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Writing “VOID” across a check prevents it from being used, while still allowing you to share your account number and bank routing number.
Write “VOID” in large letters over the front of the check but don’t write over the bank account and routing numbers on the bottom of the check
Commonly needed when setting up direct deposit or automatic payments via a physical form
To void a check, all you need to do is write the word “VOID” across the front of the check. Write in big letters that ideally go across the areas where you enter information. Use a pen or marker that shows up well on the check. The goal is for the word “VOID” to be clear and unerasable.
If you’re using the check in order to share your bank account information, make sure you do not write over the bank information — the numbers printed along the bottom of the check. In many cases, it’s acceptable to send a picture of a check. If that’s the case, void a blank check and then take a picture of it. Anytime you void a blank check, it’s useful to take a picture so you can use it in the future if necessary.
Anyone can void a check and you can do it whether the check is blank or whether you’ve already filled it out. Either way, banks will not accept a voided check.
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Voided checks are useful because they allow you to share your bank account number and your bank routing number without having to worry about someone actually using the check.
Sometimes when you want to set up direct deposit or recurring payments using a physical form, the other party will ask you to include a blank check. This is common when scheduling automatic mortgage payments. However, you don’t want to just give away a blank check in case someone fills it out and tries to cash it. Send a voided check instead.
Again, just make sure not to write over the printed numbers at the bottom of the check. This is the information they actually need.
Voiding a check is also a safety precaution. It allows you to cancel a check you don’t need anymore. Perhaps you didn’t use a check but still need the name or information written on it, and so don’t want to rip it up yet. Voiding it allows you to see the writing without the risk that you lose the check and someone else uses it. Even if you plan to rip up the check immediately, voiding it is an easy, extra measure against fraud.
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Checks are only available with certain banks accounts, namely a checking account or money market account. If you don’t have one of these or if you just don’t have checks, there are some potential alternatives.
First of all, sending a blank check is usually a part of filling out a physical form. You can usually avoid a physical check and set up payments online. Your lender, payee, or employer’s human resources service probably has an online dashboard where you can simply type in your bank account and routing numbers.
When there’s no digital option, you may be able to share your account information over the phone.
If you have simply run out of personal checks, you can visit your bank and ask for a counter check. This is a blank check that you can use just like any personal check. However, you may need to pay a fee to get a counter check. The check also won’t have your account number. You will need to write it in. The bank’s routing number should already be on the check.
Having a savings account is half of the financial protection battle. Life insurance is the other half.
Policygenius can help you find a life insurance policy to protect your loved ones.
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by a certified financial planner or advisor. It’s intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal, financial, or investment advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.
This post contains references to products or services from one or more of Policygenius' advertisers or partners. While these codes earn us a small fee at no additional cost to you, they do not influence editorial content and we only refer products we love.
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Yes, we have to include some legalese down here. Read it larger on our legal page. Policygenius Inc. (“Policygenius”) is a licensed independent insurance broker. Policygenius does not underwrite any insurance policy described on this website. The information provided on this site has been developed by Policygenius for general informational and educational purposes. We do our best efforts to ensure that this information is up-to-date and accurate. Any insurance policy premium quotes or ranges displayed are non-binding. The final insurance policy premium for any policy is determined by the underwriting insurance company following application. Savings are estimated by comparing the highest and lowest price for a shopper in a given health class. For example: for a 30-year old non-smoker male in South Carolina with excellent health and a preferred plus health class, comparing quotes for a $500,000, 20-year term life policy, the price difference between the lowest and highest quotes is 60%. For that same shopper in New York, the price difference is 40%. Rates are subject to change and are valid as of 2/17/17.
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