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What is a Cash Deposit?

By Lori Smith
Updated May 16, 2024
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A cash deposit usually refers to money that is added to a checking or savings account, either via a bank teller or an automated teller machine (ATM). Funds are generally available for withdrawal immediately following this type of transaction. As a form of security, a cash deposit may also be required for a number of services or rental items. In these cases, the value of the deposit may or may not be refundable at a later date, depending on the terms of the agreement.

When cash is deposited at a financial institution, the consumer is usually required to complete a deposit slip that contains specific information about the account. This typically includes a bank account number, the name associated with the account, and the dollar amount of the deposit. While some banks impose a waiting period when checks are deposited, cash is usually available immediately after the transaction is complete.

Many times, individuals are required to provide a cash deposit when renting an apartment or other type of dwelling. This helps to guarantee that specific terms of a lease agreement are met and protect the owner’s property from expensive costs associated with damage. Depending on the terms of a lease, a deposit may also be used toward future rent payments.

In some cases, a landlord may place the cash deposit in an interest-bearing account. The interest that it earns may then be paid to the renter on an annual basis. Once the occupant vacates the unit, the money that he or she initially paid as a deposit is often returned, as long the move-out conditions have been met.

If damage to the property occurs, the deposit, either fully or in part, may be forfeited. For example, the interior walls or carpeting may require repair or replacement as a result of the tenant’s neglect. The security deposit may then be used to make the necessary repairs to the unit.

Similarly, in addition to a rental fee, certain items often require a cash deposit that may equal the value of its replacement. Once the rental item is returned, the deposit is usually refunded as well. In lieu of a cash deposit, some companies will accept a credit card, placing a hold on a specified dollar amount that equals the required deposit. This guarantees that the funds will be available in case the customer fails to return the item or otherwise damages it. When the rented item is returned, the hold that was placed on the credit card is typically released as well.

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Discussion Comments

By jmiller2 — On Dec 12, 2013

Cash deposits at an ATM are not always immediately available. Bank of America cash deposits are only if the deposit is made at a deposit image ATM before 8 p.m. on a business day. What are the rules at your bank?

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