Are you sending money overseas?
Do you need to pay a bill with an upcoming deadline?
If so, you might need to purchase a money order.
This is a method of transferring money, most similar to traditional checks. But, not everyone knows how to fill out a money order or when to use one.
Let’s take a closer look at what this is, and how to fill one out.
What Is a Money Order?
A money order is a paper document used to transfer funds.
The form looks kind of like a check, but the functions couldn’t be more different.
A check pays out when the recipient cashes it in. You can write a check today and not see the money leave your account for days after.
A money order is paid for upfront by the person initiating the transfer.
So, if you’re sending money to your dad or paying your phone bill, you pay up right away. The money comes out of your account and gets wired into the other person’s.
That is, if you know how to fill out a money order and get the job done correctly.
How to Fill Out a Money Order
1. Write the Recipient’s Name
The first thing you want to do when using a money order is to write the recipient’s name.
Be sure you write the full spelling and add the right details.
For businesses, this means putting everything including “LLC” or “and partners.” For personal names, don’t forget to include “Jr.” or “Sr.”, if applicable.
2. Add Your Information as “Purchaser”
Next comes all of your personal details.
For most money orders, this means your name and address.
You can choose to make it more specific, though.
Fill in the “memo” section if there is space allotted for more details. Or, make your own “memo” off to the side somewhere.
This section serves to shed light on the purpose of the money order. It can be as simple as for a birthday or graduation, or as specific as a bill for a certain month and service.
Sure, a business is probably expecting your money. But, the memo still helps to make sure your funds are used for the right thing.
This is especially helpful if you have some sort of running or re-occurring bill outstanding.
3. Sign the Money Order
Once all the details are filled in, be sure to sign the front.
Again, the front — do not sign the endorsement line on the back.
It’s crucial you leave the endorsement blank because the recipient will need to sign here. This is how the other party gets access to what is now their funds.
Sign under your name on the front and you’re done.
4. Keep Your Receipt
There’s one more thing to consider when figuring out how to fill out a money order.
Don’t forget to get a receipt!
This proof of purchase isn’t just for your records. It can help you track the funds or cancel the transaction if necessary.
It’s also your way of showing you’ve done your end of the deal if something goes wrong.
Scams and Security
Are you hesitant to use money orders because of horror stories you might have heard?
Don’t worry — these are actually pretty safe to use. Plus, the best way to avoid a scam is to know the warning signs.
Now that you know how to use a money order, click here to see a few ways to tell if someone is trying to pull one over on your money!