How to Endorse a Check to Someone Else in 4 Steps

How do checks work?

A check is a slip of paper issued by a bank that allows you to make a monetary transaction between two or three parties. It replaces the need to exchange physical currency, which is always a risky thing to do if you’re exchanging huge sums of money.

For checks to work, they have to meet some important requirements. The person writing the check, known as a payor, has to make sure that they have enough money in their bank account to make the payment. The check also needs to be dated and signed, with the transfer amount clearly written on the front of the check.

The payee, who is the person the check is written to, can cash or deposit the check only if all this information is complete. When the payee goes to the bank to get the check processed, the bank performs a series of security verifications to make sure that the payee is the real recipient of the check. 

Once that’s done, banks depositing the checks at Federal Reserve Banks. The Federal Reserve clears the checks so they can be processed for the payee.  

Although checks are still common today, they’re not as widely used as before. Mobile banking, and debit and credit cards, are quickly replacing checks.

How can I cash a check that’s not in my name?

To deposit or cash a check that’s not in your name, have the check owner endorse the check. Endorse the check by writing ‘pay to the order of’, the new Payee’s name, and sign the back of the check. You now have the right to deposit or cash the check via a bank visit, ATM or Mobile app deposit.

Once a check is endorsed, you can cash it like any check that’s written to you as the Payee. Therefore, you can visit your bank, ATM, or use Mobile App deposit.

However, not all check cashing services will cash third-party checks. For example, Walmart’s check cashing services only take two-party checks, not third-party. Therefore, it’s best to take third-party checks directly to your bank or use bank services.

Take an endorsed check to a bank

When visiting a bank, fill out a deposit slip with your account number and the amount on the check. Take the deposit slip to your bank teller or visit the bank’s drive through. The teller will deposit the check, but may ask for government issued identification and a signature if cashing.

Some banks may even offer a check deposit box so you don’t have to talk to a teller. The check deposit boxes have security envelopes that double as a deposit slip. Fill out the envelope, put the check into the envelope, and deposit into the box. Typically, the funds are received overnight.

Deposit an endorsed check at an ATM or Mobile app

You can also deposit a check via your bank’s ATM. Visit an ATM and enter your debit or bank card with your PIN number. Follow the onscreen prompts for depositing a check.

Some banks will allow you to deposit a check via your bank’s Mobile app. Download your bank’s Mobile app and look for mobile check deposits. You’ll need to take a picture of the front and back of the check and electronically submit.

It is important to hold onto the check until you’ve confirmed the funds are received. Banks may reject the transaction if they can’t confirm the details of the check. For example, your picture might be unreadable due to camera flash.

Depositing someone else’s check into your account isn’t very difficult. All you need is for the original owner to endorse the check. Then, it’s just a matter of cashing or depositing like a normal two-party check.

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How do I sign a check over to someone else?

You may be eager to sign a check over and move on, but there are five vital steps to follow. Here’s how to sign a check over to someone the right way to avoid potential hiccups.

1. Check that your recipient can accept the check

It may seem obvious, but the first step is a candid talk with your recipient. You should make sure they are willing and able to accept your check before you attempt to sign it over.

2. Confirm your recipient’s bank can deposit a signed-over check

The second step is critical. You need to make sure your recipient’s bank will accept a signed-over check. Depending on the institution, there may be specific endorsement rules to follow. The easiest way to find out this information may be for your recipient to call their bank and ask.

3. Sign your name on the back of the check

Look for the endorsement line on the back of the check and sign your name as it appears on the front of the check on the “pay to” line.

4. Write “pay to the order of” with your recipient’s name or company

To sign a check over, you need to write “pay to the order of” and your third party’s full name on the next line below your endorsement on the back of the check. The exact location may vary by bank.

5. Give your recipient the check

After following the steps above, you may deliver the check to your recipient, and they should try to deposit or cash the check.

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Top myths about ethical credit cards

Myth One: Ethical credit cards don’t offer any benefits

This first myth is definitely not true!In fact, many ethical credit cards come with various perks and benefits. For example, some cards offer cash back, while others provide rewards points that can be used for travel or merchandise. So, if you are looking for a card with some extra perks, an ethical credit card is definitely a good option.

Myth Two: Ethical credit cards are more expensive than regular credit cards

This myth is also false. In fact, many ethical credit cards have lower interest rates and annual fees than regular credit cards. So, if you are looking for a more affordable option, an ethical card is worth considering.

Myth Three: All ethical credit cards are the same

This is definitely not true. There are various ethical credit cards on the market, and each one has its own unique set of benefits and features. So, it is important to do your research before you decide which card is right for you.

Myth Four: Getting an ethical credit card will save you money

This may or may not be true, depending on the specific card that you choose. Some ethical credit cards offer great savings opportunities, while others do not. So, it is important to compare the different cards and find one that offers the best deal for you.

Myth Five: Ethical credit cards are only for people who care about the environment

While it is true that many ethical credit cards come with eco-friendly features, this does not mean that they are only for people who care about the environment. In fact, there are a variety of different ethical cards that cater to a variety of different interests and needs. So, no matter what your priorities are, you should be able to find an ethical credit card that suits you.

Myth Six: Ethical credit card companies charge more for their services

This is another myth that is just not true.In fact, many ethical credit card companies actually have lower rates and fees than traditional credit card companies. So, if you are looking for a more affordable option, an ethical credit card company is definitely the way to go.

Myth Seven: You have to be wealthy to afford an ethical credit card

False! There are a variety of different ethical credit cards that cater to a variety of different budgets. So, no matter what your income level is, you should be able to find an ethical card that fits your needs.

Myth Eight: Ethical credit cards charge higher interest rates

Actually, no. Ethical credit cards often have lower interest rates because they are more sustainable for people and the planet. They also don’t have hidden fees, which means you’ll save money in the long run.When you use an ethical credit card, you support businesses that align with your values. You can feel good knowing that your purchases contribute to a better world.

Myth Nine: Ethical credit cards are not as widely accepted as regular credit cards

This is another myth that is just not true. In fact, many ethical credit cards are accepted at a wide variety of different stores and businesses. So, you should have no trouble using your card at the places that you usually shop.

Myth Ten: It’s difficult to find an ethical credit card company that meets your needs

Actually, this could not be further from the truth. There are several different ethical credit card companies to choose from, and each one offers its own unique set of benefits. You’re sure to find one that meets your specific needs.

Can Someone Else Deposit a Check for Me?

To have someone else deposit a check into your bank account, there are a few things you’ll need to do. Keep in mind that, in the majority of cases, you cannot have someone cash a check for you. 

Here are the steps:

  • Sign your check. Also known as endorsing a check, you need to sign it. No one else is authorized to sign your check with their name or yours. This mistake can be interpreted as check fraud.
  • Write your account number below your signature. Whether depositing to your checking account or savings account, you need to specify the account number.
  • Write “For deposit only” below your bank account number. In order for someone else to deposit your check successfully, specify that it’s a deposit.
  • Deposit the check at a local branch of your bank in person. Whoever is depositing your check for you must go to the bank to complete the transaction.

Will My Bank Allow It?

The answer to this question varies from bank to bank. Different U.S. banks have differing policies. It’s best to check your bank’s website to find out if someone else can deposit a check in your account.

How to Endorse For the Benefit of (FBO) Checks

FBO checks, or "For the Benefit of" checks, are checks written to be payable to person A for the benefit of person B. This allows checks to be cashed or deposited by a specific party even though they are meant for another. You might write an FBO check when writing a check for a child. 

For example, Jane Doe has a son named William Doe. William has a birthday and his grandma, Anne Doe, writes him a check. She knows William is just a child, so she writes him an FBO check instead of writing the check directly to William. 

Grandma Doe would write an FBO check that says "Jane Doe" on the "Pay to the Order of" line, but then in the memo line it would say "FBO William Doe." This allows William's mother to take care of the check for him without the bank needing a special endorsement on the back. 

This means that Jane Doe is the one who should endorse the check and then cash the check and give the money to William, or deposit the check funds into William's bank account for him. It is always whoever is written in the "Pay to the Order of" line that needs to endorse the check on the back. 

How to Endorse a Check for Deposit Only

Endorse check for deposit only is a type of restrictive endorsement. Restrictive endorsements are useful because they ensure the check will be used exactly how you want it to be used. 

When writing a restrictive endorsement it is important you be as clear as possible in your instructions. You also need to keep your endorsement instructions and endorsement signature in the designated endorsement area and nowhere else. So you might have to write small, but legibly. 

Step One: Flip the check over to the back of the check. 

Step Two: In the designated endorsement area write the words "For Deposit Only" in small but legible letters. 

Step Three: Below where you wrote "For Deposit Only" sign your signature to complete the endorsement. 

*Extra Step: You can make this restrictive endorsement extra secure by adding the account number of the account you want the check to be deposited to. Just write the words "For Deposit Only to Account #####" with your account number written out. 

Why Would You Want to Sign a Check Over?

This process can seem a little complicated and intimidating, so why would you want to do this in the first place? What are the reasons for signing over a check?

There are several purposes for why you might choose to do this. You might need to pay someone for something or don’t have access to a bank account, for example.

To Pay Someone Money You Owe Them

Maybe you owe someone some cash. In that case, you can sign a check over to them in order to pay them back.

They can simply cash the check or deposit it into their own bank account, saving you from needing to handle this yourself.

You Don’t Have a Bank Account

If you don’t have an account in your name, you may find it challenging to pay people. If you owe someone some money or need to pay them for something, you can write a check over to them. That way, they can deposit or cash it without you needing to have your own account.

Reader Success Stories

  • Audrey Franklin

Dec 30, 2016

    Audrey Franklin Dec 30, 2016

    “I forgot how to do this and looked online. The pictures really helped me to understand how to sign over a check to someone else to cash.” …” more

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