Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Bounced Check


A bounced check is a term related to banking, it refers to a check that cannot be processed because the account holder has insufficient funds. Banks usually return, or bounce, these checks, also known as rubber checks, rather than honoring them. In such a scenario, both the party issuing the check and the recipient may incur fees.


The phonetics of the keyword “Bounced Check” is /baʊnst tʃɛk/.

Key Takeaways

Three Main Takeaways About Bounced Checks

  1. Definition: A bounced check, also known as a rubber check, occurs when the bank isn’t able to fulfill the payment request due to insufficient funds in the account holder’s account.
  2. Consequences: When a check is bounced, it can lead to numerous financial consequences. This includes fees imposed both by the bank and the party to whom the check was issued. Additionally, a history of bouncing checks could negatively impact your credit score.
  3. Prevention: The best way to prevent a check from bouncing is by always ensuring you have enough funds in your account to cover the amount of the check. This can be done by regularly examining your account balance and upcoming payments.


A bounced check is a crucial term in business and finance because it indicates a significant discrepancy in financial management, which could lead to various financial complications. A check bounces when there are insufficient funds in the account it’s drawn from to cover the check’s value. This results in the bank refusing to transfer the amount to the payee’s account, often leading to penalties for the account holder who issued the check. Businesses need to be careful about bounced checks, as they may implicate poor financial control, negatively affect their credit rating, create a legal liability and can also strain business relationships. Therefore, the term’s importance lies in its potential impact upon an individual’s or a business’s financial credibility and overall fiscal health.


The term “Bounced Check” is used in finance and business to describe a situation where the bank refuses to pay the amount specified on a submitted check due to insufficient funds in the account. This essentially means that the check issuer does not have enough money in their account to cover the payment they’ve written the check for. The purpose of a bounced check is essentially to prevent overdraft in the check issuer’s account. When an account does not have sufficient funds to cover a check, the bank has a responsibility to prevent a negative balance by refusing to honor the check – causing it to “bounce.”While a bounced check initially appears to be a protective measure, it’s also an indicator of critical financial mismanagement. It brings about several negative consequences including penalties from banks, damage to credit score, legal consequences, and a negative impact on personal and business relationships. Therefore, its occurrence is usually an indicator for the account holder to review their financial management practices, check writing habits, and the state of their accounts to avoid further financial and relational repercussions.


1. Personal Scenario: John writes a check to his landlord for his monthly rent payment. However, he forgets to check his account balance, and it turns out he doesn’t have enough funds to cover the amount of the check. When his landlord attempts to deposit the check, it is returned by the bank due to insufficient funds, therefore “bouncing” the check.2. Small Business Scenario: A small retail company receives a check from a supplier for a product refund. When they attempt to deposit the check into their business account, the bank notifies them that the check cannot be processed because the supplier’s account does not have enough funds. This is a bounced check from the supplier, resulting in inconvenience and potential financial hardship for the small business.3. Corporate Scenario: A large corporation issues a check to a contractor for services provided. However, due to an internal error with the corporation’s accounts, there are not enough funds in the account to cover the check. When the contractor goes to deposit the check, the bank returns it due to non-sufficient funds. This is another instance of a bounced check.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Bounced Check?

A bounced check is a check that the bank cannot process because the account holder who wrote the check has insufficient funds to cover the amount written on the check.

What happens when a check bounces?

When a check bounces, the bank will return the check to the person or entity who attempted to deposit it. Both parties, the check writer and the recipient, may also be subject to fees.

Can I get charged for bouncing a check?

Yes, most banks impose a fee for bouncing a check, these fees can vary based on the bank and the account holder’s agreement with the bank.

Do bounced checks affect my credit score?

A bounced check itself does not affect your credit score. However, if the bounced check causes your account to go into negative and remain unpaid, the debt could be sent to a collection agency, and this could potentially affect your credit score.

How can I avoid bouncing a check?

The best way to avoid bouncing a check is to keep a close eye on your account balance and ensure you have sufficient funds before writing a check. Using online banking or banking apps can help keep track of your current balance and ongoing transactions.

Can a bounced check be re-deposited?

Yes, a bounced check can be re-deposited after ensuring that the check writer has sufficient funds in the account. However, most banks charge a fee for each attempt to deposit a bounced check.

What can I do if I received a bounced check?

If you receive a bounced check, you should contact the check writer and inform them about the situation. They might not be aware their check has bounced. If this does not resolve the issue, you might need to explore legal options to recover the owed amount.

Can a bank bounce a post-dated check?

Technically, post-dated checks should not be cashed until the date written on the check. However, banks do not always catch post-dated checks, and as such, the check can bounce if there are insufficient funds at the time it’s deposited or cashed.

Related Finance Terms

  • Insufficient Funds
  • Bank Overdraft
  • Non-sufficient Funds (NSF) Fee
  • Check Clearing
  • Bad Check Penalties

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More