Checking Accounts

Understand the different types of checking accounts and which is best for you. Learn about overdraft protection and other ways to manage your account.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is involved with endorsing a check?
    Endorsing a check involves the named recipient of the check signing their name to the back of the check in the spot indicated for endorsement. The act of endorsement signifies receipt and acceptance of the funds transfer from one party to another and allows for deposit or transfer of funds. Check endorsement is also a fraud prevention measure required by banks, as it confirms the identity of the recipient.
  • How do you open a checking account online?
    Opening a checking account online is a simple process that involves navigating to the website of the chosen financial institution and clicking on the button indicated for opening a new account. Once the type of account is selected then personal information is entered that includes name, address, phone number, age and social security number. An online account is typically funded by either direct deposit or electronic funds transfer, which can be facilitated at account opening.
  • How do you cancel a check?

     Canceling a check involves contacting the bank on which check was written by mail, in person or electronically and requesting a stop payment order which prevents the check from being honored or cashed. The stop payment order must be requested and received by the bank within 14 days of the date the check was written and typically stays in effect for six months.

  • What are the pros and cons of online checking accounts?
    Online checking accounts that pay interest typically offer higher interest rates than those offered by local brick and mortar banks. They are easy to set up and offer all the advantages of a traditional bank checking account.  However, online checking accounts do not offer the in-person customer service of a physical bank in case of questions or issues with the account. They are also potentially more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.
  • How long is a check considered valid for deposit?
    Banks will honor checks written within six months. After that date banks are not legally required to honor checks, requiring the original writer of the check to issue a new check if the party is willing. Travelers checks and money orders do not expire, however.
Key Terms

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