit Americans' bank accounts this weekend, but some may not be able to access the money right away

Joseph Zeballos-Roig
·2 min read
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Some Americans may not be able to access their federal cash this weekend. skynesher
  • Many Americans are seeing $1,400 stimulus checks in their bank accounts, but they may not be able to access the money immediately.

  • The IRS said it is officially releasing the payments on March 17.

  • That means it may take several more days for the checks to clear at major financial institutions.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Many Americans are seeing $1,400 stimulus checks hit their bank accounts this weekend under President Joe Biden's stimulus law. But people may not be able to immediately tap into it - at least, not until St. Patrick's Day at the earliest.

The direct payments, which the IRS labeled as "Economic Impact Payments," are set to be paid out on March 17, per the agency.

"As with the first two Economic Impact Payments in 2020, most Americans will receive their money without having to take any action," the IRS said on its website. "Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of March 17."

That means it could take several more days for the relief checks to clear at major banks like Wells Fargo. Others such as Chase said on their website it expected to release the payouts March 17 and after.

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"Wells Fargo will process all of the direct deposits according to the effective date provided by the U.S. Treasury," the bank said in numerous follow-up tweets to customers frustrated with the delay.

Some digital banks, like Chime, however, said they authorized clients to instantly access their federal cash. On Friday, they issued a "stimmy alert" on Twitter saying the service had already distributed $600 million.

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A spokesperson for Chime said the company offers early access to all deposits, including stimulus payments. The digital bank has already distributed roughly $3 billion in direct payments to a million clients, the spokesperson said.

The IRS also said Friday that people can begin tracking the status of their checks using the "Get my Payment" portal on Monday. The agency also said it expects to issue more direct deposits and send payments as a check or debit card over the coming weeks.

Singles earning up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income qualify for the full amount, along with couples making up to $150,000. Each adult dependent is eligible for a check as well.

However, the stimulus payments phase out much quicker. Individuals earning above $80,000 and couples making above $160,000 will not receive anything.

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