For many people, writing a check is an antiquated process. With the advent of online banking and electronic payments, it’s easy to forget how to write a check. But, there are still times when you may need to write one – whether you’re paying rent or a friend back for lunch.
If you’ve forgotten how to write a check or have never written one before, don’t worry. It’s not as complicated as it seems. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to write a check so that you can be prepared for anything.
Before Writing the Check
Before you write a check, there are a few things you need to know. First, you’ll need to have the correct information for the payee. This includes their full name, address, and zip code. You’ll also need the amount of money you’re writing the check for, as well as the date.
Once you have all of this information, you’re ready to write the check. Start by printing the payee’s name in the center of the check.
Then, on the line below that, write out the amount of money you’re paying them. Be sure to spell out the entire amount – don’t use abbreviations like “K” for thousand or “M” for million.
On the line below the amount, you’ll need to sign your name. This is what authorizes the check and allows the payee to cash it. Once you’ve signed your name, print today’s date on the last line. And that’s it! You’ve now written a check!
Writing the Check
Assuming you have a check in front of you, and a pen, you’re ready to get started:
1. On the top right-hand side of the check, you’ll see a space to write in the date. Write out the month, day, and year like this: January 1, 2018 (or whatever the current date is).
2. In the center of the check, on the line that says “Pay to the order of,” write out the name of the person or company you’re making the check out to. If there isn’t enough room on that first line, finish writing the name on the line below it.
3. On the far right side of that same line, write out the amount of money you want to give them in numerical form. Ensure to include dollars and cents (00/100), and draw a line after this amount so nobody can change it. For example $100.00.
4. On the line below that, spell out the amount. Start by writing the word “Dollars” (spelled out), and then write the amount in words. For example One hundred and 00/100 DOLLARS. Again, draw a line after this to prevent anyone from adding anything extra.
5. On the next line, write out what the check is for. For example: Rent for January 2018. This is optional but recommended so you remember what the check was for later on if needed.
6. In the bottom left-hand corner of the check, sign your name in cursive where it says “Signature.”
How To Fill Out a Check
Assuming you have a check in front of you, you will notice several key areas. Starting at the top left, you will see the name of the financial institution that issued the check. In the center, there is a large blank space for you to fill in the recipient’s name.
To the right of that, there are two small blanks for you: The first is to fill in the date, and the second is for your signature.
On the bottom left side of the check, there are three blanks. The first is for “Pay to the order of,” which is where you write out who will be receiving this check.
Below that, there is a line with a blank for you to fill in the amount of money being paid by numerals (do not write out the dollar amount).
Finally, there is another line with a blank labeled ” dollars,” which is where you again write out the dollar amount of money being paid (this time using words).
The final area on a check is located on its right side and includes three blanks as well. The topmost blank asks for “memo” or “for,” which allows you to write out what this payment is for; this can be helpful if this check is one of many payments towards a larger purchase or bill.
Directly below that is a long line with multiple blanks; this area is reserved for your handwritten signature. And finally, at the very bottom right corner of the check, there should be a blank for you to fill in your account number.
After You Write the Check
Assuming you have a check and not a debit card or some other form of electronic payment, writing a check is easy. The first thing you need to do is fill in the recipient’s name or business in the “Pay to the order” line.
You can just write out the full name if you know it, but if you’re unsure of the spelling or are sending a check to a business, look for an official website or other correspondence to double-check the name.
Next, fill in the amount of money you’re giving in numbers in the small box on the right side of the check. In words, write out the same amount on the long line below where you wrote out the recipient’s name. For example, if you’re writing a check for $127.54, you would write “one hundred twenty-seven and 54/100.”
At this point, you’re almost ready to sign your check and hand it over. But there’s one more line: The memo line.
This is where you can write a brief note about what the check is for – like “rent” or “birthday present.” It’s not required that you use this line, but it can be helpful (especially if you’re writing multiple checks at once and need to keep them straight).
Tips for Writing a Check
When writing a check, you need to be sure that all the necessary information is included.
Here are some tips to help you write a check:
1. Include the date in the top left-hand corner of the check. This is important so that the check can’t be cashed after the date you wrote it.
2. Make sure you use your legal name and address. This is so that the check can be traced back to you if it gets lost or stolen.
3. In the “Pay to the Order Of” line, write out the full name of the person or company you are making the check out to.
4. Enter the amount of money you are writing the check for in both numbers and words in order to avoid any confusion. For example, if you are writing a check for $100, you would write “One hundred and 00/100.”
5. Sign your name in the bottom right-hand corner of the check. This signature serves as your authorization for the bank to release funds from your account.
There are a few basic things you can do to make sure your check is secure. First, always use a pen with black or blue ink. This will make it more difficult for someone to alter the amount of the check. Second, be sure to fill in all the blanks on the check completely.
This includes the payee line, the dollar amount line, and the signature line. These lines should never be left blank. Third, if you’re using a pre-printed check from your bank, be sure to write in the current date. This will ensure that the check can’t be post-dated and used at a later time.
Finally, always keep your checks in a safe and secure place until you’re ready to use them.
When to Use a Check
“How To Write a Check: A Step-by-Step Guide”
There are a few occasions when it is appropriate to use a check. For example, you may want to use a check when you are making a large purchase, paying rent or a utility bill, or sending money to someone who does not have a bank account.
Checks can also be used to withdraw cash from your bank account if you do not have enough cash on hand.
To write a check, you will need to provide the following information:
The date of the transaction
The name of the payee
The amount of the payment (written both in numbers and words)
You will also need to have a checking account with enough funds available to cover the amount of the check. Once you have written the check, be sure to keep track of when it is due to be cashed or deposited.
Alternatives to Writing a Check
When it comes to making payments, writing a check is not always the most convenient option. Thankfully, there are a few alternatives that can make paying your bills a little easier.
One option is to sign up for automatic bill pay with your bank. This service will automatically withdraw the necessary funds from your account each month and send them to the specified payee. This can be a great way to avoid late payments and keep track of your spending.
Another option is to use a mobile payment app like Venmo or PayPal. These apps allow you to transfer money to another person or business with just a few taps on your phone. They’re perfect for splitting the bill at restaurants or paying back friends for that coffee you borrowed last week.
Finally, you could also consider using a good old-fashioned credit card. While this isn’t technically “writing a check,” it is an alternative way to make payments that can be more convenient than cash or checks. Just be sure to keep track of your spending and pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.