How to Cancel a Check

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Writing a check isn't as final as you think. You can cancel a check if you find it is absolutely necessary. Although it can cost you and isn't something you should do everyday, there are times when it is necessary. Therefore, you should know how to cancel a check when needed.

  • Keep a record of every check you write. The bank provides you with a check register so you can record the check number, date the check is written, to whom the check is written to and the amount of the check. This is all necessary information if you want to cancel a check.

  • Call your bank and tell them you want to stop payment on a check. Stopping payment is the same as canceling a check. They will ask you for your account number, check number, the date you wrote the check, who you wrote the check to and the amount to the check. They may even want to know the reason you are canceling the check.

  • Go to your bank. Sometimes banks want to see you in person before they will cancel a check. Since there is a charge to cancel a check, they want to be sure that they are dealing with the account holder.

  • Make sure you know your security word. Canceling a check is not a matter a bank takes lightly. They will want you to produce proof that you are the one who wrote the check before they will cancel it.

  • Weigh your options. Since it costs to cancel a check, you may be better off not canceling the check. For example, if the check is for $10 and to cancel it costs you $25, you may want to let the check stand. This is something you need to decide for yourself.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always keep good records when you write a check so you are prepared for any problem that may come up.
  • Check with your bank to find out the charge for canceling a check.
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