How Long Is a Check Good For?

How long is a check good for? That’s a question that often comes up, and the answer can depend on the type of check in question. In this article, we’ll take a look at how long different types of checks are valid for and when you should consider cashing them. We’ll also explore some of the risks associated with waiting too long to deposit or cash a check. So keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how long a check is good for!

Types of Checks and How Long They’re Good For

The first thing to understand is that there are different types of checks, and each type has a different expiration date. Here are the most common types of checks and how long they’re typically good for:

Personal checks: 

A personal check is a type of check that is drawn on the funds of an individual account holder. These checks are typically used for personal transactions, such as paying bills or buying goods and services. Personal checks usually have a shorter life than other types of checks, and they typically expire six months after they are issued.

Cashier’s checks:

A cashier’s check is a type of check drawn on a financial institution’s funds. These checks are typically used for business transactions, such as paying bills or buying goods and services. Cashier’s checks usually have a validity of 90 days. If you try to deposit a cashier’s check after 90 days, the bank might not accept it because the issuing bank might not pay the check.

Money orders:

Money orders are a type of check used to pay for items or services. Money orders do not expire, so they can be used whenever necessary. But there is a cost involved in the age of money orders. For example, Western Union charges for a money order that’s more than six months old.

Certified checks: 

Certified checks are a type of check that is guaranteed to be good for the amount specified on the check. The funds are drawn from the account of the person who wrote the check and held by the bank until the check is cashed. The guarantee is backed by the bank, not the person who wrote the check.

If you have a certified check, you can cash it at any time. There is no expiration date.

Traveler’s Checks:

Traveler’s checks are a type of check that is used when traveling. They are often used to avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Traveler’s checks can be used like cash to pay for things. Traveler’s checks do not have an expiration date.

Checks You Write vs. Written to You

Now that you know the different types of checks and how long they’re good for, it’s important to understand the difference between a check you write and one written to you. When you write a check, it is drawn on your personal account and is only valid for six months. After that, the check expires and can’t be cashed.

On the other hand, a check written to you may be of a different type. For example, a personal check will be valid for six months if it is a personal check. But if the check is of other types, you need to follow the expiration date as stated earlier.

For example, if you have a personal check from a friend, the check is good for six months. However, if your friend has a personal check written to you, the check will also expire after six months.

Why Waiting For Check Encashment Is Risky

Even if a check doesn’t have an expiration date, you should deposit or cash it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that the check will bounce.

Bounced for insufficient fund

When a check bounces, it means that there are insufficient funds in the account to cover the amount of the check. If this happens, you will be responsible for the amount of the check, plus any fees that the bank charges.

The best way to avoid this is to deposit or cash the check as soon as possible. That way, you can be sure that the funds are available before you try to spend them.

Bounced for other reasons

Besides insufficient funds, there are other reasons why a check might bounce. For example, if the account has been closed or if the signature on the check doesn’t match the one on file at the bank.

Again, the best way to avoid this is to deposit or cash the check as soon as possible. That way, you can be sure that everything is in order before you try to spend the money.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do you do if you have an expired check?

If you have an expired check, you can try to cash it at the bank. However, the bank may not be able to process the check if it has expired. In that case, you can contact the issuer and ask for a new check.

What happens if you try to cash an expired check?

If you try to cash an expired check, the bank may still honor it, but it’s at their discretion. For example, if the check is more than six months past its expiration date, the bank may refuse to cash it.

What is a stale check?

A stale check is a check that has expired. Checks usually expire six months after they are issued. But the duration differs for different types of checks.

When is a check considered stale-dated?

A check is considered stale-dated when it has been more than six months since the date on the check was written. But the duration is not fixed for all types of checks.

How long is a personal check good for?

A personal check is good for up to six months after it is written.

What happens when nobody deposits a check?

When no one deposits a check, the check eventually becomes stale-dated. The check will still technically be valid for up to six months after it is written, but the bank may refuse to process it after a certain point.

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Conclusion

Now that you know how long checks are good for, you can be sure to deposit or cash them on time. Remember, the longer you wait, the greater the risk that the check will bounce. If you have any questions about checks or their expiration dates, ask your bank or financial institution. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information.

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Kalpataru Biswas

Kalpataru Biswas is a writer with a focus on business and career-related subjects. He has been writing for various websites since 2018 and has more than ten years of experience in driving revenue through data-driven Sales & Marketing.

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