Checks may seem old-fashioned, but it’s still really important to know how to write a check and understand the information on checks.
Section One: How to Write and Read a Check
As a landlord who regularly has tenants in their 20s, I’ve had to teach many people how to write checks. The video above demonstrates where to write the information on the check and what the numbers printed on the check mean.
Please note, if you write the wrong information on the check, you should X out your signature, write VOID on the check and start a new check.
More information on checking accounts can be found here.
More information on debit cards, which are generally linked to checking accounts, can be found here.
Section Two: Check Cashing Services
Check cashing is a form of alternative financial service that traditional banks don’t provide, along with things like payday loans and money orders.
People can bring checks to the check casher to receive cash instantly without a credit check, though they generally require photo ID.
Check cashing services can charge high fees, often ranging from 1-12% of the amount of the check. That can be costly. If there’s a 5% fee, you pay $25 on a $500 check – and only get $475.
The fees vary, based on location of store, type of check, and other factors.
Cities and states have different regulations on what they are allowed to charge, plus there is competition between stores.
Additionally, the type of check that is used can affect the fee. Check cashers will take lots of different types of checks, such as paychecks, government-issued checks and money orders. Paychecks and government-issued checks usually have lower fees than personal checks.
Lastly, there can be secondary charges like membership fees.
Check cashing stores are sometimes seen as predatory because of their high fees and the lack of other easy options their customers often have.
If possible, avoid check cashing fees by having a bank account at a conveniently located bank. Most do not charge their customers for this service.]
Have questions or comments about the video? Please let us know.
Controlling your finances isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about creating good habits to set you on a path to a stable future.
We’re here to help, not with services or offers, but with information about how the financial system works. Check out all of our videos below or get started with these suggestions.