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How to Write a Check, with an Example

by Pete Low

check example Writing a check may seem intimidating, since you need to fill out all the information right, or the check might not be good. But if you do it step-by-step, following this example, it's not that hard.

Write in ink, so nobody can erase and change it.

Before you start...

In the upper right hand corner of the check, you'll see a number, like 2400 on the example. That's the check number, and it's just for your own records, so if you need to contact your bank, you can say, "Stop payment on check number 2400" and they'll know which one you're talking about. The other little numbers at the top that I blanked out are a code which has your account number and your bank's number. In the upper left hand corner, your name and address are probably pre-printed, if you have custom checks. If they're not printed there, write your name and address there.

Step by Step

1) Fill in the date with the month, date and year.

2) Write the name of the person or business you want to pay, where it says "Pay to the order of."

If you're not sure, ask: "How do you want this check made out?" Or look on a printed bill to see if it says who to make the check out to. If you write "Cash" on this line, you're saying that anyone can cash the check, which kinda spoils the whole point of writing a check, because the nice thing about a check is that only the person you write it to can get the money from it. Some banks get suspicious of checks made out to "cash" and may hassle the person when they try to cash it anyway, so better to fill in a name. If you want to withdraw money from your own account, just write your own name on the line and take the check to the bank to be cashed.

3) In the box beside the dollar sign, write the amount. Most people write 123.45, with a period between the dollars and cents. Some people like me write 123 45/100, so the cents look like a fraction. Doesn't really matter. Write it clearly, though, and try not to leave room for somebody to add an extra number in front to turn $123.45 into $9,123.45.

4) On the next line, write out the amount again, only spell out the dollars. "One hundred twenty-three and 45/100." Fill up the whole area, or if you don't, draw a line to fill it in, so somebody can't add "Nine thousand and" in front of the amount. If this number doesn't match the other amount, the bank is supposed to use this amount instead.

5) Where it says "memo," you don't have to write anything, but you can if you want. It's just a note for yourself or the person getting the check, so you could write something that helps them, like the account number for a bill you're paying, or something for you, like a reminder what the check is for.

6) Sign the check on the line in the lower right, the way you normally write your name. Don't sign it until you're sure everything is correct, because your signature is what makes a check worth something.

The pre-printed number at the lower left is the bank's routing number. It's how other banks know where to send the check (or an electronic copy of the check) to get the money out of your account. The other pre-printed number is your account number, followed by the check number of this particular check.

If you make a mistake, you can cross out the wrong thing and write the correct thing beside it, then write our initials nearby to show you were the one who changed it. But unless it's something really minor, you're better off just starting over. Just write "VOID" across the whole check in big letters, tear it up too if you want, and start fresh on a new check.

More posts:

How to Get Approved for a Loan

Installment Loans, Even With Bad Credit

How to Get a Free TeleCheck Report

PaydaylonerWelcome to PaydayLoner's Money-Saving Article Collection

If you want to know more about saving money, earning money, credit, debt, and frugal living in general, I hope you'll find these articles interesting and helpful, though I can't guarantee their accuracy. Some were written by me, some by friends. My name's Pete Low, not that you care, and you're invited to visit my blog for more posts about credit, debt, etc. at

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