1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

How to Endorse Checks

When and How to Endorse Checks Safely

By

Endorse a check on the blackboard
Jeffrey Coolidge / The Image Bank / Getty Images

You've got a check to deposit. Do you need to endorse checks before they go to the bank? Learn how to endorse checks - if you even need to - and how to minimize risks.

When you endorse a check, you authorize the bank to do something with it. In most cases, you just want to deposit or cash the check. However, some situations are different. The methods below show how to endorse checks depending on what you need.

Simply signing: the easiest approach is a simple signature. Sign your name in the endorsement area and be done with it. While easy, this method can be risky if the check falls into the wrong hands. Learn more about signing to endorse.

No endorsement: you don't necessarily have to endorse checks. If your bank allows it, you can try depositing the check, which keeps the check writer from seeing what your signature looks like. Learn more about this approach.

Get it into your account: to ensure that the money gets into your account, it's a good idea to include your account number with your endorsement. Learn more about making that happen.

Sign it over to somebody else: you can try to sign a check over to somebody else (so you can pay that person with the check you received), but it's not the ideal approach. Find out how it works.

Checks payable to multiple parties: if a check is payable to you and somebody else, how should you endorse it? Does everybody need to sign? It depends how the check is written. See the details here.

No matter what method you use to endorse checks, wait as long as you can before signing a check. If you endorse checks and then they get lost, it's easier for somebody to try to steal your money.

Now that you know how to endorse checks, figure out the best way to deposit them. With fancy new gadgets, you can often skip the teller line (and even the paper check itself):

  1. About.com
  2. Money
  3. Banking / Loans
  4. Checking Accounts
  5. How to Endorse Checks

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.