How To Make A Payment By Check In 6 Steps

Everyone who has ever watched a movie that had anything to do with payments and money will know about checks. However, these days doing payments via check has come out of fashion a bit, what with all the electronic alternatives to using checks out there. However, there are still some situations in which you may find yourself needing to use a check to make a payment. Unfortunately, since checks are by far not as big anymore as they used to be in the past, many people simply have no idea about how to fill a check anymore.

So, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to fill in a check but you are really unsure where to start and what exactly to do, then you are at the right place. Here, you will learn all about how to fill a check and about what is important to keep in mind when doing so. And no worries, as you will see, filling in a check really is extremely easy to do once you know how. Ready? Here is How To Make A Payment By Check In 6 Steps!

1. The current date. To immediately get to the meat of the issue: Payment by check requires you to fill in a couple of fields on the check itself. First, you need to put in what the current date is. The current date should be in the top right corner of the check. Today’s date is needed so that both you and the recipient know when the check was being made out, which then makes it a lot easier to do your bookkeeping correctly. There is a practice called “postdating”, where you put in a different date on the check that is not the date of today, but for all intends and purposes of this tutorial, just fill in today’s date – there is no way to go wrong with that.

2. The Payee. Next up, there is the Payee. You will see a line that is described by the words “Pay to the order of”. There, you put in whoever is supposed to receive your money. This could be a person; in which case you just write in the full name of the person that you want to send money to. It could also be an organization; in which case you probably need to put in the organization name. Now, this field is important because it will be used later to identify the recipient of the check. If you are not entirely sure about who will officially receive the check, simply ask the recipient “Who do I make the check out to”? They will know what you mean and tell you the exact thing to write in this field.

3. The amount. Third, there is the amount of your payment. There will be a field on the right-hand side of the check. There, enter the money you want to send in numbers. Here it is important that you use the field correctly. There is no need to put in a Dollar-Sign, as it is already pre-filled on the left of the field. Within the field, however, make sure that you start writing the amount as close to the left margin of the field as possible. This is important because if you leave space between the pre-printed Dollar-sign and the amount, then a fraudster could squeeze in another number to the left of the amount you filled in, this way increasing the money you need to pay considerably.

4. The amount again. As an additional safeguard against fraud, you also have to write the amount you want to send in words. Here, to make sure that nobody misinterprets the amount that this check is made out for (whether intentionally or accidentally), spell out the exact amount of money that you are planning to send with this check. This field is even more important than what you write in the field where you put in the amount of money in numeric form. This is because if there is a dispute or a difference between the two fields, the amount that you spell out here will be what counts legally. To improve security even more, use all-caps to make things as clear as possible. For example, if you want to send $10.50, write “TEN DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS” – hard to misinterpret that.

5. Your signature. To finalize your check, you still need to sign it. You will find the signature line on the bottom-right corner of the check. By signing the check, you are making it a valid document to be used by the recipient for getting their money. The bank is going to check your signature on the check against the one that they have on record from you in their files, so make sure that you sign in the same way that you do for the bank. Otherwise, the bank may reject the check and the person who was supposed to receive the money will not be pleased.

6. The memo line. Finally, there is the memo line. This step is not important for the legal component of the check, but you can write a note on the check for the recipient. Here, you can write what the check is for, or you can include information that will help the person getting the check process the payment. For example, if you are paying your taxes with the IRS, it can help to put your Social Security Number down on the memo line.

There you are, you wrote a check. Well done! Make sure to record the check for yourself and then you can send it off.