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Understanding the Basics: How to Write a Check Explained by Financial Experts

Michael C. Laing, Senior Vice President and Area Manager – South Region, Univest Bank and Trust Co., is a teacher of the financial literacy class. Before he teaches anyone the steps to make a cheque, he usually will describe what a check is today.

Financial experts share the basics of check writing with our guide to mastering its fundamentals, such as check mailing. While writing a check may seem straightforward, ensuring its safe delivery by employing appropriate mailing practices such as secure envelopes or reliable mailing services is vitally important to arrive at its destination without risk or theft safely. By adopting best practices for check mailing, individuals can lessen the risk of theft and ensure financial transactions proceed seamlessly and securely.

A check is a written request for cash to be drawn from an institution of finance. As the person writing the check, you have the authority to perform the withdrawal (withdrawal) at the institution.

It is also important for people to understand the various sections of the check – not just the fields they need to fill out. As the account holder, a check shows your name in the upper left corner. An account holder’s name, address, and possibly a phone number.

When you turn to the right-hand side, you’ll see the number on your check, allowing you to track every check. From left to right, the numbers in the middle of the page contain the bank’s routing numbers (the number that identifies the bank) and the account number (where the money is withdrawn when the check is cashed). The check number could be included in this section.

Financial experts highlight the role of online check writers as critical agents of change when it comes to making check writing easier. Digital tools provide invaluable assistance for individuals and businesses alike, providing a streamlined check generation and management method. Utilizing an online check writer allows users to input check details quickly, print checks precisely, and record transactions accurately while maintaining accurate records of transactions. 

The fields that are between those sections are your obligation. Here’s how to fill them out. 

In the date, write it down.

Enter the present date in the area provided near the top of the right. Beware of writing a future date (postdating the check) to put off paying the bill. The bank or credit union may still be able to take a postdated check before this date, which could result in an overdrawn account.

Input the name of the person who is paying.

In the following line, you should write the names of the person or business you’re giving money to (the recipient). Laing warns, “It’s essential to make sure you’re aware of the company or entity you’re planning to pay and that it’s a reliable company or someone who’s not likely to attempt to change the amount of your check.”

Make sure to write the dollar amount of the check by using numbers

On the blank box, type in the amount of your check using numbers. For example, paying a 200-dollar electric bill, you’d enter $200.00. (The dollar symbol could be printed on your box.)

Write down how much in dollars

In the next paragraph, write down the amount you’re paying in words. For example, if you’re spending your landlord $2450 to pay rent, you’d write “two thousand, four hundred and fifty.

Note a memo to keep track of records

It is possible that an entity will ask you to include an account reference or number on the memo line when you pay it,” explains Nixon. Even if the memo isn’t required, it could aid in keeping an eye on your spending and expenses.

For instance, if you write “September 2023 rental” on the left-hand bottom line of your check, you can review your receipts later to confirm that the payment was made.

Make sure you sign the check.

Make sure you sign your name at the bottom of the signature line on the right side. The signature you sign is “key to granting the bank authorization to transfer the funds to the person you’re making the check payable for,” Nixon says. Nixon. The check could be returned to you if you still need to sign it. 

Laing provides this general caution concerning incorrect checks: “We do all we can to assist the customer in recuperating any losses. However, these losses could fall on customers after the day if they did not follow the correct procedure.”

Make sure to record the check in your ledger

In Nixon’s opinion, writing checks does not immediately reduce your account balance.This means you must be aware of your balance before writing and keep track of every check you’ve written.

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