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What are voided checks and when should you use them? If you’ve been asked to provide a voided check and are unsure about what that means, we’ve got you covered.
What Is a Voided Check?
A voided check is simply a check torn from your checkbook with the capitalized word “VOID” written across it. Some people write the word in the memo section, and others cover the entire check. It’s important to make sure the handwritten “VOID” doesn’t cover the routing or account number at the bottom of the check because a voided check is usually used to provide that information to an employer or someone sending you money.
Another reason you might write a voided check is to set up regular payments for your mortgage, car loans, or other online bills. Sometimes you might even share bank information with the government to ensure that you receive monetary benefits. Connecting your bank account to these other accounts makes payment transfers much easier for everyone involved.
The reason for writing “VOID” is to discredit anyone who tries to take your check and fill it out with false information to cash it. Using a pen or permanent marker when voiding a check can be helpful when taking precautionary steps against theft. As long as the word “VOID” is written across it, bankers know that it was never meant to be filled in, deposited, or cashed, even if a thief manages to make it seem like you wrote out a monetary amount.
How Do I Use One?
Once you’ve voided a check, most employers will ask that you send a scanned copy of it to their HR department. Your information will be recorded safely, and they will be able to send you direct deposits as a result. Whoever you send a voided check to, be sure to scan yourself a copy as well for your own records. Another smart tip is to write the voided check in your check register, that way you won’t wonder why you’re missing a check month or a year later.
Another way to protect your information is to send the scanned copy of the check in an encrypted email. If you don’t know how to encrypt it, upload the image as a secure file vault.
Can’t find your checkbook? Don’t worry: There are other ways of providing your bank information in its place. One option is to ask your bank for a counter check. While it will show the same information as a voided check, the bank will charge you a small fee to print it. If you’re trying to avoid extra charges, consider asking your employer or whoever is requesting your information if a deposit slip would work. You could also ask if a letter from your bank would be acceptable.
Managing money can feel difficult sometimes, but once you understand the basics, finance begins to feel easy! Learn more tips about finance and banking from our writers here.