Save your time and money by making banking work for you and your specific needs. For tips on how to maximize your banking success, just ask Alex, our expert banker. Find out why banks require the use of a fairly complex password for online banking. Understand the reasons your bank might refuse to cash a check. Learn more about telephone banking and the services it has to offer.
Question: I am enrolling in online banking and am required to choose a password. How complicated should it be? Asked by Alec from Olathe, Kansas.
Answer: An online banking password should be complicated enough that a hacker can’t guess what it is but easy enough for you to remember without having to write it down. Most banks and credit unions will impose specific requirements for choosing a password. This includes requiring a certain number of characters (i.e. having a minimum of six characters), containing a mixture of letters, numbers and special characters, not being in a sequence (i.e. 123456 or abcdef) and not having any spaces. Please remember all passwords are case sensitive and make sure the caps lock button isn’t accidently turned on. My recommendation is to choose a long password (at least 12 characters long) that is a phrase instead of a single word. Make it memorable. For example, if you love to fish a strong password would be “Ilove2flyfish!”.
Question: I went to my bank to cash a check, but the teller told me that they couldn’t because of the date on the check. Why would that matter? Asked by Laura from Kearney, Nebraska.
Answer: Many financial institutions will not honor checks that are post or stale-dated. A post-dated check is a check written by the issuer for a future date. This is typically done because the issuer doesn’t have enough funds in their checking account when they wrote the check and is waiting for a deposit to come in by the future date written on the check. Conversely, most checks are considered stale-dated when they are more than six months old. Some checks will have language written on it stating how long they are valid, for example, “Not valid after 90 days.” Financial institutions can choose to accept post or stale-dated checks without any legal liability, but the industry standard is to deny them if detected.
Question: Do banks still offer telephone banking? Asked by Earl from Tacoma, Washington.
Answer: Telephone banking is a service offered by several banks and credit unions that allows customers to access their account information by calling an automated phone system. It is offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is typically used by those who don’t have internet access. By calling a specific telephone number, customers can check their account balances, review their transaction history, order checks, make loan payments, transfer funds between accounts, place stop payments and much more. Contact your financial institution to learn how to access telephone banking.
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Written by: Alex Sanchez, our expert banker
Important: For your specific questions about banking, contact your banking expert, Alex, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex is starting his 18th year in the banking industry. He has worked for such notable banks as Bank of America, US Bank, and Chase. Alex has his bachelor’s degree in Business Economic from the University of California Riverside.