When you expect a large payment, you may wonder what is the safest way to receive it. For example, you can sell a stranger buying a ticket through Craigslist. Both cashier and certified checks can be a good choice in these scenarios. Although the names are similar and have certain functions – including increased security compared to personal checks – there are some key differences between them. Can I get a certified check at any bank?
What are certified checks?
A certified check is a check issued by the account holder and guaranteed by the bank. This means that you are issuing the check almost as usual, but the bank confirms it and freezes the check amount on your account. This way the check will not be reflected every time it is deposited. Certified checks are an alternative to personal checks that are not guaranteed.
The main advantage of using certified checks is that they provide guaranteed funds. The issuing bank or financial institution confirms that the sender has sufficient cash on his account to complete the transaction. The bank will also make sure that the check has a genuine signature. Fortunately, certified checks are usually fairly easily available at your local bank.
The cashier’s check is taken from the bank’s funds, not the money on the checking account. To receive a cashier’s check, you transfer funds from your checking or savings account to the bank’s own account (plus a small bonus for the service). The bank representative then issues a cashier’s check with the bank’s name and account details, as well as the names of the payee and payer. Funds are usually available to the recipient until the next business day.
When you issue a certified check, the money is paid directly to your personal checking account, and your name and account number appear on the check. In addition to your signature, the bank representative will also sign the check and will print the words “certified” or “accepted” on it. The bank has guaranteed this check and may suspend these funds until it has been cleared.
How to get a check certificate
You can buy a certified check through a bank or credit union. Although you can get a certificate from any bank in the old bank, it will probably be easier to go to the bank where you have an account. You must go to the physical department to get a certified check. This can help you call the institution beforehand to find out if it offers certified checks and if there are any additional requirements.
To get started, you’ll need to enter the check amount, the recipient’s name, and the note you’d like to include in your check. Then you need to verify your identity and prove to a bank or credit union employee that you have funds in your account. Banks may require a photo ID for verification. After writing the check, the cashier or bank officer will sign or “certify” it and stamp it.
Remember that most institutions charge a fee for certified checks. The fee often varies depending on the account, institution and transaction amount. Usually, however, it will be from 5 to 15 USD.