Have you ever bounced a check and paid the price? Fees can be steep and the embarrassment, too, when you don’t have enough in your account to cover the check … or checks.
Luckily, other options, like certified checks, can help you avoid this scenario. And there are times when a certified check is requested like when you are making a down payment on a home or buying a car from a private party.
This article will cover what a certified check is, where and how to obtain one, frequently asked questions regarding certified checks, and some disadvantages you need to be aware of.
What Is a Certified Check?
A certified check is a personal check verified by a user’s bank. The bank will confirm the account holder’s signature and that there are enough funds available. Additionally, the check writer’s bank will guarantee funds by placing a hold on that amount until the receiver deposits the certified check. This prevents a situation where you have the money today but might not tomorrow if more checks are cashed on your account.
Why Would You Want a Certified Check?
There are many reasons to get a certified check. They are particularly useful for a down payment on a house, appliance replacement, and other large transactions. Some sellers require these large payments to be made with a certified check because they are guaranteed funds. , the buyer is less likely to bounce a check due to insufficient funds. Not to mention, it is much easier to carry around a check rather than a large amount of cash.
How To Obtain a Certified Check
There are only a few steps involved with obtaining a certified check.
Confirm Your Bank Offers Certified Checks
Most banks and credit unions offer certified cashier’s checks, but it is always best to confirm first. Contact your bank or credit union in person or over the phone to obtain an official answer. If your bank is online only, it is unlikely that they can issue a certified check.