How Long Do You Have To Pay A Paypal Negative Balance?

Having a negative balance on PayPal can be stressful, especially if you’re unsure how long you have to correct it before further action is taken. The good news is that PayPal generally gives you plenty of time to add funds and get your account back in good standing.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about PayPal negative balances – from how they occur to how long you have to pay them off.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: PayPal gives you up to 60 days to bring your negative balance current before collections proceedings begin.

What Causes a Negative Balance on PayPal?

Having a negative balance on PayPal can be a stressful situation, but understanding the reasons behind it can help you navigate through it. Here are some common causes of a negative balance on PayPal:

Pending charges exceeding your balance

One common reason for a negative balance is when you have pending charges that exceed the funds available in your PayPal account. This can happen when you make a purchase or send money, but the transaction hasn’t been completed yet.

It’s important to keep track of your pending transactions to avoid a negative balance.

Disputed transactions

Another cause of a negative balance on PayPal is when you dispute a transaction. If you believe that a transaction was unauthorized or there was a problem with the product or service you received, you can open a dispute with PayPal.

During the dispute resolution process, PayPal may temporarily hold the amount in question, resulting in a negative balance until the issue is resolved.


Chargebacks can also lead to a negative balance on PayPal. A chargeback occurs when a buyer disputes a transaction with their credit card company and the funds are reversed. PayPal will then deduct the disputed amount from your account, resulting in a negative balance.


When you issue a refund to a buyer, the refunded amount is deducted from your PayPal balance. If your balance is already low, this can result in a negative balance. It’s important to ensure that you have sufficient funds in your account to cover any potential refunds.

PayPal fees

In addition to transaction fees, PayPal may charge other fees for certain services, such as currency conversion or withdrawals. If these fees are not covered by your PayPal balance, they can contribute to a negative balance.

It’s important to address a negative balance on PayPal as soon as possible to avoid any potential limitations or restrictions on your account. PayPal offers various options to add funds to your account, such as linking a bank account or adding a credit or debit card.

By resolving the negative balance promptly, you can continue to use PayPal for your online transactions without any interruptions.

How Long Do You Have to Pay Off a PayPal Negative Balance?

When you have a negative balance on your PayPal account, it’s important to understand the timeline for repayment. Failure to clear your negative balance within the specified period can lead to account limitations and even collections. Here’s a breakdown of the timeframes involved:

30 days before account limitations

Once your PayPal account goes into a negative balance, you have approximately 30 days to bring it back to zero. PayPal usually gives users this grace period to rectify the negative balance before taking any further action.

It’s crucial to address the negative balance as soon as possible to avoid any account limitations.

60 days before collections

If you haven’t resolved your negative balance within the initial 30-day period, PayPal may take further action. After 60 days, they may escalate the matter and send it to collections. This means that the debt may be handed over to a third-party agency that specializes in debt collection.

At this point, it’s important to understand that the negative balance is no longer solely between you and PayPal.

After 60 days, collections may begin

Once the negative balance has been sent to collections, the collection agency may start their own collection efforts to recover the debt. This can include contacting you via mail, phone calls, or even reporting the debt to credit bureaus, which can have a negative impact on your credit score.

It’s crucial to address the negative balance before it reaches this stage to avoid further complications.

It’s worth noting that these timeframes may vary slightly depending on your specific situation and the policies of PayPal. Therefore, it’s always recommended to check PayPal’s official website for the most up-to-date information and guidelines regarding negative balance repayment.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Your Negative PayPal Balance?

When you have a negative balance on your PayPal account, it’s important to take action and resolve it as soon as possible. Ignoring the negative balance can result in several consequences that may impact your financial standing.

Here are some of the things that can happen if you don’t pay your negative PayPal balance:

Account limitations

If you fail to pay off your negative PayPal balance, PayPal may restrict your account. This means that you won’t be able to make any further transactions or access certain features on the platform. Your account could be limited until the negative balance is resolved and paid in full.

Collections agency involvement

If your negative PayPal balance remains unpaid for an extended period, PayPal may engage a collections agency to recover the funds. Collections agencies are professionals who specialize in debt collection and they have the legal authority to pursue the money owed to PayPal on their behalf.

Once a collections agency becomes involved, they may employ various tactics to collect the debt, including phone calls, letters, and even legal action.

Credit reporting

Unpaid debts, including a negative PayPal balance, can be reported to credit bureaus. This can have a negative impact on your credit score and make it more difficult for you to obtain credit in the future.

Lenders, banks, and other financial institutions may view a negative mark on your credit report as a sign of financial irresponsibility, which could affect your ability to secure loans or credit cards.

Legal action

In some cases, PayPal may pursue legal action to recover the funds from your negative balance. They have the right to take you to court and seek a judgment against you. If a judgment is obtained, it can result in wage garnishment or the seizure of assets to satisfy the debt.

Legal action should be seen as a last resort, but it is a possibility if the negative balance remains unpaid.

It’s important to remember that ignoring a negative PayPal balance will not make it go away. Taking responsibility for your financial obligations is crucial to maintaining a good financial standing. If you find yourself with a negative PayPal balance, it’s best to contact PayPal directly and work out a repayment plan to avoid these potential consequences.

How to Bring Your PayPal Account Positive

If you find yourself with a negative balance in your PayPal account, don’t panic! There are several ways to bring your account back to a positive balance. Here are some methods you can use:

Add money directly through PayPal

If you have funds available in another PayPal account, you can transfer the money to your account with the negative balance. Simply log in to the other account, navigate to the “Send & Request” tab, and enter your own email address as the recipient.

This will transfer the funds to your account and help you bring it back to a positive balance.

Transfer funds from a bank account

If you have a linked bank account, you can transfer funds from your bank to your PayPal account. To do this, go to the “Wallet” tab in your PayPal account, click on “Link a bank account,” and follow the instructions to link your bank account.

Once linked, you can transfer funds from your bank account to your PayPal account to cover the negative balance.

Use a debit or credit card

If you have a debit or credit card linked to your PayPal account, you can use it to add funds and bring your account balance back to positive. Simply go to the “Wallet” tab, click on “Link a card” and follow the instructions to link your card.

Once linked, you can use the card to add funds to your PayPal account and cover the negative balance.

Sell items and withdraw funds

If you have items that you no longer need or want, you can sell them on platforms like eBay or through PayPal’s own “Sell” feature. Once you make a sale, you can withdraw the funds to your bank account or use them to cover the negative balance in your PayPal account.

Note: It’s important to remember that PayPal may charge fees for certain transactions, so be sure to review the terms and conditions on their website or contact their customer support for more information.

By using these methods, you can quickly bring your PayPal account back to a positive balance and continue using it for your online transactions with ease.

Tips to Avoid PayPal Negative Balances

When it comes to using PayPal, it’s important to manage your account properly to avoid negative balances. Failing to do so can lead to fees, restrictions on your account, and potential difficulties in future transactions. Here are some tips to help you avoid PayPal negative balances:

Closely monitor your balance

One of the simplest ways to prevent a negative balance is to regularly check your PayPal account balance. By keeping a close eye on your funds, you can ensure that you have enough money to cover your transactions. This can help you avoid overspending and potential overdraft fees.

Remove pending charges if needed

If you have pending charges on your PayPal account that you no longer wish to proceed with, it’s important to cancel or remove them as soon as possible. Pending charges can tie up your funds and potentially lead to a negative balance if not addressed promptly.

By taking action to remove these charges, you can avoid any potential issues.

Only spend available funds

When making purchases or sending money through PayPal, make sure you only spend the available funds in your account. Avoid spending more than what you currently have, as this can quickly lead to a negative balance.

Keeping track of your available balance and spending within your means is crucial to maintaining a positive account status.

Resolve disputes quickly

If you encounter any disputes or issues with a transaction, it’s essential to address them promptly. Delaying the resolution of disputes can result in frozen funds or chargebacks, potentially causing your account to go into a negative balance.

Contact the seller or PayPal’s customer service to resolve any problems as soon as possible.

Consider business account perks

If you have a business account on PayPal, take advantage of the perks and features available to you. Business accounts often offer additional benefits such as higher transaction limits, seller protection, and access to advanced reporting tools.

Utilizing these features can help you better manage your finances and minimize the risk of negative balances.

By following these tips, you can maintain a positive balance on your PayPal account and avoid any potential negative balance issues. Remember to always monitor your account, spend within your means, and address any disputes promptly.

With proper account management, you can enjoy a seamless PayPal experience.


Having a negative balance on PayPal can happen from time to time. The key is addressing it promptly within the 60 day window before collections or legal action occurs. Add funds through linked accounts, credit/debit cards, or sales.

Also employ preventative habits like closely monitoring your balance, only spending available funds, and quickly resolving any transaction disputes. With a bit of diligence, you can get your PayPal account back in good standing and avoid any further issues.

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