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Published: Jul 15, 2021 7 min read
Collage of a mother searching for money with a flashlight while her baby sits next to her
Money; Getty Images

The first round of advance child tax credit payments officially went out Thursday, providing a cash infusion to some 39 million families across the U.S.

The IRS sent most of the July 15 checks, worth up to $300 per child depending on age and income level, automatically via direct deposit. But not everyone got the money they expected. Even prior to Thursday's payment date, social media was teeming with questions from parents and guardians confused about the White House letters, the eligibility requirements and more.

Didn't receive your child tax credit payment yet? Here are eight possible explanations — and what you can do about it.

The payment is still processing

When the government sent out stimulus checks earlier in the pandemic, the deposits often dropped into different people's accounts on different days due to bank processing times. In these cases, there's nothing to do but wait.

If your bank says it still hasn't received the payment and it's been five days since your direct deposit, you can request a payment trace from the IRS. Fill out this form to get the process started.