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How to Write a Check - Step by Step with Pictures

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Need a refresher on how to write a check (or instructions for your first time)? Let's go through each step in the process and you'll have it down in no time. We'll also cover important tips to help you write a scam-proof check so you can keep your bank account safe.

Before you sit down to write a check, consider whether or not you really need to do so. Checks are a fine way to pay, but there are alternatives that might be faster, more convenient, and cheaper. For example, you can:

  • Pay bills online (and even tell your bank to send a check automatically each month). You won't need to write the check, pay for postage, or get the check in the mail
  • Get a debit card and pay with that instead. You'll pay out of the same account, but you'll do it electronically. No need to use up checks (which you'll have to re-order), and you'll have an electronic record of your transaction.
  • Set up electronic payments for regular payments like utility bills and insurance premiums. There's generally no charge, and it makes your life easy. Just be sure that you've always got enough cash in your account to cover the bill.
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Start by writing in the date and payee.1: Date and Payee2: The Amount of Your CheckHere's an example of what can happen if you're not careful when writing a check.3: The Amount of Your CheckIn this step, you write out the amount of your payment using words instead of numerals.4: Writing Out the Amount
At this point you sign your check, and you can write a memo if you like.5: Sign and Write a MemoTo be extra careful, you can also draw a line through any excess space in the small box.6: Extra CautionCopy Information from a Check to Your Check Register7: Record in Your Check Register
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