How to Make Sure Checks Received Are Good

You don't have to pray that a check will clear, you can verify the funds before cashing it.
You don't have to pray that a check will clear, you can verify the funds before cashing it. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

When accepting a check, the assumption is that the person writing the check has the funds available to cover the amount. This is not always the case. A check can be verified by contacting the institution from which the funds are being drawn. Verifying if a check is good prior to depositing will avoid unnecessary bounced check fees and overdraft fees.

Locate the name and address of the banking institution the check is drawn upon. This information is typically located below the dollar amount line and above the "For" line of the check. A check must have the name and address of the institution listed for the check to be valid.

Contact the banking institution. Contact can be made by calling or by going into a branch location.

Provide the account number to the banking representative. The account number is the middle set of numbers at the bottom of the check.

Give the bank representative the amount of the check and ask if there are enough funds to clear the account. If the money is in the account, the check can be cashed. If the funds were verified by phone, go into a branch location to cash the check. Going to the branch directly removes the chance that money will be removed from the account before your check clears.

Tips & Warnings

  • Determine whether a check is valid with the writer of the check present. That way, if the funds are not available, other methods of payment can be arranged.

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