What Do I Do With an Expired Paycheck?

States' laws vary on expired paychecks.

You have just found a paycheck from a side job you completed many months ago, but it's expired. You can choose to cash the check and take your chances, or you can contact the employer who issued the check. In either case, it's important to follow a few simple rules to acquire the money you earned.


Contact Your Banking Institution

Contact your banking institution. Most states consider checks that are in excess of 6 months old, "stale dated." This means they can be cashed, but the bank can choose to refuse the check. By calling your bank, you become more of a informed consumer. The bank can give you ideas of how to successfully cash the check, as well.


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Take a Chance and Cash the Check

Many checks don't have an expiration date on them. Also, bank tellers may or may not check for an expiration date. However, the employer may have put a "stop payment" on your long overdue check. Deposit the check into your bank account. Wait until the check clears before spending the money.


Call Employer Who Issued the Check

Contact the employer that issued the check, and have him re-issue another one for you. This ensures no stop payments or bounced checks.


You Issued a Personal Check but It Hasn't been Cashed

Put a stop order on it, if it is more than 6 months old. If you want to make sure it doesn't get cashed, make sure to renew the stop order on it every six months.



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