Everyday Money

How To: Fill Out A Check

January 17, 2019

How to Write Out A Check

If a check is not correctly filled out, it cannot be deposited. Read the below for a quick how to!

Even in this day in age where everything is digital, checks are still common! Here are some top times you may need to still write a check:

  • Wedding gifts
  • Rent payments
  • Companies that don’t accept plastic
  • Bills

*This is a sample check.

1)  Date

Write the date you are writing out the check in the top right cornerMake sure you enter the complete month, day and year. You can either write out the date in full (example:  January 1, 2019) or use numbers (01/01/2019) – whichever you prefer.

2) “Pay To The Order Of”

In this section you will enter the name of the recipient you are writing the check to.
Make sure to write the full name (first and last) of the person/group/company you’re paying.

3) The Dollar Box

In this space, you will enter the dollar amount in numeric form.
Write out the exact amount the check is payable for. Don’t round up or estimate.

4) Line Under Name

On the line under the recipient’s name, you will repeat the dollar amount the check is for – but this time, you will write it out in full, writing the change amount written as a fraction.
For example, you should write $128.11 as “One Hundred Twenty Eight and 11/100” . If it’s an even amount, you can simply write “One Hundred” if the check is for $100.

Note: If there’s empty space remaining, take this safety precaution: Draw a line to the end of the field to prevent someone from adding new digits and altering the amount.

5) Memo space

This part is optional!  The bottom left-hand corner of your check includes a small space to tell the recipient what the payment is for.  You can write in things such as “Water Bill” or “Happy Birthday,” etc.

Take note that this space is optional, except when specified by the recipient; if it’s a bill payment, some may specify that you must enter your account number in the Memo field for ID purposes.

6) Sign your check

Your check is not valid unless you sign your name on the line in the bottom right hand corner of the front of the check. 

And there you have it! A perfectly written check.

Note: After you write the check, it’s smart to make a record of the payment. A check register is the ideal place to do this. (You should find this in the back of your check book). Why? The money you wrote the check for will still show in your account until the check is deposited by the recipient or cashed, so it’s a good idea to make a note of the payment to prevent you from spending the money twice.

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