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Which is the account and routing number on a check

Justin Pritchard, CFP, is a fee-only advisor and an expert on banking. He covers banking basics, checking, saving, loans, and mortgages. He has an MBA from the University of Colorado, and has worked for credit unions and large financial firms, in addition to writing about personal finance for nearly two decades. It’s possible to verify a check before you try to deposit it at your bank, and it’s wise to do so with any checks you have doubts about—especially large ones. You'll want to make sure a check is valid and the writer has sufficient funds available before you deposit it, or else it can bounce. If that happens, you’ll pay fees to your bank—and likely won't get the money you're owed. Before verifying anything else, you can learn a lot by examining where the check came from and who gave it to you. If the person contacted you out of the blue to send you a check then there's a good chance they're a scammer, and the check is fake. If someone tells you that you won a prize, lottery, or sweepstakes, and that they're going to send you a check, then that's a huge red flag. In addition, if you had to pay money in order to receive the check, or if the person sending it to you asks you to send part of it back to them, then it's a sure sign of a scam. If you’re holding onto a check that’s suspect, you can try to verify funds in the account. To do so, contact the bank that the check is drawn on and ask to verify funds. Some banks, in the interest of privacy, will only tell you whether or not the account is valid, or they will not provide any information at all. Others may be able to tell you if there is currently enough money in the account to cover the check. Of course, that information is only a snapshot of what’s available in the account at the moment you check. The account holder could withdraw funds, or other charges could hit the account after you hang up. If you’re able to verify funds and you know that the check is good, then deposit the check immediately. If you can’t verify funds (or if you want to be especially cautious), take the check to a branch of the bank that the funds are drawn on. You might be able to cash the check there instantly without depositing it—which eliminates the chance of the check bouncing. Some banks may charge a fee for this, and not all banks do it. You may also be able to check a cash at a retailer or check-cashing store for a fee (and those companies are usually able to verify checks as well). If you run a business, you might accept checks and regularly have to wonder if those checks are any good. Verifying funds can be time-consuming, and it might not be possible to do so while customers are waiting in line. The best way to protect yourself when bad checks are common (or just too expensive) is to use a check verification service. Those services help you identify bad checks by checking several databases before you accept the check as payment (you run the check through a check reader or punch in the routing and account number online). Check verification services have lists of people who routinely bounce checks, and they can also (sometimes) tell if an account has been closed. For an extra fee, some services even guarantee the payment: If the check bounces they’ll pay you so you don’t have to eat the loss. If that’s more than you need, a good set of rules can help you and your staff avoid taking bad checks. Check local laws to find out what recourse you have when checks bounce. If you run a business, it may be worth posting a notice that informs customers of actions you intend to take when checks are returned. Justin Pritchard, CFP, is a fee-only advisor and an expert on banking. He covers banking basics, checking, saving, loans, and mortgages. He has an MBA from the University of Colorado, and has worked for credit unions and large financial firms, in addition to writing about personal finance for nearly two decades. It’s possible to verify a check before you try to deposit it at your bank, and it’s wise to do so with any checks you have doubts about—especially large ones. You'll want to make sure a check is valid and the writer has sufficient funds available before you deposit it, or else it can bounce. If that happens, you’ll pay fees to your bank—and likely won't get the money you're owed. Before verifying anything else, you can learn a lot by examining where the check came from and who gave it to you. If the person contacted you out of the blue to send you a check then there's a good chance they're a scammer, and the check is fake. If someone tells you that you won a prize, lottery, or sweepstakes, and that they're going to send you a check, then that's a huge red flag. In addition, if you had to pay money in order to receive the check, or if the person sending it to you asks you to send part of it back to them, then it's a sure sign of a scam. If you’re holding onto a check that’s suspect, you can try to verify funds in the account. To do so, contact the bank that the check is drawn on and ask to verify funds. Some banks, in the interest of privacy, will only tell you whether or not the account is valid, or they will not provide any information at all. Others may be able to tell you if there is currently enough money in the account to cover the check. Of course, that information is only a snapshot of what’s available in the account at the moment you check. The account holder could withdraw funds, or other charges could hit the account after you hang up. If you’re able to verify funds and you know that the check is good, then deposit the check immediately. If you can’t verify funds (or if you want to be especially cautious), take the check to a branch of the bank that the funds are drawn on. You might be able to cash the check there instantly without depositing it—which eliminates the chance of the check bouncing. Some banks may charge a fee for this, and not all banks do it. You may also be able to check a cash at a retailer or check-cashing store for a fee (and those companies are usually able to verify checks as well). If you run a business, you might accept checks and regularly have to wonder if those checks are any good. Verifying funds can be time-consuming, and it might not be possible to do so while customers are waiting in line. The best way to protect yourself when bad checks are common (or just too expensive) is to use a check verification service. Those services help you identify bad checks by checking several databases before you accept the check as payment (you run the check through a check reader or punch in the routing and account number online). Check verification services have lists of people who routinely bounce checks, and they can also (sometimes) tell if an account has been closed. For an extra fee, some services even guarantee the payment: If the check bounces they’ll pay you so you don’t have to eat the loss. If that’s more than you need, a good set of rules can help you and your staff avoid taking bad checks. Check local laws to find out what recourse you have when checks bounce. If you run a business, it may be worth posting a notice that informs customers of actions you intend to take when checks are returned.

date: 25-Aug-2021 22:00next


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