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One Thing You Should (Almost) Never Write on a...
Paying to cash is a way to write a check without including the recipient's name. Learn how it works and what the risks are.
Loan Amortization Calculator - A Free Online...
Loan Amortization Calculator A Loan Amortization Calculator For Any Purpose The loan amortization calculator
How and Where Do You Cash a Money Order, Anyway?
Received a payment? You can cash money orders or deposit them just like checks. Learn how and where to do it.
How to Write a Check - Step by Step with Pictures
Get tips (and examples) for writing a check. Checks are still an important form of payment, and you need to know how to fill one out.
Not Balancing Your Checking Account? It Could...
It is important to balance checking accounts regularly. You'll reduce the chance of bouncing checks, you'll pay less in fees, and you'll know if somebody is stealing your identity. How do you balance checking accounts? See our simple step-by-step process on balancing the books.
Easy Ways to Track your Bank Balance
It's easy to check on your bank accounts online, and you can often do much more than just view balances.
Do You Know the Difference Between a Money...
Question: What's the difference between a money order and a cashier's check? Learn how these payment choices compare.
The Best Ways to Transfer Money Between Bank...
Need to transfer money from one bank to another? There are a few electronic options, or you can use good old-fashioned paper.
Need a Money Order? Here's Where to Go
See where to get money orders, including post offices, retail stores, and financial institutions.
What are all those numbers on a check?
Learn all of the parts on a check, and what they're used for. Find out what those numbers on your check mean, and how best to fill in a blank check.
What's the APR on a loan and how do you...
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) helps you compare loans and understand costs. It won't give you a perfect answer, but it's as close as you can get to an apples-to-apples comparison among lenders. Find out how APR works and how it's calculated.
Understanding the Numbers on Your Check
This picture shows where the account number is located on a check. Tips for linking your bank account.
Need a Voided Check? See how to Get One
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Everything You Need to Know about Cashier's...
See how to use cashier's checks, how much they cost, and what the risks are.
How (and Why) to Provide a Voided Check
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >A voided check
Why use a wire transfer to send money?
When you need to send money fast, a bank wire transfer is a good choice. Find out how they work.
5: Sign and Write a Memo
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 5.
4: Writing Out the Amount
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 4.
Can you Write a Check to Yourself? Sure, but...
Can you write a check to yourself? You bet. See how to do it, and see other ways to move money and get cash in your hands (you might not need to write a check).
1: Date and Payee
A tutorial showing how to write a check. See each step, find out how to keep your account safe while you use checks, and look at alternatives to writing checks.
What You Need to Know Before Getting a Home...
Home equity loans let you borrow against your home's value. They can be used for any purpose, they come with relatively low interest rates, and they may offer tax benefits. Learn more about how home equity loans work.
Bank Fees you Need to Stop Paying
Bank fees eliminate your interest earnings and can drain your account. Find out how to avoid the worst of them.
APR Calculator - A Free Online Tool to Evaluate...
This APR calculator helps you figure out the annual percentage rate (APR) on a mortgage (or other type
What's the Deal With First-Time Home Buyer Loans?
For your first home purchase, you might benefit from a first time home buyer loan. But there are always strings attached. Learn how these programs work and whether or not they make sense for you.
There's More Than One Way to Endorse a Check
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.
ABA Numbers: What They Are, How They Work, and...
Learn about the American Bankers Association (ABA) number, which makes it possible to transfer funds from bank to bank.
Learn the Basics of FHA Loans
FHA loans are appealing for several reasons, but they're not perfect. These loans allow you to buy with a small down payment, and they're easier to qualify for. Find out how they work.
How do you Send or Receive Money with a Wire...
Wire transfers are the fastest way to send 'cleared' funds. See how to send or receive money
How Fast Is Money Deducted After Writing a Check?
Does the money need to be in your account after you write a check? It's a really good idea to have it there. The check may be deposited faster than you think.
Review: Wells Fargo Online and Mobile Banking
A review of online banking at Wells Fargo, including your options for managing accounts (apps, website, and more).
Calculating Interest: How Much Will That Loan...
See how to calculate loan interest costs, with details on installment loans (like home and auto loans) as well as credit card debt.
2: The Amount of Your Check
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 2.
What Is a Bank Draft?
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What You Need to Print Your Own Checks
Printing your own checks helps you pay quickly and track expenses. The easiest way to do it is to order partially printed checks, but you can create checks from scratch if you want.
Learn How Money Orders Work
When it's not safe (or possible) to pay by check or cash, money orders come in handy. Learn about the pros and cons.
How to Spot Cashier's Check Fraud
Cashier's check fraud is one of the most popular crimes in the internet age. Once thought to be safe, these checks now require extra attention. Learn the red flags.
Can You Really Sign a Check Over to Somebody...
Sign a check over to somebody else if you want to pay them or have them cash a check. But make sure the bank will allow it (and avoid other problems)
Get Up to Speed on the Most Common Types of Banks
Different types of banks do different things. While some work in multiple areas, some specialize (retail, commercial, or investment, for example).
What Do You Do about a Lost or Stolen Cashier's...
What do you do about a lost or stolen cashier's check? How about a check that you decided not to use? Find out the steps required to get your money back. You can't just stop payment unfortunately.
What's So Special About a Notarized Document?
When a document is notarized, it has been signed in front of somebody who verified that the signature is valid, and presumably the signer truly intended to sign (and understood the significance of that signature). Learn more about notarized documents and where to get them.
Can I Use a Debit Card Online? Yes, but Maybe...
You can use a debit card online, but there are reasons you might not want to. Find out about your choices and how to limit your risk.
How to Make ATM Deposits
ATM deposits can make your life easier. Find out how to make a deposit, what you'll need, and what the potential problems are.
Can a debit card be used to fund PayPal...
Learn about using a debit card for PayPal transactions. What are the requirements, and how do you do it?
How can you tell if a check is going to bounce?
Can you verify funds on a check somebody writes you? It may be helpful to know if the check will bounce ahead of time. You can avoid bank fees if you verify funds, and you can start taking steps to collect a valid payment from the person.
6: Extra Caution
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 6.
What You Need to Know About Using Collateral
Collateral loans help you borrow (often at better rates), but you have to pledge assets that can be sold if you fail to repay.
Pros and Cons of Rent to Own: Is it a Good Deal?
Rent to own transactions allow a buyer and seller to do a deal at some point in the future. Find out how they work and what to watch out for.
How to Close Your Bank Account in Writing
Use this letter to have your bank account officially closed.
How Safe Is It to Use Paypal?
Is it safe to make purchases and sell goods through PayPal? The technology is good, but you should be aware of a few risks.
How Much Does a Money Order Cost, Anyway?
Money order costs vary by location, but many places sell them for around a dollar. See a list of selected locations and pricing.
7: Record in Your Check Register
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 7.
Calculate loan payments to see how loans work
Learn how to make loan payment calculations for different loans, or use a calculator to get the answer more easily.
Send money online, whether you're paying your...
Find out how to send money online, whether you're paying your next-door-neighbor or sending funds overseas.
Don't Be a Hero: How to Survive a Bank Robbery
Bank robbery is too common in the US. If you’re ever in the bank when there is a bank robbery, you need to know how to handle yourself. A few simple tips will help you survive the incident and perhaps catch the robber.
How to Open a Bank Account Online - No Forms...
Most banks let you open an account online. Here's what you need to know - what you'll need, and what to watch out for.
How to Fill Out Your First Money Order
See how to fill out a money order. Start by writing the name of the person or business you want to pay.
How do you Write Dollars and Cents on a Check?
See how to write a check, including how to write the number of cents correctly.
Learn How Loans Work Before You Borrow
When you borrow money, it’s important to know how loans work. With more information, you can save money and make better decisions about debt - including when to avoid it. Learn how loans work before you start borrowing.
3: The Amount of Your Check
When you first get your checkbook, you may not know how to write a check. It's really easy once you get the hang of it. This visual example shows how to write a check with pictures and descriptions of each step. In addition, you learn how to write a check in a way that reduces the chance of a scammer altering the check. Page 3.
Why Your Bank Balance Doesn't Tell the Whole...
Your available balance is what your bank will let you spend, but it might be less than you expected.
How and Where to Cash a Check
Instructions for cashing a check: where to go, what to watch out for, and alternatives to getting cash right away.
How to Get a Credit Union Loan
Credit union loans are among the most competitive loans available. How can you get one? You just need to join a credit union (if you're not already a member) and apply.
How CDs Help you Earn More
Certificates of Deposit (CD’s) are one of the safest investment vehicles out there. Learn how they work, how to get the best CD rates, and what pitfalls to watch out for. Page 2 -
Second mortgages provide access to lots of...
A second mortgage provides access to large amounts of money at relatively low rates. Read about the pros and cons of using a second mortgage.
Who Signs a Check Made Payable to Multiple...
Some checks are made payable to multiple people. For example, a check may be written to a husband and wife. The right way to endorse these checks depends on how they're written.
5 Ways to Get a Loan With Bad Credit
It's hard to get a loan with bad credit, but you've got options, and more are coming online every day. See what to do and what to avoid.
Opening a Bank Account for the First Time?...
Need to open a bank account? This checklist guides you through the process. Learn which accounts are available and how to get it done.
What can APR tell you about a loan?
Learn what APR means when you borrow money. Compare the cost of loans with the Annual Percentage Rate (APR).
Bank or Credit Union: Which One Is Right for You?
Need a new account, and you're not sure where to go? Both banks and credit unions can probably help you, but there are minor differences.
Your Choices for Emergency Cash Loans
Emergency cash can come from a variety of places. Ideally you'd borrow from yourself (your emergency fund), but if you need to get a loan, you've got a few choices.
Need to Mail a Check? Here's how to do it Safely
It's generally safe to send a check using regular mail. Want to make it even safer? Take a few easy steps to protect your money.
How Do You Sell a Car You Still Owe Money On?
Is it possible to sell a car with a loan outstanding? Yes, but it's tricky. Find out what your options are when getting rid of a financed auto.
How do you spell electronic payment? A-C-H
ACH payments can help reduce errors, speed things up, and save resources. Learn more about the benefits and costs.
How to Make Sure a Check Won't Bounce
Is there any way to check out a check (or checkwriter) to find out if it'll bounce? Yes, you can try to verify funds or check databases of bad accounts.
How Simple Interest Works with Your Money
Learn how simple interest works and how to calculate it - with and without the help of calculators.
Tools to help you check your account for bank...
Find out how to balance your bank account, and get forms and templates to make the job easier.
A Quick Guide to Understanding Letters of Credit
A letter of credit is a bank document promising payment (if certain conditions are met). LOCs are common for import/export and domestic transactions
What Happens Check Amounts Don't Match?
The amount of a check should be written two ways to avoid confusion. First, the amount is entered using numerical digits. Next, the amount is written out using words. What happens when these amounts don't match? You've got a problem.
How to Use the Excel Loan Calculator
Running numbers is easy with an Excel loan calculator. Microsoft Excel includes built-in tools and formulas so you can get information quickly. See all the details about your loan and figure out how to repay it early.
What's the Best Way to Get Cash Into the Bank?
Got cash? Learn how to deposit it into your bank account (with a few extra tips).
Know the Pros and Cons of a Private Mortgage
Private mortgages are loans between individuals or companies (instead of using banks). Find out how they work and what can go wrong.
What You Need to Know About the FHA 203k Loan
An FHA 203k loan allows you to borrow enough to finance a home and make improvements. What's the drawback? FHA 203k loans bring additional costs and requirements.
Know What You Owe: How to Calculate Loan...
When getting a loan, it helps to calculate loan payments and costs. Use that information to compare loans and determine which one fits your needs. You can calculate loans yourself using formulas, or use an online calculator. Learn your options and how to calculate loan specifics.
How to Get the Best APY
Annual percentage yield (APY) tells you how much you're earning at the bank - or how much it costs you to borrow. Learn how it works, how to calculate it, and how APY is different from APR.
3 Reasons NOT to Use Online Bank Accounts
Online bank accounts are great. They typically offer high rates for web-savvy saver. However, the high returns come at a cost. Here are a few reasons NOT to use online bank accounts.
The Cost of Choosing Debit vs. Credit at Checkout
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Everything you Need to Know About the Back of a...
What happens on the back of a check? Find out what each section is used for, and who needs to sign where.
Pros and Cons of Paying with a Money Order
Money orders are useful, but there are some drawbacks to using them. Find out how they compare to checks and other instruments.
Can you spot a money order scam?
Money order scams are common when selling items online. Before handing over merchandise, be sure you're dealing with a legitimate buyer. Be especially careful if you're asked to send money after receiving a money order.
What Bank CDs Have the Best Interest Rates?
A quick sampling of competitive CD interest rates. This is a short list of ideas that can help you earn a decent return on your cash.
What to do with Returned Checks and How to...
A returned check is a check that the bank does not honor. Find out what to do with these checks and how to prevent them.
Beginner's Guide to Online Banking
There are 2 easy ways to get into online banking, and you can do a lot once you're up and running. See how to use your account.
The Hidden Cost of Using a Debit Card
POS Fees are point-of-sale fees. Banks charge POS fees when…
How (and Why) to Build Home Equity
Home equity is your share of your home's value. It is what you truly own after accounting for any loans against the house.
Whether earning or paying, what is interest?
What is interest? It's the cost of using somebody else’s money. When you borrow money, you pay interest. When you lend money, you earn interest. Learn more about what interest is and how it works.
So, What is a Mortgage Anyway?
A mortgage is an agreement: you'll give up an asset in return for something else. There are several different types - see how they compare.
How and Where Do You Deposit Checks, Anyway?
So you need to deposit a check. It may be the first time, or it may have been so long that you forgot how to deposit checks. Make sure you know your options, including where to go, where not to go, and how technology makes it easier to deposit checks.
The Beginner's Guide to Getting a Loan
Learn what it takes to get a loan: the borrowing process from start to finish.
How Much Interest Are You Paying Each Month?
Question: I’m figuring out my budget, and need to calculate monthly interest. I want to know how much I lose every month in interest. Answer: Interest rates are often quoted as annual rates. In addition, your loan balance may change every month. As a result, you really need to calculate monthly interest charges to accurately understand where your money goes.
What is an Interest Rate on a Loan or Savings...
An interest rate is a number that tells you how much it costs to borrow money. Lenders usually want to earn something in return for handing over cash, so they name their price with an interest rate. Learn what the interest rate at your bank means for your finances.
How do you Pay for "No Closing Cost" Loans?
You may see loans advertised as 'no closing cost loans'. While it may be a good deal, there is always a tradeoff (and you're always paying for the loan - one way or another). Find out how to make these loans work and when to avoid them.
How to Make Payments with a Money Order
Not sure how to pay for something with a money order? See an overview of the entire process.
How a Line of Credit Differs from a Loan
A credit line is an available amount of money that you can borrow. What is a credit line used for? Just about anything. You can get a credit line for personal or business spending. Find out what a credit line is and how they’re used.
Compound Interest Calculator
Compound Interest Calculator Calculate Interest Earnings This compound interest calculator tells you
The 4 Biggest Banks in America
Learn more about the Big 4 banks. Which banks make up the Big 4 in the US?
Deciphering Bank Routing Numbers
What is a bank routing number? Bank routing numbers can be found on the bottom of checks and deposit slips. In the lower left side or center of a check, there are 9 digits printed in magnetic ink.
4 Types of Unsecured Loans and How to Use Them
Unsecured personal loans can be used for almost anything. Learn what the options are and find out how to get one of these loans.
What Every Student Should Know About Paying for...
See how to use student loans to pay for college or graduate school. Learn about the loans available and the process of borrowing.
What (or Who) Caused the Mortgage Crisis?
In 2007, the US economy entered a mortgage crisis that caused panic and triggered other financial problems. The mortgage crisis was a result of too much borrowing and flawed financial modeling, largely based on the assumption that home prices only go up. Greed and fraud also played important parts. Let’s review how the mortgage crisis unfolded.
Why do Interest Rates Differ From Bank to Bank?
Bank interest rates are different depending on where you bank and when. Learn what drives rates so you can get the best rates available for your money.
2 Easy Ways to Pay Your Bills Online
Online bill pay can help you manage your bills without having to worry about paper bills and checks. This FAQ covers the various types of online bill pay and how you can set up online bill pay quickly and easily.
Things to Know About Your "Free" Checking Account
Free checking still exists, and there are two ways to get it. Find out what to expect.
Capital One 360: A Solid Online Banking Option
Capital One 360 is a solid online bank that builds on the strengths of ING Direct. Learn about the accounts and services offered at Capital One 360.
Beginner's Guide to Amortization
Amortization is the elimination of a debt over time. With an amortization schedule, you can see how payments are applied to principal and interest. This page explains amortization, and then you can generate an amortization schedule with our free online calculator.
What's the Difference Between Rent to Own and...
When looking for home financing, buyers often confuse rent-to-own programs with seller financing. Find out how they differ and why it's important.
Help! There's a Hold on My Checking Account
Does your bank place a hold on your funds? It’s important to know how a hold works, what can cause it, and what your bank’s rules are. Most importantly, you need to know how to keep your bank from freezing your entire account.
How to Fill Out a Deposit Slip
When you add money to your bank account you have to fill out a deposit slip. This tells the bank what to do with the funds, and helps create a paper trail for the transaction. Learn how to fill out a deposit slip so you can sail through the teller line and get everything done correctly.
How to Borrow Money Without a Cosigner
When you need money and you can’t get anybody to vouch for you, you’ll have to get a loan without a cosigner. This means you’re the only one responsible for the loan, and you have to convince the bank you’re good for the money. Figure out what lenders want so you can get loans without cosigners.
Why Check Registers Still Matter in a Digital...
Check registers help you keep track of your bank account, recording deposits and withdrawals. Find out how they work & how to use them.
Get to Know your Debit or Credit Card from...
The front of your card shows the card number, your name, expiration date, and more. See what goes where and how it's used.
A Line of Credit - Different from a Standard Loan
A line of credit is a pool of available money that you can borrow from. Find out how they work and how they differ from other loans.
What causes a bank's CD rates to go up or down?
Why do bank CD rates go up or down, and why do some banks offer more than others? Find out what drives rates and how to get the best rates.
How Much of Your Home Do You Really Own?
The loan to value ratio (LTV) tells you how much of a property is being financed...
What Happens When You Write a Check?
When banks clear checks, the money is taken from a checking account and sent to the check recipient's account. However, there is a lot of confusion about how quickly banks clear checks and your risks when you deposit a check.
How do you get paid when somebody fails to...
Learn how a standby letter of credit offers protection. Get paid when something fails to happen.
Sick of Paying to use an ATM? Here's how to...
Find out how to avoid ATM charges and get cash for free.
Joining a Credit Union Is Easier Than You Think
Opening an account at a credit union is fairly easy. This page covers the three basic steps required to open a credit union account.
Tips for Getting Your Name Off the Mortgage
It's not easy to remove somebody from a mortgage. Lenders don't want to let anybody off the hook, so success is rare. Find out why, and what you can do when getting a name off the mortgage won't work.
What steps should you take to borrow money?
Borrowing money can help you do things, but it can also be complicated. If you need money, find out how to get loans and how they work. Learn the process so you know what to expect and what you can do ahead of time.
How (and Why) to Use Direct Deposit
Direct deposit is a great way to move money electronically. You don't have to mail or sign any checks over to the bank, and your money tends to move more quickly when you use direct deposit. Read on for more information about direct deposit and setting up direct deposit for your accounts.
Found the Letters 'MP' on a Check? This Is What...
Personal and business checks come with a variety of security features. The letters “MP” next to the signature line tell you that you are likely to find tiny words printed in a few places on the face of a check. MP stands for microprint, and it helps you identify fake checks.
6 Keys to Getting a Great Auto Loan
Get yourself and your finances prepared - long before you make an offer.
Car Title Loans: What you Get, What you Pay
Car title loans are short term loans against your automobile: you pledge your auto as collateral in order to get cash. For people with no other options, car title loans can be a reasonable choice. However, they're very expensive and very risky.
Can I Verify Funds on a Money Order?
Question: I sold something and was paid with a money order. I don’t know whether or not the money order is good. Is there any way to find out if the money order is legitimate?
How to Calculate Interest You Earn
See how to calculate interest earned in a savings account, including tips for compound interest. Formulas for working by hand or spreadsheet.
The Fastest Type of Letter of Credit: LC at Sight
When getting paid with a letter of credit (LC), an LC at sight is generally the fastest method.
Bad Credit? Options for Getting an Unsecured Loan
While difficult, it is possible to get an unsecured loan even if you have bad credit. Learn what your options are and how attractive each one is.
How Investing in CDs Affects Your Taxes
Certificates of deposit (CDs) are among the safest investments available. What about the interest you earn - is there a CD tax? When do you have to pay tax on CD income, and how can you avoid it? If your CD is not in any type of tax-favored account, you generally have to pay.
How to Break Up With Your Bank
It may be time to switch banks for any number of reasons. Where to you start? Use this process to change from one bank to another without missing anything.
How to Buy US Savings Bonds
Learn how to buy US Savings Bonds. After 2012, the Treasury stopped offering Savings Bonds in paper form, but you can still purchase bonds and give them as gifts. See how it works. Page 3.
3 Banks Where Your Money Earns More
The Savings Account Interest Rate Scorecard highlights a few of the best accounts available online. If you're looking for a quick answer on where to earn a decent rate, this is the place.
What Banks Really Mean by "Free" Checking
Learn more about free checking account options at Chase Bank and US Bank. Information on free checking accounts and bank fees.
Pros and Cons of Using an FHA 203k Loan
The FHA 203k loan allows you to borrow money for home improvement and home ownership in one loan. The loan is guaranteed by the FHA, which helps keep your interest rate low. Learn about the pros and cons of 203k loans and see if they're right for you.
The One Kind of Loan You Should Never Try
Payday loans are short-term loans that are easy to get, but they are often expensive. Find out what to expect and see alternatives.
Link your bank accounts so you can move money...
Learn how to link your bank account to another account. Make it easy to move money.
Your Debit Card also Works at the ATM
Yes, you can use a debit card at an ATM. Withdraw cash, deposit checks, and do even more. Find out how it works.
Why It's So Hard to Get a Small Business Loan
Start up business loans are difficult to come by. If you’re not having luck with other sources, let’s dig in and start the process of winning a start up business loan.

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