1. Home
  2. /
  3. education
  4. /
  5. Why Is My Transaction...

Why Is My Transaction Not Settled at Fidelity? Here’s the Explanation!

As a Fidelity account holder, you may have found yourself in a situation where your funds are not settling, preventing you from making trades. 

This can be frustrating and confusing, especially if you’re not sure why is your transaction not settled at fidelity or what to do about it. 

In this article, we’ll break down the reasons why your transactions may not be settling at Fidelity, how to avoid trading violations, and what to do if you encounter this issue.

What Are Settled Funds at Fidelity?

Before we dive into why your cash may not be settling, let’s first define what settled funds mean at Fidelity.

Settled funds refer to cash available for trading in your brokerage account that have reached the end of a settlement period. 

When you buy or sell securities, there is a period between the trade execution and the actual cash transfer. 

transaction not settled at fidelity

This is known as the settlement period, which can vary depending on the type of investment you’ve made. It is usually two to three days from the trade date for most stocks, ETFs and mutual funds. Only settled funds qualify for trading at Fidelity.

Why Are Only Settled Funds Usable for Trading at Fidelity?

The primary reason for this requirement is to ensure proper fund availability and prevent trading violations. 

In the case of cash accounts, when you place a buy order, the brokerage firm needs to have the cash in hand to execute the trade. Similarly, when you sell securities, the cash needs to be settled to ensure a successful transaction.

Cash accounts are both retirement and non-retirement accounts that aren’t approved for margin or credit on securities.

Allowing only settled funds for trading helps maintain the integrity of the trading system. It ensures that investors have enough funds available to cover their trades and prevents situations where trades are executed without the necessary funds. 

This requirement also helps in preventing potential fraudulent activities, such as using uncleared or unsettled funds for trading.

By adhering to the rule of using only settled funds, the trading system maintains transparency and fairness, ensuring that all participants have an equal opportunity to execute their trades. It also helps in maintaining the overall stability of the market by reducing the risk of failed transactions.

In summary, only settled funds qualify for trading to ensure proper fund availability, prevent trading violations, maintain system integrity, and promote transparency and fairness in the market. 

All Common Reasons For ‘Why Is My Cash Not Settled?’

Fidelity transactions can have many reasons for non-settlement. Understanding these common reasons can help you navigate the situation and avoid potential trading violations.

Here are some detailed explanations for each of these subtopics:

Lack of Understanding of Settlement Periods:

One common reason for transactions not being settled is a lack of understanding of settlement periods. Settlement periods refer to the time it takes for a trade to be completed, and the actual cash transfer to occur. 

If you attempt to use your funds for trading before they have reached the settlement period, the funds will not be considered settled and therefore cannot be used. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the settlement periods for different types of investments to avoid this issue.

Trading with Uncleared Funds:

When you sell securities, the funds from that sale need to go through a clearing process before they become available for trading again. This clearing process ensures that the transaction is finalized and that the funds are available for use. 

If you attempt to use these funds before they have cleared, they will be considered uncleared and will not be available for trading. It’s essential to wait for the funds to clear before using them for new trades.

Impact of Liquidating Positions Before Settlement:

Liquidating or selling positions before they have settled can also affect the availability of funds for trading. 

For example, if you buy shares using settled cash on Monday and then sell those shares on Tuesday, you may think the funds from the sale are available for new trades. 

However, the cash from the stock sale won’t settle until a few days after the initial purchase, which means you won’t be able to use it until then. It’s crucial to keep track of settlement periods and ensure that you are using only settled funds for trading.

By understanding these common reasons for cash not being settled, you can take proactive steps to ensure that you are using only settled funds for trading. 

This will help you avoid trading violations, maintain compliance with trading rules, and make informed investment decisions. If you have any doubts or questions, it is always recommended to reach out to Fidelity customer support for assistance.

Understanding Cash Account Trading Violations

When you trade in a cash account on Fidelity, you need to be mindful of trading restrictions that can result in a violation. 

A violation can occur if you sell securities before they’ve settled and then use those funds to buy new shares before the cash settles. This is known as a good faith violation (GFV), and it can result in a restriction or suspension of your account. 

Additionally, if your investment Account is flagged for multiple violations, you may face consequences such as account closures or even legal actions.


Avoiding Cash Account Trading Violations

To avoid cash account trading violations, you need to make sure you’re only using settled cash for trading and not using funds from sales until they’ve cleared. Here are some tips to help you avoid these violations:

  • Keep track of your trades and settlement periods to ensure you’re only using funds that have already settled.
  • Use a margin account instead of a cash account, if you’re not comfortable with waiting for your funds to settle.
  • Set up cash management features like debit card access and online bill pay to give yourself more flexibility and avoid trading restrictions.

How to Troubleshoot and Resolve the Issue

If you’re experiencing issues with your transactions not settling at Fidelity, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue. 

First, make sure you have not violated any trading rules and that your funds have reached the settlement period. 

Next, contact Fidelity customer support for assistance. They can help you assess the situation and provide guidance on how to resolve the issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use unsettled cash to buy securities at Fidelity?

A: No, you cannot use unsettled cash to buy securities at Fidelity. Only settled funds are eligible for trading.

Q: How do I know when my funds have settled at Fidelity?

A: YA: You can view the settlement date and status of your funds in your account by going to the “Balances and Positions” tab on your account.


Understanding why your cash is not settling at Fidelity is key to avoiding trading violations and navigating any issues that may arise. 

By keeping track of settlement periods and using settled funds for trading, you can stay out of trouble and keep your cash working for you. 

If you’re ever unsure about the settlement status of your funds, don’t hesitate to consult your account details and reach out to Fidelity customer support.