Checks used to only be printed by banks and you need to go through the process of reordering blank check pads every time you run out of pages or need to change your information printed on your checks.
It has now become convenient and cheaper to print blank checks just by making use of electronic equipment you already have. You also have the convenience of pre-filling your checks before sending them out.
Make sure you know the requirements to print personal checks and the proper way of doing it. A simple mistake can cost you more than the amount you want to save. Here are the steps to print your checks at home:
Purchase the equipment and paper required to print personal checks.
- Make sure you have the right equipment to print your checks. Your checks can be printed using any kind of computer but it is strongly recommend that you use magnetic ink in printing your checks. Take note though that magnetic ink is quite difficult to find and is more expensive.
- Use the required special paper for printing checks. The paper you need should have the security features that will make it difficult for anyone to alter a check you have printed. As an added security, you can also look into the guidelines on how to write tamper-resistant checks.
Choose a design for your check.
- Though you can create your own design without the use of special software, it is suggested that you take advantage of pre-built packages available online or through retailers. They are relatively cheap and you can experiment on several designs to choose from.
- Plus, some software that can print personal checks has an interface with some money management software like MS Money or Quicken. If the program you choose is compatible, you can have an added advantage of tracking your payments without the need to manually encode the information. VersaCheck is a suggested program that is easily accessible and can be found in office retailers or online.
- Once you have chosen your software program and design, fill in the required information to set up your account. Make sure you properly fill in your complete name, address and your bank’s name and address on the format provided.
- Encode the Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) information that includes the account and routing numbers. The MICR is usually found at the bottom of the check. Designate a starting number for your checks to be printed.
Print test pages to proofread the information you have encoded.
- Proofread the information you have filled in. Run test pages to check that the sections are aligned and the information you entered are correct.
- You can choose to pre-print checks with the payee information indicated or just run blank checks to be filled up as needed.
Your personal checks printed are usually read by magnetic readers in computers for faster processing. If you happen to print your checks using regular ink and not magnetic ink, you take the risk that your check will be read using a non-optical reader. It will then be processed manually. Manual processing can mean a fee will be charged to you and your payee and the processing will be slower.