10 Difference between Stale Cheque and Post-Dated Cheque (With Table)

What is the main difference between stale cheque and post-dated cheque? Stale cheque is a cheque that is more than six months old from the date on it, while post-dated cheque is a cheque with a future date on it.

A cheque is a bill of exchange that contain unconditional orders to the bank to pay the specified sum from your bank account. A stale cheque and post-dated cheque are two types of cheques that usually confuse many people.

This article provides a detailed explanation on the differences and similarities between stale and post-dated cheques. Take the time to read through and get to know the treatment of a stale cheque in bank reconciliation.

Difference between Stale Cheque and Post-Dated Cheque with Table

Basic Terms Stale Cheque Post-Dated Cheque
Definition A cheque that is presented for payment after a certain period from its issue A cheque with a future date on it, indicating when it can be cashed.
Timeframe Presented after the cheque’s validity period has lapsed. Presented on or after the specified future date mentioned on the cheque.
Validity Period Typically, within six months to one year, depending on local regulations. Contains a future date, which is when it becomes valid for payment.
Payment Authorization Issuer has authorized payment at the time of issuance. Issuer intends payment only on or after the future date mentioned.
Presenting for Payment Can still be presented for payment, but may be dishonored if it’s stale. Can only be presented for payment on or after the specified date.
Notification to Bank Not typically required when a stale cheque is presented. Often requires notifying the bank about the post-dated cheque.
Bank Handling The bank may accept or reject the payment based on its discretion. Banks typically hold post-dated cheques until the specified date.
Account Balance Impact Can potentially affect the issuer’s account balance as it may be honored or dishonored. Generally, no immediate impact on the issuer’s account balance until the specified date arrives.
Legal Implications May have legal consequences if presented after a defined period. Generally, there are no legal implications for post-dated cheques.
Use in Transactions Typically, not intentionally issued for future use; becomes stale due to circumstances like non-deposit. Deliberately issued for future transactions, often used for planning or financial management.

What Is Stale Cheque?

A stale cheque is a cheque that has not been presented for payment within a certain period after its issuance, typically exceeding the validity period specified by local banking regulations.

When a cheque becomes stale, it may no longer be honored by the bank, and presenting it for payment might result in the cheque being dishonored or rejected.

Examples of Stale Cheques:

A Six-Month-Old Cheque: In many countries, cheques are valid for six months from the date of issue. If someone receives a cheque but forgets to deposit it for several months, the cheque may become stale.

A Year-Old Cheque: Some banking regulations allow cheques to be valid for up to one year. If a cheque with a date more than a year ago is presented for payment, it would likely be considered stale.

Post-Dated Cheque Delay: If a post-dated cheque (a cheque with a future date) is mistakenly deposited before the specified date, it may be considered stale and not honored until the date on the cheque.

Unused Gift Cheque: Gift cheques given on special occasions that are not used for a long time can become stale if they exceed the validity period.

Forgotten Business Cheque: A business might issue a cheque for payment but forget to send it, and by the time it reaches the payee’s bank, it could be considered stale.

Stale cheques can cause inconvenience, as they may not be accepted for payment. It’s important for individuals and businesses to be aware of the validity period of cheques to avoid such situations.

What Is Post-Dated Cheque?

A post-dated cheque is a cheque that contains a date in the future, specifying when it can be presented for payment. Instead of being immediately cashed or deposited, the cheque is held by the payee until the future date mentioned on the cheque.

It’s a way for the issuer to ensure that funds are not withdrawn from their account until the specified date arrives. Examples of Post-Dated Cheques:

Rent Payment: A tenant may issue a post-dated cheque to their landlord, with the date set to the first of the month, indicating that the cheque should only be cashed on that date as rent payment.

Loan Repayment: Borrowers may provide post-dated cheques to lenders for loan repayments, specifying the dates on which installment payments should be made.

Invoice Settlement: Businesses may accept post-dated cheques from customers to settle invoices, with each cheque dated on the agreed-upon payment schedule.

Future Transactions: In business or personal financial planning, post-dated cheques can be used to ensure that funds are available for specific future transactions, such as purchasing a product on a future delivery date.

Gifts and Promotions: Some gift cheques or promotional cheques provided by businesses may be post-dated to encourage recipients to use them within a certain timeframe.

Post-dated cheques are a financial tool that allows individuals and businesses to manage payments and cash flow by specifying when funds should be withdrawn from their bank account.

It’s important to ensure that the payee holds the cheque until the specified date to avoid cashing it prematurely.

Main Difference between Stale Cheque and Post-Dated Cheque

  1. Stale cheques are checks presented to the bank after their due date has passed, typically becoming stale three months after issuance. Post-dated cheques on the other hand, are dated for a future date, sometimes months or even years ahead, indicating they can only be cashed on that specific date.
  2. The responsibility for a stale cheque lies with its holder, while for a post-dated cheque, it’s the issuer who can be held liable.
  3. Stale cheques are often used for various payments, even when the issuer may not have sufficient funds at the time.
  4. Banks are not obligated to honor stale cheques, but they are generally required to accept post-dated cheques according to the specified date.

Similarities between Stale Cheque and Post-Dated Cheque

  1. Both are types of cheques used in financial transactions.
  2. Both involve presenting cheques to a bank for processing.
  3. Both types of cheques can lead to a delay in payment to the payee.
  4. In both cases, the bank may exercise discretion in accepting or honoring the cheque.
  5. Both types have specific dates mentioned on them, affecting when they can be cashed or deposited.
  6. The responsibility for both types of cheques lies with the issuer or holder, depending on the situation


The key difference between stale cheques and post-dated cheques lies in the timing of when they can be cashed or deposited. Stale cheques are those presented after their due date has passed, typically three months after issuance, and the responsibility for these cheques rests with the holder.

In contrast, post-dated cheques are dated for a future date, often months or even years ahead, indicating they can only be cashed on that specific future date, and the issuer is held liable for them.

Both types of cheques can lead to payment delays and involve the bank’s discretion in acceptance. Stale cheques are not required to be honored by banks, while post-dated cheques must generally be accepted according to the specified future date.

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