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Banking may have gone high tech but we know many people and businesses still use checks. Writing a check is a safe and secure way to pay bills and transfer money between people and businesses. Here’s how to do it.
When you write a check, the money is withdrawn from your checking account, although not immediately; sometimes it can take a few days to process. You should only write checks for money that you have in your account. Even if you have overdraft protection, going into a negative balance is not a good idea - overdraft fees can be very expensive!
Always use a good pen to write a check so no one can erase or change what you've written. Write clearly, accurately and complete every section so that your check clears as quickly as possible.
You can help protect yourself against fraud just by learning to write a check properly. For instance, only you should sign your checks and your signature should always look the same. Write your checks without leaving big gaps of space so that no one can make changes to your check. If you do make an adjustment, initial the space next to the change.
Remember: Always destroy any checks you have voided and never sign or give a blank check to anyone.
1. The Date
The date line appears in the upper right corner. Write out the current date or a future date on which you want the check to be cashed. All common date formats are acceptable in this line (e.g. June 1, 2019, 6/1/19). If you put in a future date, this is known as a post-dated check. Many businesses do not accept post-dated payments, but other payees may find them appropriate. In short, the party that receives the check will not be able to cash or deposit the check until the date indicated.
The maker/payor is the person or entity who owns the account and who signs the check to the payee.
A payee is the party that receives the check. In the "Pay to the Order Of" line, you should write out the full name of the business, individual or organization that you are making payment to.
4. Dollar Amount
Within the rectangle box, right after the $ sign, use numbers to indicate the amount of the check in dollars and cents (i.e. $10.50).
5. Written Amount
Start at the beginning of the blank line and spell out the amount of the check in words. Amounts that are less than one dollar should be represented by a fractional amount of xx/100 at the end of the line (e.g. "Ten and 50/100 dollars").
This line can be used to write short notes regarding payment details (e.g. "March Rent").
The maker/payor is the party that writes the check. The check is not considered legal until it bears a signature. Sign your full, legal name onto each check.
8. Check Register
Record the check number and amount of the check in your Check Register. To avoid any "bounced" check charges, make sure that you keep a record of each check that you write. Deduct the amount of each check you write from the previous balance in your account.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Information provided on the Financial Education section of this website is believed to beaccurate and reliable when placed on this site. Money Mart Financial Services cannot guarantee it is accurate,complete or current at all times. Information on this site is for informational purposes only andis not intended to provide financial, legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be reliedupon in that regard. You should seek guidance from a certified financial advisor or creditcounselor for specific advice that is applicable to your individual situation.