How to Write a Check: Your Best Step-by-Step Guide in 2021

With the tips here on how to write a check, you will easily be able to write one and become a master of using it for your needs. 

how to write a check

Checks are a widely used form of currency even in today’s digital world.

It’s used for a large variety of transactions and is essential in many business transactions. It’s an effective way to move money and is generally inexpensive.

However, because it’s not as common as it used to, you may not have needed to write a check before. 

Writing a check is actually very easy and with this tutorial, we will show you exactly how to write a check.

This step-by-step guide will help you to enter the details in each part of the check and some reminders that would be good so you won’t forget important information. 

Let’s take a look at a typical check, shall we?

What Are Checks?

Checks, as mentioned earlier, are a form of currency and is typically used as a method of payment.

Checks are considered a paper document and are often seen as a small sheet of paper.

A check authorizes the bank to pay a business or individual equal to the amount of money written on the check which would be then deducted from your personal account.

Before electronic payment methods and bank drafts, this was the primary mode of payment and money transfers apart from actual cash.

How Does It Work?

When you need to make a payment or a transaction with another party, you can typically write a check and it would be considered as good as a cash payment.

A payee would write the check equal to the amount agreed upon which would then be given to the individual or business receiving the check payment.

They can then go to the bank and encash that payment or deposit to an existing deposit account in that bank.

The bank will then debit the amount from your account then credit it directly to the customer encashing the check or place it into their account.

Typically people and institutions issue checks for large amounts of payment that would typically be too dangerous to carry around.

This keeps a safe space where money can be transferred without even leaving the bank.

How to Fill Out a Check

how to write a check

For you to learn how to fill out a check you first need to learn the different parts.

This is fairly easy and we will guide you through it. 

  1. Name and Address. Your name and address are often printed on the upper left corner of the check. This indicates whom the check comes from. 
  2. Date. A blank date field is found on the upper right-hand corner and indicates the date when the check was issued and when it can be encashed. If the date is set to the future, the check can only be encashed once that date actually arrives.
  3. Payee. This field is often marked with “Pay to the Order of” followed by a blank field. The name of the person or business being paid to is indicated here. Make sure to write the name correctly as the bank will not accept it if there was a typo error. 
  4. Amount of Cash In Numerical Form. This is usually a box or field that begins with a dollar sign (or a foreign currency sign like Euros or Pounds for checks from other countries). You enter the dollar amount of the payment. Make sure to write down the numerical number to the far left edge of the field or box to avoid fraud.
  5. Amount in Words. You then have to write down the amount of the payment in words. This field is right below the Payee. The amount in words will be the one banks will use formally to identify the amount of the check. Should there be a discrepancy between the numerical amount and the amount in words, legally banks will have to go with the amount in words.
  6. Memo or For field. This field indicates what the check is for. This field is optional and will not affect how your bank transactions will work. However, the Memo or For field indicates what the check is usually for or could be used as a note for the recipient of the check (like a social security number or an account number for payments.
  7. Signature field. This field is for your signature. This authorizes and validates that the check is true and that you are releasing that amount of money from your checking account to the payee indicated above.
  8. Routing Number, Account Number, and Check Number. Most checks will also have three sets of numbers at the bottom. This includes the bank’s routing number (often used for bank drafts), the check owner’s bank account number, and lastly, the check number. 

Things to Remember 

how to write a check

There are a few things you need to remember on how to write a check. This should make your life easier when writing checks.

1. Make sure that you do need to write a check.

While checks are widely accepted, you might want to consider that there are other ways to make payments such as online payments, debit cards, and automatic payments.

If you can make payments via those methods, it might be easier to write a check.

2. Make sure all the details are accurate.

Banks are generally very strict when it comes to written details.

A mistake on the check can make that check unusable.

3. Ensure you match the amount in numerical form and the amount in words.

If they don’t match there can be trouble.

Learn how to write numbers in words on a check correctly and accurately.

This is especially true on how to write a check with cents. When you write cents it’s usually the number of cents over a hundred.

Fifty cents for example would be written as 50/100.

4. Once you complete the details of your check, make sure to write the details of your check in a registry.

This allows you to have a record of all the checks that you are issuing.

Doing this allows you to track all check payments and reduces the chances of duplicate payments.

Often, checkbooks have a section for the checkbook register where you can write down your details.

how to write a check

Final Thoughts

While many people think that paying by check is archaic, it still is one of the most efficient and a very common way to move money from account to account.

In fact, there are certain transactions that prefer you pay via check instead of cash.

With the tips here on how to write a check, you will easily be able to write one and become a master of using it for your needs. 


Author: John Benares

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