Tip Tuesdays: Before You Deposit a Check, Don’t Forget to Note Down Its Details

I’ve often deposited a check and then sat twiddling my thumbs while the bank took its own sweet time to credit the check. In between, if you call the bank’s customer care, the first thing they ask you for is the check number — apparently this helps them track your check better. Earlier, when there were no ATMs around, you’d get your side of the deposit slip (carrying the check’s details) stamped and handed back to you over the counter. These days you simply drop the check and the deposit slip at the ATM and then pray that the bank receives it intact. Worse, some banks don’t even require a deposit slip to be used.

It’s therefore a good idea to separately note down a check’s details before you deposit it. That way even if the check does go missing, the issuer can at least cancel the check and reissue a fresh one. You need to note the following details:

  • The check number (bottom-left corner)
  • The date of issue (top-right corner)
  • The issuing bank and branch
  • The check amount

Here’s what I do.

I recently purchased an HP multi-function device (model J6488 print, scan, copy, fax). Whenever I receive a check, I simply scan it into a folder on my desktop and then deposit the check. It’s an investment that’s proving its worth.

How do you handle checks?

Tip Tuesdays is my new initiative to share practical personal finance tips — every Tuesday. I’d be delighted if you could share a tip or two from your own experiences. Drop a comment or use this form to submit your tip. And, as always, do spread the word if you find this useful.

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