Table of Contents Hide
- What is a Check?
- Pros And Cons Of a Check
- What the Outline Of A Check Looks like
- How To Write A Check: Fill Out Check With These Steps
Checks are no longer as popular as they once were, back in the days being rich was associated with owning a check. But writing a check is still one of the skills everyone should acquire. If you want to learn how to write or fill out a check then you are in the right place.
This article would show you all you need to know about writing a check because as easy as it may seem, lots of people still make mistakes.
What is a Check?
Let’s get into a little bit of history about checks and how they came about. Checks have been in use since ancient times and at least since the 19th century but it wasn’t until the 20th century that it became a none cash method that it became popular.
By the second half of the 20th-century check was issued annually but since the 1990’s the usage had fallen and in some countries completely phased out because of the introduction of the electronic payment system.
A check is a document issued by a bank. It is a statement in writing stating that you agree to pay a sum of money to whomever you are making the check out to. It’s giving the bank permission to withdraw funds from your financial accounts and direct deposit them into the payee’s account.
The payee is the person at the receiving end. The person writing the check is known as the drawer.
Check drawer would have a transaction banking account where their money is held. The drawer then proceeds to fill out various details on the check such as the amount, date, and the recipient’s name, signs it, ordering their bank to pay the person or company in the check.
Pros And Cons Of a Check
- No convenience fee
- Safe way to send money
- Proof of payment
#1. No convenience fee
Paying with personal check help to avoid extra payment. Many businesses charge convenience fees and it isn’t worth it especially when you have your check.
#2. Safe way to send money
If your money goes missing, chances are you’d never find it again. Someone probably picked it and spend it already. It’s not the same with checks. If a stranger finds your check and attempts to cash it, he’s going to have a hard time.
This is because banks and merchants still require a signature on every check and cashiers are required to check customers’ signatures and verify that they are legitimate.
#3. Proof of Payment
The proof of payment a check would give would be legit although it may take longer to write and document a check compared to the electronic way where people can easily fake proof of payment. It’s your choice either way.
- Prone to scams
- Can be expensive
- Processing takes longer
- Some businesses don’t take checks
#1. Prone to Scams
People between the age of twenty and twenty-nine are easy victims of check scams because youngsters are more familiar with the electronic payment methods PayPal and Venmo.
#2. Can be expensive
Checks are not cheap and paying with a check cost money especially when buying them in bulk. You’ll have to shell out even more customized checks that feature your alma mater or favorite animal.
#3. Processing takes longer
Cash, credit, and smartphone transactions process quickly and you receive an alert of the transaction almost instantly but when it comes to checking, the amount doesn’t leave your account until the recipient cashes it.
If you accidentally miscalculate your balance you could end up overdrawing your account.
#4. Some businesses don’t accept checks
Most business owners now move away from using checks as they embrace electronic payment which is instantaneous. There is almost no wait time between sending and receipt.
What the Outline Of A Check Looks like
Checks contain pre-printed information as well as blank sections that need to be filled carefully and accurately
#1. The personal information section provides details about the account owner, who is the one paying money.
#2. The payee line designates who can receive the money.
#3. The dollar box displays the value of the check-in numerical format.
#4. The amount of your check is written out in this section using words instead of numbers.
#5. The memo line is a space for any notes about the purpose of the check.
#6. The dateline serves as a timestamp for the check.
#7. The signature line verifies that the account owner has approved the payment.
#8. Your bank’s contact information and/or logo are usually printed on the check.
#9. Your bank’s American Bankers Association (ABA) routing number tells banks where to find the funds for the check.
#10. Your account number at your bank is another identifier that lets the recipient know where the money for the check will come from.
#11. The check number (note that this appears in two places) is a security measure to identify each payment and prevent fraud.
#12. Your bank’s fractional ABA number contains the same information as the ABA in list item 9, but it’s often presented in another format in the upper right corner of the check, as well
How To Write A Check: Fill Out Check With These Steps
#1. Enter the current date
Fill in the current date on the line at the top right-hand corner. This information will notify the financial institution and the recipients of exactly when you wrote it and keep accurate records.
You can choose to write the data completely or use all numbers. You can also postdate the check but that doesn’t always work. For example, April 30, 2021, or 4/30/2021.
#2. Write Out the Recipients name
The recipient is also called the payee. This is the name of the individual or company you’d like to pay to and it is usually written on the line that says ‘pay to the order of’.
if the recipient’s name is unknown you can write the word cash. However, this can backfire because anyone can cash or deposit a check that
is made out to cash.
In the long run, you may have to ask ‘who should I make this check out to?’ if you are not sure what to write because this information needs to be accurate.
#3. Write the check amount in numeric form
The check will contain two spots that will require you to state the amount you are paying. First, write the numerical dollar amount in the small box on the right side of the line for the recipient’s name.
Make sure to write the amount correctly so the bank can subtract the correct amount from your account.
If your payment is for $8.5 then the 8 should be right up against the left-hand border of the dollar box to prevent fraud.
#4. Write the check amount in words
Writing out the amount using words is to avoid fraud and confusion. This will be the official amount of your payment.
If that amount is different from the numeric form that you entered in the previous spot the transaction is void.
The written words should match the numerical amount you already wrote on the ‘pay order of’.
#5. Write a memo
The memo section of the check is optional. However, it is a good idea to fill it out because it helps remind you of why you wrote the check. If you are writing the check to pay for a carpenter for instance you can write furniture.
In the event, the check is for a certain bill simply write your account number in the memo area.
A company may ask you to write your account number or invoice number in this section. This helps them to apply the payment to your account. On the lower side left-hand side is where the memo is located
#6. Sign the check
On the lower right-hand side of the check is a space to sign your name. That is necessary to clear the check for payment.
Note that without the signature the check is invalid even if all other sections are completed. Your signature informs the bank that you agree to pay the stated amount to the payee.
#7. Make Sure you have the funds for the check
It’s a good idea to check your checking account balance beforehand, to ensure there is enough cash in your account to cover the amount.
If not, the check could bounce and you’ll likely incur fees and penalties plus the check recipient won be happy either.
A check might mean much today let’s not forget they were a huge deal when it comes to payment methods and no skill acquired is lost. You might just be told to write a check one day.