How to Find out if a Check Is Good Before It Is Cashed

by Richard Ristow ; Updated July 27, 2017
Even with electronic banking, paper checks are commonly written.

Bouncing checks have always caused problems, but not just for the check writer. The person cashing the check can face a host of problems as well. With the growth of freelancing as an employment option, as well as the rise in more entrepreneurship starting small businesses, bad checks can easily become a nightmare. There is a simple way to see if a check has sufficient funds backing it.

Step 1

Compile a small identifying dossier for yourself. In most cases, two IDs like a driver's license and a Social Security card should work. However, if you have a "doing business as," or DBA alias, you need some sort of document proving that you are the check's intended payee.

Step 2

Look at the check, specifically at the lower right and left hand corner. There, you will find an icon and possibly an address for the issuing bank.

Step 3

Look up the issuing bank online. Bring up the bank's branch office locator, and find the branch closest to you.

Step 4

Drive to the nearest branch and bring your identifying documents with you.

Step 5

Present the check to one of the tellers, along with your identification. Ask him to check to see if the issuing account has the balance to back it up. The teller, in the name of privacy, will not tell you what the check writer's balance is, but he will give you a simple yes or no on whether you can cash it.

Step 6

Inquire about check cashing fees for non-account holders. If you are at one of the issuing bank's branches, you might as well cash the check on the spot.

About the Author

Richard Ristow has written for journals, newspapers and websites since 2002. His work has appeared in "2009 Nebula Showcase" and elsewhere. He is a winner of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award and he edits poetry for Belfire Press. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and has managed an automotive department at WalMart.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article