Photo: Flickr / amanky
Recently, Ally Bank* wasn’t too pleased when a customer named Nick tried to deposit an e-check issued to him in his nickname, Cole (via/Consumerist). “They informed me that they would never accept a check written to Cole, ever,” Nick told the Consumerist, even if he explicitly requested the bank do so in writing.
Sound ridiculous? Rejecting checks issued in customers’ nicknames is actually quite common, says Stephanie Wei, VP of deposit products at NerdWallet.
Common nicknames like “Will” for William and “Jill” for Jillian are generally fine, says Wei. But since banks don’t have a real policy on this—other than what they advise their tellers—if you go by “sweetie,” “boo” or a symbol like Prince, you’d better read this tips to make sure you get paid:
1. Update your bank account profile. This should nip the problem right in the bud, says Wei. When you go to deposit a check, the name will be there.
2. Fix the check. Either ask the issuer to address the check to you in your legal name (or the one on your checking account), or have him/her cross out your nickname, initial it and write your legal name.
3. Don’t take any chances. If you thought Bank of America’s monthly fees were annoying, you won’t be happy getting hit with a $12 returned item fee on a nicknamed check. Make sure you’ve completed steps 1 and 2 before you deposit it.
*Ally Bank had not yet responded for comment at press time.