When you set up a direct deposit or any other automated payments with your checking account, your bank might ask you to provide a voided check. To help secure your bank account and other important information, it is crucial to know how to void a check. To learn more about how to void a check in a few easy steps, continue reading below.
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What Is a Voided Check?
A voided check must have “void” written across the front of it, indicating that it can’t be used as a payment or withdrawal. The banking information from the voided check is used to set up automated payments or withdraw funds from a bank account. This information includes:
A voided check can also be considered as a canceled check. Once it’s voided, it can’t be accepted for payment by anyone. You might have to void a check because of errors such as an incomplete check, incorrectly filled out, or addressed to the wrong person.
3 Easy Steps To Void a Check
Follow these three easy steps to void a check:
- Remove a blank check from your checkbook.
- Use a black pen or marker to write the word “VOID” across the front of the check in large letters–preferably in all caps.
- Make a copy of your voided check and store it in a safe place for your records. Alternatively, you can scan the check and save it as a document or photo on your computer.
Remember that a voided check cannot be used as payment for anything to anyone.
Why Would You Need To Void a Check?
Here are some reasons why you might need to void a check:
Once you set up a direct deposit, your employer can send your electronic paychecks directly to your bank account. A direct deposit is an ACH or electronic funds transfer service, free to employees. This is how you can set one up:
- Obtain a direct deposit form from your employer.
- Complete the form online or fill it out on paper and return it, directly or by email, to your employer for processing.
- Monitor your account to see when the money has been deposited.
If you have monthly expenses such as a mortgage, rent, car loan, life insurance, or utilities, then preauthorized direct payments could save your life. These recurring payments will take from your checking account each month to make these payments, rather than having to remember to write checks or make bank transfers.
You Make a Mistake on a Check
If you make a mistake on a check, such as writing the wrong amount or beneficiary, you can write “void” on the check and then discard it. Note this voided check in your checkbook register to avoid any inconsistencies in your records.
What To Do If You Have No Paper Checks
Keep in mind that some banks do not offer paper checks with checking accounts. If you find yourself in this situation, you can:
- Go to your bank and ask them to print out a voided check. You may be charged a fee for this service.
- Ask whether your bank can provide an electronic or paper form for you to complete and return to the party that requires the check.
If you can provide a voided paper check, an electronic funds transfer might be easier to have payments deposited directly into your bank account.
Setting up a direct deposit or automated payments with your checking account might require you to provide a voided check. To learn more about how to void a check in a few easy steps, continue reading. This being said, as long as you follow the tips we’ve listed above to be safe. For more posts like this, check out our list of bank guides!