There comes a time in everyone’s life where they’ll cash a check.
While some jobs use direct deposits or PayPal, others still prefer the old-fashioned check. You could even get a check from a friend, family member, or other loved one.
Yet you can never be too careful. A lot of crucial information is tied to your bank account: your name, address, and account number. This is to be safeguarded.
Someone nefarious who has that information could steal your identity.
That’s one reason why it pays to learn how to cash a check. You’ll also learn to avoid mistakes that could delay your payment from reaching its destination on time.
Read on to learn all the basics you need to know about how to cash a check.
Protecting Your Identity: How to Sniff out a Fake Check
Whether the check came from your boss or your best friend, we’re sure that person isn’t nefarious. They probably wrote you a legit check that won’t bounce. They’re not out to steal your personal information.
Sometimes though, you deal with others who you don’t know as well. What do you do then?
You have to verify the legitimacy of the check.
There are a few ways you can do this. First, find the bank logo. Does this seem fishy to you?
There should be a corresponding bank name. Search for the bank online. Does the logo match or is something a bit off?
If you don’t feel right about the check, you have two options. You can visit that bank yourself or you can contact the person who gave you the check.
Employees at the bank will be able to verify its legitimacy right away. You don’t have to be a member of said bank to ask about a check. You can also contact the check writer themselves.
Fake checks could be an attempt to lure you into a money-wiring scheme. The check writer could also give you a fake check to get your bank account information.
They can then potentially use your account to make purchases. They can also steal your identity.
Writing a Check Endorsement
Once you’re sure the check is legit, you have to endorse it. This is another good reason to learn how to cash a check the right way.
If a check is not endorsed, the bank may not cash it. They can’t be sure if the person who is trying to cash the check is the recipient, without their signature.
So where is the endorsement line? It’s on the back of the check. You should see a blank line with an X by it.
Sign your full name there.
It’s recommended that you don’t wait to cash your check after it’s endorsed. If you happen to misplace it and someone else finds it, they could try cashing it in your name.
The Last Phase of How to Cash a Check…Finding Somewhere to Cash It
Your check is all ready to go. Now where do you cash it?
You have a multitude of options. Let’s go into each of these in more detail.
24/7 cash-checking services
Why wait to get your cash checked? You can just visit a 24/7 cash-checking service instead.
Do your homework. The service fees for these cash-checking services can vary.
It’s also recommended you try to only carry smaller sums. Unfortunately, sometimes robberies can occur around these buildings. Be careful if you’re going alone.
You will have to confirm your identity when you arrive. A student ID, military ID, or driver’s license will suffice.
Plenty of retailers offer the opportunity for you to cash checks. These may include clothing stores, electronics stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, and drug stores.
Only cash a check at a retailer you feel comfortable with. Before you go, do some research about the service fees. Depending on the retailer you choose, these may be lower or higher.
You can also go to your bank to cash your check. Simply walk in, get in line, and wait until you can see a teller.
The teller will verify that you endorsed the check. They will then cash the check for you.
As long as you already have a bank account, this is a fast and easy process.
The check writer’s bank
You may already be at the check writer’s bank. You wanted to confirm the legitimacy of their check. Since you’re already there, why not cash the check, too?
Yes, even though you’re not a member, you can still visit the check writer’s bank to cash a check.
That said, there are often processing fees associated with doing this. You will also need to verify your identity with a student ID, military ID, or driver’s license.
Via an app
Your bank may have a mobile app. Use your own bank’s app.
This app, which is likely free, is quite handy. You can check your account balance and send money. You can also cash a check.
Use your smartphone or tablet to take a clear, full picture of both sides of the check. You do want to endorse the check.
Make sure the pictures are not cropped. The check might not go through.
Last but certainly not least, you can visit your local bank and go to the ATM. This saves time, especially if there are long lines inside the bank.
Use the ATM to access your account and choose to cash a check. Then feed the check in the correct ATM slot.
The money should be confirmed. You can withdraw some of it then, too.
You now know how to cash a check. It’s an easy process that will get even easier the more you do it.
Above all else, always focus on your financial security. Double-check the legitimacy of the check. Be careful where you choose to cash your check.
Want to learn more about your options for cashing a check? Visit 24 Cash Checking Stores, your resource for finding a store near you that accepts checks anytime, any day.