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What is a Certified Check?

By Daniel Joelson | February 19 2020

Certified checks are made use of in very important financial transactions. This does not imply that every transaction is not important. Nonetheless, they are required when the transaction is large and considered very serious. Examples of such serious transactions are advance payments for a car or a payment for a house.

More often than not, lots of individuals mistake certified check for cashier’s check. Although this is very common, it is wrong. There is a very pronounced difference between a certified check and a cashier’s check.

How do certified checks and cashier’s checks differ?

Cashier’s check,  as well as certified checks,  are checks which are given by banks. When compared with personal checks, certified checks and cashier’s checks are regarded as being safe. The main difference between certified checks and cashier checks is the source of the money. When certified checks are involved, the funds have your checking account as their source.

Also, certified checks have your account number, as well as your name on the check. In addition to this, on certified checks, words such as certified and accepted are printed on the check. Also, the check is signed by the bank.

Unlike a certified check which is gotten from your account, a cashier’s check has the bank as its source. The cashier’s check is purchased with funds from your savings account or checking. Once this is done, the bank goes on to transfer the funds to its account. At the end of the day, the cashier’s check is released with the name of the bank, as well as the bank’s account details.

Although the difference between certified checks and cashier’s checks can be said to be very subtle, it is expedient that you note the difference. This is because you might want to make a payment and the payee might ask for a cashier’s check instead of a certified check. It is also important to have a perfect understanding of the source of funds if you are receiving payments.

Is there any difference in safety level?

As long as the check which is being treated is not fake, certified check, as well as cashier’s check are relatively safe. Well, irrespective of the fact that both a certified check and a cashier’s check are generally regarded as being safe under ideal circumstances, the cashier’s check is considered to be safer. The reason is funds are gotten from the account of the bank and not from the account of any individual or business.

If you must always stay free from check frauds, the safety level of a check is something that you have to take very seriously. Check scams can come in lots of ways. However, one of the most common ways in which they come is the presentation of fake checks as a means of payment.

Picture this scenario; you want to sell a car on an online platform. A fraudster puts a call across to you and lets you know that they are interested in getting the car. The scammer then goes on to present a fake check as a means of payment. You receive the check only to be told by the bank that it is a fake check

The basic difference between a certified check and a cashier’s check is the account that money is being released from. When a certified check is involved, the following are known to take place:

  • The funds get available a day after they have been deposited
  • For authenticity, it is signed by the holder of the account, as well as a couple of bank associates
  • The funds leave your account as soon as they are caused by the payee
  • Unlike a certified check, when a cashier’s check is involved, the following takes place
  • The funds do not bounce
  • They function in very much the same way as a cash
  • The funds come directly from the bank’s account

How do you get a cashier check?

Obtaining a cashier’s check gives you the freedom to hand over to the bank the number of funds that you need your check to be valued at. The bank then goes ahead to issue the check-in to your place. The funds that you transfer to the bank associates are transferred to the account of the bank. They then go ahead to give a check to a payee of your choice.

As soon as the check gets cashed, the money is released from the funds of the bank and not from your funds. A bank’s check cannot bounce and also does not get returned. As a result of this, the cashier’s check can be trusted.

What exactly is a certified check?

A certified check is a check that has been authenticated by the bank which is responsible for issuing it as ideal. The implication of this is its source is an account that has a good level of funds and it has a legitimate signature attached to it. When the purchase is being made, the bank associate will have to confirm that the check is being purchased by the holder of the account or any other individual that is considered qualified. The associates will also have to confirm that there are enough funds in the account. This is to ensure that the check does not bounce and does not get returned.

How much are certified checks?

All things being equal, there is no price tag attached to certified checks if the individual trying to get one is an account holder with the bank that they are trying to get one for. Irrespective of this, there are quite several banks that attach small charges to certified checks. The amount that is charged is dependent on what account you have with the bank.

More often than not, most banks do not charge more than $20 to release a certified check. Contrary to how money orders function, certified checks can only be gotten from financial institutions. Some of these financial institutions include your credit union, your bank, and your online banking institution.

There are always risks involved with all forms of financial transactions. Certified checks are one of the methods with which fraudsters will attempt cheating you. Because the funds are certified, the money is certified, a huge proportion of the funds gets deposited in the payee’s account. Nonetheless, as soon as the check is discovered to be a scam by the banks or other financial institutions, whoever made the deposit will be held accountable.

Why are certified checks preferred to personal checks?

A certified check contains funds that are authenticated by the financial institution responsible for issuing them. The individual that makes requests for the check to be issued usually has the funds in their account. However, when a personal check is involved, there is no guarantee.

When personal checks are concerned, an individual can write a check but lack adequate funds in their account. When this occurs, the check has no choice but to bounce. When a bounce occurs, a lot of banks will charge you a fee for that. This is simply because you were responsible for attempting to get the check deposited.

How to ensure that you are not a victim of a scam

There are quite several ways to ensure that you do not become a victim of the activities of fraudsters. Some of them include:

  • Always be on the lookout for printing errors and any misspellings. The presence of any printing errors or misspellings is an indication that the check is not genuine.
  • Put a call across to the bank or visit the issuing bank. Ensure that you do not call the number which is on the check. Instead of this; ensure that you carry out a google search. It is important to note that in very much the same way as fake checks exist, fake numbers also exist.
  • If you have a funny feeling, then everything is not right. You should rely on your instinct.
  • Ensure that you never cash a check if you do not know an individual well enough.
  • Make use of money orders or cash.
  • Be on the lookout for the watermark, if the bank stems from a bank that is real, it should have on it the bank’s official watermark. This is in addition to a couple of other features of identification.

As far as certified checks are concerned, there is nothing to be scared of. To be on the safe side, ensure that you are certain of who you are sending funds to as well as whom you are getting funds from.

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