How To Write A Check (Complete Guide) Step By Step

Although digital media is around everywhere and also in every aspect of our lives even for moving our financial assets like money, the transactions are made through digital encrypted channels which make them more sophisticated and time-saving as well. But there are fellow users as well who prefer writing a hard paper check to move their financial from one place to the other. Writing a check is easy and consistent task, it takes a little practice to achieve the goals.

Even if you haven’t written a check in your life, still it is not that much difficult, with a little practice and clear-cut instructions you will be able to write as good as a nerdy banker or financial agent does. So, without further ado let us dive right in, but before we have that let’s clear a few terms

check writing

What is a check?

A check is a signed and verified document issued by a financial authority like a bank or any other financial firm. It is issued by a person who is called issuer while the other person who receives it is called the sender. Usually, a particular amount is filled out, which is considered for further processing and eventually transferred to the person who is being referred to as a receiver on the check

Types of checks

Bearer checks

A plain and simple check issued by the financial institution to their payees, these put in the check inside the bank and gets the payment.

Order check

Expressly allows the transfer of payment collection to a third party with their names written over the check

Crossed Check

This check can only be used to deposit money inside the bank, no one can claim payment from the bank followed by the crossed check.

Certified check

In this check, a bank clearly exhibits the possession of the assets of the issuer and giveaway payment when cashed in. After you have a clear insight into what a check is and what are its various types, let us move towards the important question How to write a check?

Writing a check (simple and easy)

1. Current Date

One of the most important aspects of writing a check is that you always use the current date and you will have to be sure about it. Date section is often displayed near the top right-hand corner of the check, but it can vary depending upon the nature and type of the bank you are taking services from. But you won’t have a really hard time searching for where to write the date.

What most important is that you write the current date, the day you issue the check to the receiver, it will help you set records straight with them. However, you can always postdate the check, meaning you can use a future date for the transactions to happen in future. Well, it always doesn’t work like you suppose it does, therefore it is encouraged to use the current data always when writing the checks.

Write A Current Date On Check

2. Payee

On the check, there is a line which says “Pay to the order of” this state to write the name of the person or organization you are going to issue this check. Write their name over it with bold and capital letters, and if you a are not so sure about the payee, you should first have a clear consent about them, complete information for writing the check.

Write Name of person on the check

3. The amount in the numeric form

Over your check, there should be a box which states “amount in numbers” that is where you have to put in the amount you want to use in your check. For example, it could be $19.75 or $9.35, in this instant write the 19 or 9 among the border representing tens or hundreds depending on your figure, this strategy is often helpful to prevent the frauds altogether.

4. How do you write a dollar amount in words?

Usually, right below the section where you write the amount in numeric form, there should be another one stating “Amount in words”. It should be a single sleek and long line upon which you would have to state the amount which you have written in numbers already, in simple and plain words. For example; if you have to write a check for $78, just write $78 in the numeric form and convert it into words like “Seventy-eight dollars”. This is how you write the dollars in simple words.   

If the amount mentioned in the number section is different from the amount mentioned in the words section then the one you have written in the word section will be legally processed and considered as the legitimate one as well. So, use capital letters, which are bold and bright and at the same time hard to alter. So, no one can change the amount as they please and it is actually a good tip when it comes to preventing frauds in the banking systems as well.

write a dollar amount in words on the check

5. Signature

After you have put in all the hard efforts and are now ready to finish this off, look for a sleek and horizontal line at the end of the check. Once you find it, draw your signatures there and be done with it. Remember for a check to get through the signature you placed over the check and the one’s bank holds in your document file seems to be similar if not exact.

Whenever a check comes into a bank, the first thing a cashier will look into is your signatures, that is why in order for your payments to come through, use the most exact form of your signature over to the check


6. Memo or “For” line

If you would like you can add a note in the last of the check as a memo, however, it won’t affect how banks process your requests concerning the check. You can add all kinds of information as it is only a memo, you can write about yourself, your firm/organization or any similar things.

Write a Memo or “For” line

However, you can also write your license/account number as well as the social security number when concerning with the IRS or similar.

Tips for check writing  ( Prevent Check Fraud )

After you have written a check and added the payment as it was intended to be for the particular person or organization. The word doesn’t stop there, as soon as a check leaves your hands the risks for fraud or thieves altering the information and use it for their own benefits increases. The alter or lost checks create the most problems in such cases, that is why work a little more to make your check resistant to the intentions of such fraud people and not to cause any problems for you in future.

Here are various tips for writing a check which you should keep in your mind;

1. State everything permanently

Always use a pen or ball-pen to write the check, if you use a pencil or other temporary stationery then chances are fraudsters or thieves can alter the amount you filled in or the name of the payee, that’s when your check along with the money falls in the wrong hands. To avoid this make it permanent use permanent stationery while writing a check.

2. No blank spaces

Never intend to sign a check until you have filled all the important blanks, there shouldn’t be any spaces left. If you don’t know the person you are going to issue the payment or the exact amount you have to pay, leave it for the time being and bring a pen along with you. Don’t give away your signed check and give others uninterrupted access to your account.

3. Write letters clear and spread out

When writing a definite amount like $45.90 then, you should not spread out these letters to leave spaces in between. What you should do is to write clear and use bold letters to fill up space, this way there won’t be enough space to be used by the scammers, and your check won’t get changed. Otherwise, people can easily alter the amount they intend to cash and deprive you of your hard-earned money.

4. Keep carbon records

Whether like most of the financial people you need to keep the record of every check that you write then you should consider keeping checkbook with a thin sheet of carbon papers attached to it. In this way whenever you write a check, you’ll have an exact record of your money flowing out and won’t have to scratch your head as to where your money went

5. Consistent Signature

There are some people who don’t take their signatures seriously, either they are signing their checks with unoriginal signs or certain images over it. Therefore, it is encouraged to use consistent signatures throughout your submission of the checks, it is a healthy practice in the financial industry which helps your bank identify that the checks are coming from you and catch fraud in the very beginning stages. Otherwise, anyone can show up in bank pretending to be holding a check with lousy signatures over it and cash it without any hassle. Therefore, make your signatures more consistent over the checks you write.

How to write a check

FAQ On Cheque Wrting

1. How do you write out a check with cents?

Suppose there come up a strange scenario where you have to write the amount using cents as well, and you have to write let’s say $15.70 in the check. Writing a check with cents is actually easy and interesting at the same time, not at all difficult and bizarre it may sound. Let’s begin;

• Start with entering the amount first in the numeric form, there should be a $ sign with a small sequence of boxes next to it. Start writing the amount as “15” right next to the $ sign, leave the hundreds and thousands place if the boxes also extend for them and write zero/zero there.

• Now you would have reached the decimal point the small “.” Present in between the boxes, leave it right there and move onto the very next boxes and place “70” in them. The overall effort should look like this; $15.70. After $ sign there comes fifteen and right next to the decimal are the seventy in cents.

• Then, after writing everything in the number form, you’ll have to write the amount in words as well. To accomplish this, there are actually 2 methods right there;

I. Write out the dollar amount.

II. Write the word “and”

III. Write the number of cents in your amount

This should do it, writing “Fifteen dollars and fifteen cents”. But it is the fraction writing where things get a little interesting. To get this done and write cents in the form of a fraction, just put a slash (/) after the 15 and write 100 which is the fraction of the whole dollar itself. Then, the end result would be “Fifteen dollars and 70/100”. This is how you write a check with cents included in the amount.

2. Writing a check with zero cents

Although the instructions for writing a check with cents are clear enough in the above passage, still many of you might wonder what if there are no cents involved? How to write a check with zero cents? Well, we have got that covered as well. It is as simple as it gets, if your check has no cents to include like a plain amount of $45 with no cents then, you can simply skip the cents both in numerals and in writing altogether. Don’t mention instead go for, $45 or Forty-Five Dollars.

Another strategy might be to add double zeros right after the dollar amount like; $45.00, and it would still be forty-five dollars in writing. Writing or mentioning double zeros after the actual dollar amount makes it more strategic and convenient for the cashier, as no cents are involved, and evaluation becomes easy as well.

3. How do you write a check for $150?

Actually, writing a check for any amount, in particular, is no big deal and the same goes for how to write a check for over a thousand dollars? Let us use an example as a demonstration; you have to write a check for $1750 how you do it? Well, it is simple, where you have to enter the amount just add $1750, and in words, section write as; One thousand and fifty dollars, as no cents are concerned, therefore, no fractions are used here. It is as simple as it gets.

Eventually, if you have to write a check for $150, simply add the $150 amount in its place and in words section write; “One hundred and fifty dollars”. It will get you through, remember the hard instructions only kick in where cents are involved to tackle them and put aside. Where simple equations of money are involved it gets a whole lot simpler, just add in the amount you have to include in the check and convert it into the words form as well.

4. What is a Void Check?

A Void check is a type of financial document which has the word “VOID” written over it, it means that the check can’t be accepted for payment. It may or may not have some already filled out information in it, like the name of payee or the person for which it was originally created for.

But the word VOID makes it impossible for the banks or financial institutes to process it for the payment. Also, there is an exceptional phenomenon attached to it, voiding a check also means that the check can’t be used as a blank check, so, the issuer has to fill in the amount otherwise it can’t be used as a blank check at all. This is all about “What us a Void Check?”

5. How to write a Void check?

How to write a Void check? well, this is something people staggers to find about, but at the core, it is a really simple and straightforward process. All you have to do is write the word “VOID” in capital over the check, and it shall be considered as VOIDED. Although, you would have to write the word VOID over following several spaces;

• On Payee line

• Where the Payment amount box is

• As well as over the signature line

After you do that the check will be officially stated as VOID and shall be processed like one, therefore, it is encouraged to make a copy of the check in your check register or anywhere offline as well.  Using the Online banking select the Void option or check number to mark a check or transaction as void. Although, if you have already issued a check to a person and want to turn it as VOID, the only way to do that is contact your financial institution and request them not to issue the payment against the check number which you have issued.

That is why it is encouraged to keep a record of all the checks you issue

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