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Home Banking Money How to Check a Check

How to Check a Check

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Question: I was paid with a check, but I’m exactly confident with the person who wrote the check. I’d like to find out if the check is going to bounce before I deposit it (my bank charges a fee for bad checks). Is there any way to check the check out and find out if it’s bad - without depositing it and waiting to find out?

Answer: Yes -- you can check a check before depositing it. You’ll never know for certain whether or not the check will bounce, but you can get a “snapshot” and find out if (in the moment you check on it) the check will clear. This gives you at least some idea of what to expect before you try to collect your payment.

The process is called verifying funds

 

How to Verify Funds?

To verify funds on a check, contact the bank the money is coming from. Find the bank’s name on the check, and then look up their phone number. It is best to verify funds using a phone number you find on your own (from the bank’s website, for example). If you just call a number printed on a check and the check is fake, you’ll end up talking to a fake 'banker'.

Some banks make it difficult to verify funds. They may require you to visit a branch or pay a fee, and they might even refuse to verify funds for their customers. At the least, they should eventually tell you if the account exists. From there, you’ll have to take your chances.

 

If you verify funds and it sounds like the check will clear, make your deposit as soon as possible. Funds were available when you checked, but there's no guarantee that they'll be there later -- other people may deposit checks against that checking account, and if there’s not enough in there for everybody the checks may start bouncing.

By Justin Pritchard / About.com

 

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