Today’s guest post comes from CWP. It’s a detailed read about how to write a check, which could be a good review for you if you’ve gotten a little rusty in the art of check writing. If you’re just learning how to write a check, this thorough post has you covered!
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How To Write A Check In 6 Simple Steps
Despite today’s digital age, checks are still widespread. When it comes to moving money, paper checks are pretty cheap and useful as a tool. However, you might have never written a check before.
To help you, we have created this step-by-step guide on how to write a check. We’ll show you how you should do it. You can complete the steps in any order.
6 Blanks on a Check
A check has six different blanks you have to fill in. These are the:
- Current date
- Name of Payee
- Amount (in numeric form)
- Amount (written in words)
- Memo line
So what are these? Let’s discuss them one by one starting with:
First things first, you have to date the check on the top right corner portion. You can use any date format. In most, if not all cases, you will have to use the date today. It will help you keep track and create accurate records. Aside from that, you can also postdate your check. However, this does not always work the way you think it does.
When writing the date, be consistent with your date format. It will help you determine any check that’s probably stolen from you. You might want to date your checks in the format of 1/1/2015. With this, you can identify a forged check quickly if the date format is different.
Name of the Payee
Next, you have to write down the name of the person you are going to pay in the field that’s written with “Pay to the order of.” If it’s not a person you are paying but an organization, you have to write that down too. Ask yourself: “Who are you going to make the check out to?” if you are not sure on who is what to write. Don’t make the mistake of writing checks that are payable to cash. It may seem convenient at first, but it’s very risky.
Make sure to write neatly and clearly when you are filling this out. Include the last and first name of the payee or the entire name of the business of the payee.
Amount (In Numeric Form)
Third on the list is the amount in numeric form. On the right-hand side of the check, write the amount of your payment on the small box that you see. Write by starting as far to the left side as much as possible. If you are going to write $7.23, the “7” must be right next to the left side border of the box. It is done to help prevent fraud.
Again, it is very crucial that you have to be precise and neat as possible. Create a distinction between the cents and dollars using a decimal point. You can also underline the cents to avoid any confusion on the amount you’ve written. It helps you avoid any confusion on the exact amount that is you have to pay the payee.
Amount (In Words)
In addition to the amount written in numbers, you have to state the amount in words to avoid future confusion and fraud in case the number you wrote is hard to read. It will be the official amount of your payment. In cases where the amount you wrote is different from the numbers you wrote in the previous step, the amount written in words will become the legal amount of your check. Also, make sure you write in capital letters to avoid any alterations.
Before writing, double check the amount you will write in case people will not be able to read the numbers written in the amount box.
To make the check legal, you have to sign legibly on the check. You can find a blank line on the bottom-right corner. Make sure that you are going to use the same signature and name on file at your bank. Doing this is essential. Without a signature, your check will be deemed invalid.
This step is probably the most critical part of writing a check. You should know that companies will not be accepting any check that does not have a valid signature. Every person’s signature is pretty unique, so when you are signing your check, you are protecting yourself from any forgeries. Write your signature neatly and as you would usually do on any formal documents.
Lastly, include a note in your check. It is optional for you since it doesn’t even affect the way the banks will process your check. The memo line is merely a part of your check where you can put a reminder as to why you have written that check. Aside from that, it is also a place to write down the information that your payee might use when processing the payment. You can write your account number here when paying utility bills or your Social Security Number when paying IRS.
Concerning any potential payment dispute, the memo field on the bottom left of the check can be vital. It also helps secure your checking account. You can use it to track your spending, so you know the amount of money you are spending for every area in your budget.
Other Information on a Check
Once you have filled out your check, the hard work has been done!
However, there are still three additional pieces of info that you need know concerning your check format.
The routing number is found on the check’s bottom left and is very specific to your banking institution. Aside from that, people use it whenever you provide your employer information when receiving any direct deposit and setting up any automatic payments.
You can find this on the right side of the routing number.
The check number makes it easier for you to confirm payments, and check disputes especially if you write a lot of checks.
All in all, whichever way you choose to pay, ensure that you have enough funds in your checking account. If not, your payments may create problems and bounce leaving you with a lot of legal issues to deal with.