How To Fill Out a Bank Check

 Filling out a check

There are many ways to pay for your bills or transfer money using your bank account. You can use debit or credit cards or ATM cards and many other options. You can also use checks for more formal transaction. It is important to fill out a blank check properly to prevent problems in cashing them from cropping up. Here are some ways to do it.

Ink counts. You have to use ballpoint pens or sign pens that have inks that are not erasable. Erasable ones can be erased and can be changed by people that do not have good intentions. You may find yourself wondering why your checking account was deducted with an amount that you did not transfer. Or worse, you may find that your next check will bounce.

Date should be complete. The check cannot be cashed by the payee until the indicated date. Write down the current date on the check. Do not practice postdating your checks (dating them in advance of the date written) so that you will not have any problems, unless you will need to settle for things in the future, such as making loan or mortgage payments

Payee. Legibly write the name of the person, organization or company who will receive your payment on the line that is labeled "Pay to the order of." They are the payees. Write your name or "Cash" if you are withdrawing cash for yourself. However, it’s safer to use your name, unless you plan to cash the check immediately. This is safer to do. You will have to endorse the check to cash it, but you don’t run the risk of losing the check paid to “cash” which is as good as cash!

Write the amount in numbers. You should start writing the amount in numbers as near to the dollar sign as possible. This is to prevent the possibility of adding another number to the line. Put the numbers for cents in smaller numbers, with a line and 100 under them. For example, $ 10 50/100.

Write the amount in words. Write out the corresponding dollar amount in words and the cents in numbers in fraction form. This is under the line for the payee. Start the first word as near to the start of the blank line as possible, to prevent anyone from writing another word or number. You have to fill in the extra space to the printed word "dollars" with a line. For example, ten and 50/100~~~~ DOLLARS. Remember that if the amount written in numbers and words do not match, the bank will pay the amount written in words.

If the check value is less than a dollar, cross out the “dollars” word, and write instead “only XXX cents.” For example, “only fifty cents.”

Sign your name. Sign your name in ink (non-erasable). Do this exactly as you signed it on the signature card you filled out when you opened the account. Checks may be written on a typewriter or printed using a computer printer these but must be signed in writing. Do not ever sign a blank check. Someone could find it. They could fill in any amount that they want and cash it. You have to be responsible for your money.

Cross it if necessary. Crossing a check means writing two diagonal lines at the top left corner of the check. This stands for “Payee’s account only.” With this, the payee of the check cannot withdraw it over the counter. Rather, he will need to deposit it into his own account. This gives you the added assurance and security, in case you are worried that the check might get lost in transit, since depositing a check will require that the named payee has his own bank account, which is not as easy to defraud, than if someone makes fake ID cards to cash a check.

Do not damage identification numbers. The numbers in the lower left hand portion of your check are identification numbers. These are used by coding machines and computers to sort and process electronically. The second set is your account number. Do not staple through or damage these numbers. The third set of numbers is the check number for a particular check so that can make computer verification or recall.

Being responsible in filling out your check is a way to ensure the money that you are working hard for. If you lose any of it, it is not anybody's fault, but only yours.


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