Although less common than they once were, checks are still used across the country, even in a highly digital world. Checks are an inexpensive and effective tool for transferring money from one account to another but you probably do not write a check every day or maybe you have never done it before. Writing on a check is not complex. However, if you have no idea how to go about it, follow the below-mentioned steps. You can complete the steps in any order of your choice but the check should not miss any vital information.
Start with the date
Start by writing the present date on the far right corner of the check. It is possible to write a postdated check but it will not always work the way you think. Hence, it is best to use today’s date to maintain accurate records.
Write the Payee name
You will notice a line that says, “Pay to the order of”. On this line, you need to write the name of the individual you are paying. This information should be accurate, hence, you need to know the correct name of the person or organization you want to transfer money to.
Write the amount in numbers
You need to specify the amount of the payment in the box located on the right side of the check. Start from as left as possible so as to prevent fraud. If the amount is $60.55, the “6” should be right against the left-hand border of the box.
Write the amount in words
Now write the same amount in words in order to prevent confusion and fraud. It will be the total amount of the payment. Use all capital letters so that it cannot be altered. In case the amount in words is different from the amount in numbers, the amount in words will be considered as the correct check amount.
Sign legibly on the line at the bottom right corner. Your check will not be valid without a signature and you need to use the exact name and sign that is present on the file at your bank. You cannot change your signature without informing the bank. You have now completed writing on a check.
This is an optional step but it will give you a reminder on the purpose of writing the check. It is a “for” line and you can include a note here. You can also provide information that the payee will use when processing the payment.
After you write the check, always make a record of the payment. You can maintain a check register to do this. It can be a paper register or an electronic register.
Once you record the payment, it will stop you from spending twice. In your record, you need to write the check number, payee, and amount.
Security tips to keep in mind when writing on a check
Follow below-mentioned security tips to reduce the chances of fraud.
Always make it permanent
Use a pen when writing on a check and not a pencil. If you use a pencil, anybody can make alterations to the check.
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Avoid blank checks
Never sign a check till you have filled the name of the payee and the amount. In case you are not sure about the amount or name of the payee, just bring a pen so that it is less risky.
Fill checks correctly
When you fill the dollar amount in the check, you need to ensure that you print the value in a manner that prevents scammers from making any changes to it. Always begin from the far left of the check and draw a line after the last digit. If you leave space, somebody can make changes to it.
Keep carbon copies
Those who want to keep a record of every check, get checkbooks with carbon copies. These checkbooks have a thin sheet and will contain a copy of every check you write. This way, you can easily identify where the money went and what you wrote on the check.
Keep a consistent signature
A lot of people do not have a legible signature and many even sign checks with humorous images. Using the same signature will help you and will help the bank identify fraud. If the signature does not match, it will be easier for you to prove that you are not responsible for charges.
Checks are not really risky but there are other safer ways to pay for things. However, if you have no alternative but to write a check, always remember the security tips.
Do not write a check for cash. Instead, use an ATM to withdraw money. You can use a debit card for recurring expenses and everyday spending.
If you have to write a check, get the accurate name of the payee, and double-check the details before you give the check.