Writing checks is pretty much a no brainer unless there is something that we miss that is critical for the bank to honor it. The last thing we want is to have the bank not honor a check or have the recipient have to ask for corrections in order to deposit the check. Here are 6 common check writing mistakes that can cause your check to be stopped in their tracks.
1. Incorrect Date – It is important to fully spell out the month and to spell it correctly. Then write in the date and year. Often times newbie check writers abbreviate the month or incorrectly spell it. After we roll over to a new year, often people put the previous year as their date and it’s important to get your dates correct.
2. Incorrect Amount – The numeric amount and the written amount of your check must match correctly. When people are in a hurry or new to writing checks, they often mis-write the amounts.
3. The Important Signature – It is important to make sure that you are the ONLY one ever signing your checks. Your signature needs to match the signature on file at your bank at all times. Furthermore, always sign your checks immediately after writing them out! Practice writing your signature so that it is always legible to those who are reading it. Never use a scribbled signature or initials on your signature line.
4. Correcting Mistakes – If you make a mistake writing your check, it is best to void it out and destroy the check. Some people make the mistake of crossing out their mistakes and writing the correct thing beside or above the mistake. Checks that are written like this send up warning flags to the bank that they check may have been fraudulently written or altered.
5. Inks and Pencils – Never use a pencil, marker or colored ink pens to write out your checks.Your checks should always be written in black ink and when black isn’t available, use blue.
6. Advanced Writing of Checks – You should only write out your checks when you need them!Don’t write them out weeks and/or months ahead of time when they could end up being stolen.
Once your check has been written, mail it off, drop it off or get it cashed immediately. Don’t let written checks lay around for your protection of their account number.
A check is a valuable banking instrument and is equal to cash. Take the time to write your checks properly and you will reduce the amount of issues that you may encounter.