6 Tips on How to Write a Check Safely
Considering how advanced technology is in today’s world, you might think that writing a check is a thing of the past. From online banking to direct debits to payment apps, it seems a check has no way of existing in between. Apparently, it is still as significant as it was before. For instance, you lose electronic access to your online checking account, you might need to write a check in order to complete a purchase. The same thing can be said when making rent or settling IRS payment, as these two require you to write and submit one. And if you do not know how to write a check correctly, you would be in a great mess.
If you are not careful when it comes writing a check, anyone can easily use it in your behalf. And that is not something you want to happen. Unfortunately, people nowadays tend to be very casual when it comes to writing checks. The finesse is long gone, but there is a way for you to bring it back. Below are tips that will help you write checks without committing any mistake.
#1. Try Not to Leave Spaces Between Numbers or Words
This one here is no-brainer. When writing numbers or words in checks – be it a name or amount – it is always ideal to never ever leave a space or gap between them. Why? That is because it gives someone the motivation to add a letter or two and change the entire check. Imagine issuing a check with the name Mike Smith and putting sufficient space between the first name and the last name (i.e. Mike__Smith). As you can see, one can easily add another letter after the first name. It could be an additional “L,” so it would appear as Mikel Smith. One mistake and it already changes everything. As much as possible, try to leave a single space between the first and the last name, making it difficult for someone to add a letter or two.
#2. How to Write a Check With the Name and Amount in the End
This is the part where most individuals love to add a running line (i.e. ———). It is something they do after the name and the amount, which can be seen in the end of a check. Actually, this is a good practice, as it ensures no one can just add anything after the name and amount. This prevents misuse just in case you lose the check or something.
#3. Make Sure to Cross the Check With “A/C Payee”
Usually, when you are about to pay someone, you might want to force the payment to go directly to that person’s bank account. Meaning, it would be deposited to the bank account that bears the name of the person. If this is the case, it is ideal to put a double cross line on the left-top corner. From there, start writing “A/C Payee” or also known as “Account Payee.” This guarantees that the money you send will get credited only to the person’s bank account, preventing the possibility of it being handed to someone as cash over the counter. Mind you, this is the best ways on how to write a check correctly.
#4. Write the Amount of Words Clearly
Not everyone in this world has a good handwriting, but it does not mean you cannot be better at it. Or, at least, you cannot write readable words in a check. It is really important that you write the amount in words and the cents in numbers, but you have to make sure that they are readable. For the cents, you could write the amount with a slash and then followed by one hundred. This simply confirms that the portion of a full dollar is included in the amount you are paying.
Keep in mind that this is the official amount so it’s important to know how to write a check. If it appears to be different, the amount you wrote in words will automatically become the legal amount in your check. So, be patient in writing and take your time. Do not rush it.
#5. Remove the Word “Bearer”
If you take a closer look and learn how to write a check, particularly in the “Pay” section, you should see a space for the name. On the right corner, there is the “Or Bearer.” The latter means that either the person whose name is written in the check or anyone who bears it can move forward with the encashment (provided, of course, that the “A/C Payee” is there). This is why you need to remove or cancel the word “Bearer,” unless you require it, as this ensures additional safety.
#6. The Signature
You might think it is non-important but there are individuals who actually forget to sign checks. And this is the most crucial element, as this guarantees that the check will be processed. It is as simple as signing the check on the line that is found in the bottom right corner. Apart from using your legal name, your signature must be the same as the one that the bank has on file for you.