Content of the material
- Steps to fill out a check
- 1. Fill in the date
- 2. Write the name of the payee
- 3. Write the check amount in numeric form
- 4. Write the check amount in words
- 5. Write a memo
- 6. Sign the check
- Learn more:
- More Practice With Large Numbers
- How to Write a Check with Cents
- Field #5: Memo
- Field #7: numbers at the bottom
- Where do I write out the numbers on a check?
- How to Write a Check Out
- Field #1: Date
- Field #2: Pay to the Order of
- Field #3: Dollar Box
- Field #4: Dollars Line
- How to balance a checkbook
- Record your transactions.
- Reconcile your bank statement each month.
- Basic of personal/business check
- Parts of pre-printed:
- Parts that will be filled out by you:
- How to Endorse a Check
- The Printed Numbers on Your Check
- More Articles
Steps to fill out a check
Many of us send money electronically these days. Every now and then, we may write physical checks to make a payment to a person or business. Here are the steps to write a check.
1. Fill in the date
Write the current date on the line at the top right-hand corner. This information will notify the financial institution and the recipient of exactly when you wrote it. You can write out the date completely or use all numbers. For example, 6/10/2020 or June 10, 2020.
2. Write the name of the payee
On the line that says “pay to the order of,” write the name of the individual or company you’d like to pay. Use the recipient’s full name instead of a nickname. If you’re making a check out to a company, verify the name of the business before writing it on the check.
If you don’t know the exact name, you can write the word “cash.” However, this can be a risky move because anyone can cash or deposit a check that’s made out to “cash.”
3. Write the check amount in numeric form
The check will contain two spots that will require you to state the amount you’re paying. First, write the numerical dollar amount in the small box on the right of the line for the recipient’s name. For example, you may write $100.30 if you wish to write a check for one hundred dollars and thirty cents. Make sure you write this clearly so that the bank can subtract the correct amount from your account.
4. Write the check amount in words
Next, you’ll need to write out the dollar amount in words to match the numerical amount you already wrote on the line below “pay to the order of.” Put the cent amount over 100. For example, if you wrote $100.30 in the box, you’ll write “one hundred and 30/100.” If the check is for $100 or another round number, you should still include 00/100 for extra clarity. When you write the dollar amount in words, you verify the total payment.
5. Write a memo
The memo section of the check is optional. However, it’s a good idea to fill it out because it can remind you of why you wrote the check. If you’re writing the check to pay your hairdresser for your haircut, for example, you can write “haircut.” In the event the check is for a certain bill, write your account number in the memo area.
A company may ask you to write your account number or invoice number in this section. This helps them apply the payment to your account.
6. Sign the check
Sign your name on the line at the bottom right hand corner of your check. Be sure to sign legibly and make sure you use the same signature that is on file at your bank. Your signature informs the bank that you agree to pay the stated amount to the payee you noted.
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More Practice With Large Numbers
As numbers grow, they get harder to say and write—until you get used to them. If you're struggling to understand the concept of writing numbers with words, start small. Practice with two-digit and three-digit numbers, then work your way up to millions and billions. Count how many numerals there are to the left of the decimal point to figure out what kind of number you’re dealing with. Remember, when there is no decimal, you can mentally add a decimal to the right side of the figure.
Note how the place in this table (tens, hundreds, thousands) is plural, but the number is not plural when it is written out. For example, "1,500" is a number that's in the thousands, but it would be written out as "one thousand five hundred."
How to Write a Check with Cents
A lot of people have questions about how to write out cents for a check, have no worries! This is the easiest part of the check because you can still write the cent amount out in numerals:
After you write out the dollar amount in words, you write "and" and then write the number of cents in numerals over 100. For example, if you want to write a check out for $100.50, you would write on the Dollar line, "one hundred and 50/100."
Field #5: Memo
The memo is where you write a note about what the check is for. You can fill out this section for your own files so that the check stub has the check's purpose written on it too. The memo section can also let the person receiving the check know what the check is meant to be used for.
You don’t have to fill out this section but it can help to do so, to not forget why you wrote out the check-in the first place.
Field #7: numbers at the bottom
These numbers are the account number of your bank account and the individual check number.
*Keep the check stub and use it for your files. The check stub is the thinner paper copy behind the check that gets written on as you write out the check. This gives you a hard copy of the check you wrote for your own checkbook.
Where do I write out the numbers on a check?
On a check, you spell out the check amount completely on the line below the "Pay to the order of" line. This line ends with the word "dollars."
How to Write a Check Out
Listed below are all the different fields in a check. You need to understand what each section is for in order to know how to fill each one out.
Field #1: Date
In the upper right-hand corner, you'll find the date line. Usually, you'll just write the current date, but one of the great things about checks is that you can post-date it, meaning you write a future date on the check to ensure it can only be deposited after the date you mark down. So if you need to pay someone, but need them to wait until payday, you can still hand them the check now.
Field #2: Pay to the Order of
This line is where you write who you are writing the check for. This might be the name of a person or the name of a company or organization. For example, if you're using a check to pay for groceries at the grocery store, then the name you'll put here is the name of the grocery store.
Field #3: Dollar Box
In this box, you write the monetary amount of the check-in numerals. So instead of writing "one hundred dollars" you write "100.00."
Field #4: Dollars Line
Then there's a line with the word "Dollars" at the end of it. Here is where you write the monetary amount of the check-in words. So instead of writing "100.00", you write "one hundred and 0/100."
How to balance a checkbook
Every time you spend money or make a deposit, you should keep track of this in your checkbook’s check register, which can be found with the checks you received from Huntington. Your check register is meant to be used for keeping track of your deposits and expenses. All transactions should be recorded, including checks, ATM withdrawals, debit card payments, and deposits.
Record your transactions
- If you make a payment by check, you will record the check number, found in the top right corner of the check. This also helps you keep track of your checks, helping you ensure none of your checks are missing, and reminding you when you need to reorder checks.
- Be sure to make note of the date for your records. In the “Transaction” or “Description” column, describe where the payment was made or for what. Then write down the exact amount in either the withdrawal or deposit column depending on if you spent money or received it.
- Subtract the amount of any checks, withdrawals, payments and bank fees or add in deposits to the total amount in your account from the previous transaction.
Reconcile your bank statement each month
When you receive your monthly bank statement, whether it comes in the mail or you view it online, take the time to balance your checking account. First, download our Balancing Worksheet. Then follow the directions to enter the information from your checkbook register and bank account statement as well as any unlisted deposits and outstanding checking/withdrawals. Once you are finished with the worksheet, if your adjusted checkbook and account balance match, your checking account is balanced!
If there are differences, take the time to check your math, see if there are outstanding checks that might not show on your statement yet, and double-check to ensure you didn’t miss a fee or transaction. If you believe there is an error on your bank statement, contact Huntington as soon as possible.
Balancing your checkbook may feel outdated with online banking, mobile banking, and budgeting technology. While your Online Banking history allows you to check your account balance and track your spending on a regular basis, there are still benefits to balancing your checkbook each month (or even each week).
For example, if you wrote someone a check and they haven’t cashed it yet, that amount won’t be listed in your online history, but it will be in your check register. Having accurate knowledge of payments you have made can help you avoid overdrafts or return fees. Additionally, keeping a second record of your transactions could help you spot potential instances of fraud.
Basic of personal/business check
Personal or business check contains two parts. One is pre-printed information. Another is what needs you to fill out.
Parts of pre-printed:
- The account owner’s personal information, including name and/or address
- Your bank’s name, logo, and branch contact information
- Your bank’s routing number. The routing number will be used to identify the bank branch when doing clearance.
- Your account number. This is your account number in the bank. It is printed following ABA number.
- Check number of your check book. A reference for yourself to keep track your checks.
- Your bank’s American Bankers Association (ABA) number.
Parts that will be filled out by you:
How to Endorse a Check
While we’re talking about checks, we want to cover one more topic: endorsing a check. Okay, what the heck does endorsing a check mean anyway? It’s when you sign a check that’s been written to you so you can cash it or deposit it.Here’s some important things to note:
So, the way you endorse a check depends on what you want to do with the check. If you want to cash the check so you can have the money in hand, just sign it in the box on the back that says “Endorse Here.”
If you want to deposit the money into your bank account—either at the ATM, to a bank teller, or as a mobile deposit—write “For deposit to account” and your account number. Then sign. And remember, all that needs to fit inside the signing area.
One callout here: If you’re doing a mobile deposit, your bank might have some specific guidelines. So, check out those before you sign.
The Printed Numbers on Your Check
Once you start writing checks, you may start to wonder about the printed numbers that run along the bottom edge of each personal check.
Generally, there are three numbers on each check.
- Bank routing number: This nine digit number, the bank routing number, identifies the bank where your checking account is held, along with other information. It usually appears first on the check.
- Account number: The second number on the check is usually your checking account number.
- Check number: The last number is usually the check number. This will match with the check number printed in the top right corner of your check.
When you’re writing checks and sending each check out for payment, these numbers need to be intact and clearly visible, as they are needed for processing of the check. The machines in banks and financial institutions read these numbers, so even if there is a small staple hole in the number sequence, it can prevent it from being read.
Without these numbers, the payee’s bank will be unable to trace where the money should be drawn from, resulting in a bounced check. So, avoid writing over these numbers or accidentally tearing them off the check.
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