You need a loan?

  • The loan you need. Fast.
  • Fast Cash Loans up to $1,000
  • Online Personal Loans up to $5,000

Get Up To $1,000

By sumbitting your information you agree to terms of our Privacy Policy and Terms of Website Use.

What Are Canceled Checks and Why Are They Important?

A record of your payment clearance from the bank is known as a canceled check. When your payment is deducted from your bank account, it will be affected by faster processing times and electronic check payments. So the question is, if you have a dispute, what type of canceled check can you request from your bank?

Canceled Check is paid out by the Bank:

When the funds are cleared out from the bank, then the bank immediately cancels the check so that it cannot be used again. Moreover, the paid check also works as the receipt that shows you have paid the amount. 

Now, you might be thinking that most of the retailers are accepting payments through MasterCard or Visa debit cards. But in some cases, when you are paying your rent, putting down payment on a car, or even paying the vendor for home repairs and renovations, you might find yourself in a situation where the seller might not accept payments through credit or debit cards. 

If you find yourself in a situation where you have paid a check, and it cashed out, but the company is claiming it didn’t, what would you do? So you have to ask for a canceled check from your bank so that you can keep it as payment proof. In this article, you are going to learn about canceled checks and when you should ask for them from your bank. 

Canceled check

Canceled Check:

A receipt that banks processed and paid out is called a canceled check. The bank archives it after the clearance so that it cannot be used again. 

Moreover, you should remember that there are a lot of ways that the bank of the vendor can use to move money from your account to their account. They can use an electronic clearinghouse or Federal Reserve Banking System check-collection services. 

When you give a check to the bank, they clear it, and during the process, they transfer money to your account from the person who paid the check. Now you have a canceled check or paid check that can be used as a receipt 

Nowadays, the checks are processed electronically, which is a fast way. So, there is no need to get the canceled checks back from the bank. Instead, all the processed checks will be shown in your monthly bank statement. Moreover, you will get a substitute check which is a hard copy of your monthly canceled checks. You can use this substitute check to refer to the original check. Another way to have a paper copy of your canceled checks is to download the picture from your online banking portal.

Why is it important to have a copy of a canceled check?

When you are doing transactions or withdrawing money through checks, there are some situations where you might find yourself. For example, if there is a disputed withdrawal from your bank account through checks, then these canceled checks are proof of transaction history. Let’s have a look at some common issues that you might face. 

  • Error Dispute With Your Bank:

    You might find yourself in a situation where you paid someone with a check or deposited money from the bank, and both of the parties don’t have a record of the payment.

  • Receipt of Charitable Donations:

    When it's time to pay tax, you have to show a copy of the canceled check as a receipt of the donation that you have made to charity. 

  • Tax Payment Proof:

    If you make a payment to the Internal Revenue Service and don’t have its record, you can use a canceled check as proof of the payment. There is a two weeks period in which you should receive your tax check through the mail. If they do not acknowledge your payment even after two weeks, you can use a copy of the canceled check to make your case strong against them.

  • Sort Payment Issues Between Banks or Companies:
  • If you gave someone a check for payment and they claim they didn't get paid from it, you have proof in the form of a monthly bank statement or a canceled check that you have made the payment. 

Returned Vs. Canceled Checks:

What is the difference between a returned check and a canceled check? 

When you have a declined credit card or debit card transaction, a returned check is just like its paper copy. In these cases, when you give a check to the bank to withdraw money, they return your check because of insufficient funds in your bank account. It is because of an unsuccessful transaction, and you have to pay additional charges due to attempts by the bank to redeposit the check multiple times. You have to consult your bank to find out if they charge fees for insufficient funds in the account. Also, confirm that in how many attempts they clear the checks.

Stop Payment Order vs. Canceled Check:

If you compare a stop payment order and canceled check, they might sound the same, but they are different from each other. When you implement a stop payment order on the check, the bank will no longer consider this useful when the check holder submits this check for payment. Let’s take an example, you give a check to your friend, and he loses it. To avoid getting it in the hands and cashing it by the strangers, you should request a stop payment order to the bank so that they can stop the payment on that check. 

But there are some situations when the bank will no longer assist you in the stop payment order, such as if you failed to give enough information about the check or were late to inform the bank about this issue. There are some banks that charge fees for a stop payment order on a check. So, you should contact your bank to find out if they charge a fee and, if they do, what the cost will be.

How to Look for Canceled Checks?

In any stage of your life, you might need a canceled check, but it is not an easy task to get that piece of paper. The reason is that banks are not bound to give you physical copies of the canceled check. So, it is important for you to check what the policies of the banks are and how you can get a canceled check copy from them. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways to get your canceled check from the bank.

  • Use Online Banking Platform:

    When you make a withdrawal through a check, the bank always gives a soft copy of the canceled check that you can download from your online banking portal. But for how long are these copies available online? Every bank has different policies. 

  • Request A Copy Over The Phone Or In Branch:

    If you are in need of a canceled check and it is not available online, you can still get it by contacting the bank directly or calling the customer services number. Generally, credit unions and banks are advised to keep copies of canceled checks for seven years. So if you want to access an older canceled check, you might have to pay the fee. 

Final Words:

When you have made a payment to someone through a check, and they cashed it out, a canceled check will work as a receipt. When you have a clear understanding of what it is and why it is necessary to have it, you can use a canceled check for tax purposes, making a payment, or it might be possible that it can help you solve your payment problems as well.

Last updated on


Blogging since 2014, he has the expertise and excellent knowledge about finance. Currently working as a researcher. Responsible for banking and mortgage coverage on Personal Finance. You can reach Tiffany Wagner at

Click below to apply today!

Apply Today