What to Do With a Check After You’ve Done a Mobile Deposit

Mobile check cashing is one of the best features that today’s modern banking infrastructure offers. With the snap of a photo from a smartphone, you can deposit your check into the account you like. When banks offer these apps, it creates an opportunity for you to get those funds into your account sooner, without any worry about the time of day or going to the bank itself. Yet, what should you do with that paper check once you submit it?

Things Have Changed

When you used to go to the bank to deposit a bank check, the teller keeps the check. In this situation, the check goes through a set of movements through the banks. And, while it used to be common for such transactions to require the movement of the actual physical check between the banks, this no longer happens. Still, your bank keeps or discards the paper check according to their protocol.

Now that the bank never has to touch or even see the check in person, you are left with a check in your hand. Tossing it into the trash is never wise. However, there are a few things to know.

  • Store the check with your financial documents. Like with bank statements, credit card statements, and tax bills, your best bet is to keep the check in your files. For substantial checks, this is the best step to take.
  • Once it clears the bank and the funds are in your account, you do not have to maintain the check unless you want to. If you do not plan to keep the check, put it through a paper shredder. It is best to keep the check at least five days after it clears the bank. This ensures the funds are safely transferred.
  • The information on the check only allows individuals to deposit funds into your account. Having a check in hand does not give them access to withdrawing funds from your account. Nevertheless, it is wise to destroy the check to eliminate any risk of someone gathering your personal data.

At the very least, hold onto the check for five days after the funds transfer to your account. Most people should maintain the paper check in their files for at least 90 days. If you wish to get rid of it at that point, you can destroy it. You can also use it as a record of the financial transactions you made, such as purchasing tax-deductible updates for the home. If you use the check for verification of a tax deduction, be sure to file the check with your tax documents.