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Here's why your PayPal payment is on hold

There are a few reasons why you haven't received your money yet.
June 26, 2023
PayPal stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you have started receiving payments on PayPal from customers or even friends and family, you might notice that the money isn’t in your PayPal balance or account yet. Here’s why your PayPal money is on hold.


PayPal will place a payment on hold if it needs more information about your activity, transaction, or business. A delay could be because of unusual activity, a change in your selling pattern, or if it's a first-time transaction.


Why is my PayPal money on hold?

PayPal stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Your payment might be put on hold if PayPal detects any unusual activity with the account. If you are a first-time seller, PayPal will temporarily hold all your payments until you build a positive seller history.

Suppose you have been receiving PayPal payments for your business already. If multiple customers have filed refund requests, raised disputes, or issued chargebacks or bank reversals, PayPal will also place a payment on hold. There could also be a payment hold if you sell high-risk items like gift cards, tickets, travel packages, or consumer electronics. If you haven’t sold anything for a while, you will also have to rebuild your seller history.

Additionally, PayPal will look out for sudden changes in selling habits. Expect holds if your sales see a very sudden spike or a change in average selling prices.

How long will PayPal hold my money?

paypal payment how to remove hold

PayPal will hold your money for up to 21 days, but there are ways to get your funds released quicker.

If you are a first-time seller and a payment you received is on hold, you can get your funds sooner than the 21-day waiting period by using PayPal Supported Carriers to send the product. You can print a UPS or USPS shipping label from your PayPal account. The tracking information and delivery confirmation will automatically be updated on your account, and PayPal will release the funds to you one day after the delivery is completed.

You must manually upload the tracking information if you use a supported carrier instead. PayPal will release your funds within three days of the courier confirming delivery.

PayPal-supported carriers:

  • DHL eCommerce US
  • DHL Express (Piece ID)
  • Echo
  • Ensenda
  • Expeditors
  • FedEx
  • Globegistics Inc.
  • MailAmericas
  • Newgistics
  • OnTrac
  • RL Carriers
  • RRD International Logistics U.S.A
  • UPS
  • USPS

This list is always updating. If you want to check if more carriers are available, you can go to the Add tracking option in your payment.

How to prevent PayPal from holding funds

You can prevent future payment holds by building a positive seller history. Avoid refunds, disputes, and chargebacks, work with your customers to clear any issues, and set up a customer service message to prevent conflicts and claims. For example, if there’s going to be a delivery delay because of inclement weather, let your customers know.

How to get help with PayPal holds?

Aside from the methods listed above, there isn’t much else you can do to get help with PayPal payment holds other than to call customer service. Go to the PayPal Contact Us page and scroll to the bottom. You’ll see some options to contact PayPal. Click on Message us or Call us and follow the instructions to get in touch with the company’s customer support team.


You will not be able to access any funds on hold until PayPal clears the payment.

PayPal may decide when to release funds at its own discretion. The maximum number of days it usually holds funds for is 21 days, though.

If you receive a payment from a friend or family member for the first time or after a long time, it will register as unusual account activity. In that case, PayPal will put the payment on hold for up to 21 days.

Calling customer service to release fund holds is always worth a try, but the chances of them going against their rules are slim. At the very least, they can explain to you how to officially speed up the process.