Can I Withdraw Money if My Account is Empty

If your bank account balance is zero or negative, withdrawing money typically isn’t possible. Banks generally don’t allow overdrafts unless you have authorized them and meet specific criteria. Overdrafts occur when you try to withdraw more money than you have in your account, resulting in a negative balance. To avoid overdraft fees and potential account closure, it’s crucial to monitor your account balance and ensure you have sufficient funds before attempting a withdrawal.

Overdraft Protection

Overdraft protection is a service offered by some banks that allows you to withdraw money from your account even if you don’t have enough money available.

  • Automatic overdraft protection: This type of protection is automatically added to your account and will cover any overdraft up to a certain amount.
  • Discretionary overdraft protection: This type of protection is not automatic and must be applied for. The bank will then decide whether or not to approve your request for overdraft protection.


If you overdraw your account, you may be charged overdraft fees. These fees can vary depending on the bank and the type of overdraft protection you have.

BankAutomatic Overdraft FeeDiscretionary Overdraft Fee
Bank of America$35$35
Wells Fargo$35$35

Payment Return

When you don’t have enough funds in your account to cover a withdrawal, the transaction will be returned unpaid. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Insufficient funds
  • Stop payment order
  • Account closure

If a withdrawal is returned unpaid, you will typically be charged a fee by your bank. The amount of the fee will vary depending on the bank, but it is typically around $30.


In addition to the fee charged by your bank, you may also be subject to penalties from the payee. These penalties can vary, but they may include:

  • Late payment fees
  • NSF fees
  • Overdraft fees

To avoid these penalties, it is important to make sure that you have enough funds in your account to cover any withdrawals you make.

Type of PenaltyAmount
Late payment fee$10
NSF fee$25
Overdraft fee$30

Account Closures and Consequences

An account becomes empty when there are no funds remaining in it. Withdrawing money from an empty account is generally not possible. However, account closures and consequences can vary depending on the financial institution and account type. Let’s explore the different scenarios:

  • Account Closure Fee: Closing an account, even if it’s empty, may incur a fee. Banks charge this fee to cover administrative costs associated with account maintenance and closure.
  • Overdraft Fees: If you attempt to withdraw money from an empty checking account, you may incur overdraft fees. Overdraft fees are charged when you spend more money than what’s available in your account.
  • Account Reactivation: In some cases, closed accounts can be reactivated. However, reactivation fees may apply, and the account may require a new minimum deposit.
  • Credit Score Impact: Closing accounts in good standing can have a negative impact on your credit score, especially if you have a limited credit history.
  • IRS Reporting: Banks are required to report account closures to the IRS if the balance exceeds a certain threshold. This can trigger an IRS inquiry, especially if the account was closed due to suspicious activity.

Consider the consequences before closing an empty account. The table below summarizes the potential fees and impacts:

Account ClosureYesMay incur closure fee
Overdraft WithdrawalYesIncur overdraft fees
Account ReactivationYesMay require reactivation fee and minimum deposit
Credit Score ImpactYesClosing accounts in good standing can lower credit score
IRS ReportingYesAccount closures over a certain balance may trigger IRS inquiry

To avoid these consequences, it’s advisable to empty your account before closing it. You can do this by transferring the remaining funds to another account or cashing out the balance.

Alternative Withdrawal Methods

If your account is empty, you may still be able to withdraw money using alternative methods. These methods may include:

  • Overdraft protection: If you have overdraft protection, your bank will allow you to withdraw more money than you have in your account. However, you will be charged an overdraft fee for this service.
  • Line of credit: A line of credit is a type of loan that allows you to borrow money up to a certain limit. You can use a line of credit to withdraw money from your account, even if you don’t have any funds available.
  • Personal loan: A personal loan is a type of loan that you can use for any purpose. You can use a personal loan to withdraw money from your account, even if you don’t have any funds available.
MethodFeesInterest Rates
Overdraft protection$25-$35 per overdraftVaries
Line of credit$10-$20 per monthVaries
Personal loan$0-$50Varies

And there you have it, folks! So, whether you’re feeling flush with funds or as empty as a drum, you now know that instant transfers can save the day. Thanks for reading! If you’ve found this article helpful, be sure to swing by again soon for more money-saving tips and tricks. We’re always here to help you manage your finances with ease. Cheers, and happy spending (or saving!)