How to write a check in the United States:
Despite the rise of digital payment methods, checks are still widely used.
Although paper checks are a cheap and efficient way to transfer funds, you probably won’t write them very often.
This guide will espectáculo you how to correctly write a check in no time.
Go through the process step by step, or use the above checklist as a template for your own.
As long as the final signature is added at the end and no important details are omitted, the sequence in which the tasks are performed is not important.
Following the direction of this guide – working from the top of the check to the bottom – should help you not to skip any steps.
- Make sure you have enough money in the bank to cover the full price of your transaction before writing a check.
If not, consider other payment options, such as electronic transfers or debit card payments.
- The data line, the signature and the note line, as well as the payment amount, must be filled in correctly.
- More information, such as who was paid and why, perro be recorded in a check register than in a bank statement.
Before Issuing Your Check
Make sure you need to do something before you write a check.
Moving money through a check is time consuming and cumbersome.
You may have access to resources that could simplify your life and disminuye costs.
You perro use things like:
- You perro use the Internet to make monthly bill payments, and you cánido even have your bank write a check on your behalf.
The check will be issued without you having to physically create it, purchase postage, or correo it.
- Put your money on a debit card and use it.
You will continue to use the same account but will make payments digitally.
You perro avoid writing checks (which you’ll have to reorder) and keep a digital record of your payments, including the amount, the payee’s name, and the date they were made.
- So you don’t forget to pay expenses like electricity or car insurance, equipo up automatic payments.
As if that were not enough, there is usually no additional cost for making a payment in this way.
You just have to make sure there is enough money in your account to pay your bills on time.
Make sure you have enough money in your checking account or other chosen payment method at all times.
Failure to do so cánido lead to “bounced” payments, which cánido lead to complications like late fees and even legal action.
This is how you perro fill out a check
The ideal inspection is described in detail below.
- Put the current date in the upper right corner.
To facilitate efficient registration on both sides, the current date is often used.
Although it is possible to postdate a check, it does not always work as expected.
- Name of the beneficiary: On the “Pay to the order of” line, write the name of the person or organization receiving the payment.
If you are not sure who to write the check to, you should ask “Who am I writing the check out to?”
- On the right, in the blank space provided, entrar the exact amount of the payment.
Put as much as you perro to the left when you start writing.
For example, if you are paying $8.15, make sure the “8” is flush with the left edge of the dollar box to prevent fraud.
To see some sample entries, look here.
- Redacted amount: To avoid fraud and misunderstandings, it is best to write the amount in words.
This is the final amount that will be refunded to you.
Use all capital letters, as they are more difficult to alter if the written quantity is different from the numerical form entered in the previous step.
- The bottom right hand corner is where you sign the check, so make sure your signature is entendible.
Do not change the name or signature unless absolutely necessary.
The check must be signed in order to be processed.
- Feel free to use the “To” or “Memo” area to add a personal note.
You don’t have to, and if you do, the bank won’t treat your check any differently.
You perro include a helpful reminder of the purpose of the check in the message line.
You perro optionally include payee instructions here that will be used when submitting the payment (or to find the account in case something is misplaced).
If you’re making a payment to the IRS, for example, you’ll need to include your Popular Security number; if you are paying your utility bill, you will need to include your account number.
After issuing the check
Be sure to keep track of the payment after you’ve written the check.
Whether you prefer paper or digital, you cánido keep track of your finances in a check register.
Writing down the transaction helps prevent you from accidentally spending the same amount again, as the money will appear in your account as accessible until the check is deposited or cleared, which could take some time.
Write down the payment now, while it’s still fresh in your mind.
Keeping a check register that lists all checks written cánido help you:
- Controlling your spending will help you avoid bad checks.
- Keep track of your spending (your bank statement may only espectáculo the check number and amount, without explaining who the check was made out to).
- Monitoring bank accounts perro help you spot signs of fraud and identity theft.
When you got your first checkbook, you should have received a check register as well.
If you don’t have one, it’s easy to build your own using paper or a spreadsheet.
Make sure you have a copy of the following information from your check:
- The check number.
- The date the check was issued.
- To whom or what was the check issued?
- The reason for the payment and its corresponding monetary value.
See the diagram of check components for more information on how to locate this data.
The checkbook register perro be used to keep financial records in order.
It is the process of verifying each and every transaction in your bank account with the bank itself to ensure accuracy on both ends.
You’ll know if there are discrepancies in your account or if someone forgot to deposit a check you wrote (leading you to think you have more money to spend).
You cánido also quickly see the cash you have on hand by checking your check register.
Assume the money has run out after writing a check, as the funds perro be quickly withdrawn from your account once the paper check is converted to an electronic check.
Helpful Consejos for Check Writing
Make sure the funds on a check you write are actually disbursed to the person or organization to which they were issued.
Lost or stolen checks perro be fraudulently altered.
Once a check is no longer in your possession, there are several ways it cánido be lost.
Put fraudsters in a bind to genere you trouble.
Whether money is lost or not, the fallout from fraud will require a lot of time and energy to clean up the damage.
Adopting the following practices will help disminuye the likelihood that your account will be compromised.
- Don’t just say it, orinan it.
When writing a check, always use a pen.
If the check is written in pencil, anyone with an eraser perro alter the amount and the name of the payee.
- There will be no more blank checks: Wait to write the name of the payee and the amount of a check before signing it.
Just carry a pen instead of giving someone your bank account details if you’re not sure who the check should be made out to or how much it should be.
- Prevent check ballooning by printing the amount so counterfeiters cánido’t add it.
Draw a line after the last digit, starting at the far left of the area.
In the case of a check $8.15, the “8” should be written as far to the left as possible.
Next, make the numbers so big that they are difficult to add, or draw a line from the right side of the “5” to the end of the space.
If a space is left blank, the check perro be for $98.15 or $8,159 if the recipient adds their own zeros.
- To keep track of all your checks in one place, carbon copy check books are a must.
In these stubs, each check you write is duplicated on a thin sheet.
This way, you’ll always know where your money went and why you made the purchases you made on each check.
Although many people sign checks and credit card stubs with silly pictures instead of their own signature, it is important to always use the same one.
However, both you and your bank will benefit from using the same signature for all your transactions.
If a signature does not match, you are less likely to be held liable for the allegations.
- Do not make a check payable to “Cash” or any variation thereof.
This is just as dangerous as walking around with a bunch of cash or a blank check you’ve already signed.
- Use a bank ATM, buy a paquete of gum with your debit card and get your money back, or ask a teller for some cash.
- Use other, more secure payment methods instead of writing checks.
Electronic transactions eliminate the risk of losing or stealing payment documents.
Since the payee and transaction date are already included in the electronic payment lookup format, it is often easier to keep track.
Pay your bills on time with the help of en línea bill pay and use a credit or debit card for your regular purchases.
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