How To Write a Check: A Step-by-Step Guide
Although checks are becoming less utilized in today’s modern society there are still situations in which a check payment is convenient or required. Checks can be used for bill payments, as gifts or to transfer money between two people or entities. Checks can also be used if your debit card is lost, or your phone is not working.
What is a check?
A check is a document that directs a bank to pay a specific amount of money to a person or entity. This document is written, dated, and signed.
What is a payee?
The person who the check is written to is known as the payee. For example, if John Doe writes a check to Jane Doe, Jane Doe is the payee.
What is a payor?
The person or entity writing the check is known as the payor or the drawer. For example, if John Doe writes a check to Jane Doe, John Doe is the payor. The funds will come out of John’s account.
What is a drawee?
The bank on which the check is drawn is the drawee. For example, if John Doe writes a check to Jane Doe on a One Community Bank check, One Community Bank is the drawee. The funds will come out of John Doe’s account at One Community Bank.
Features of checks
All checks will have the same features regardless of what bank they are drawn from. Those features are date, pay to the order of, numerical dollar amount, legal line amount, memo, payee signature, bank routing number, check number, and account number.
The items that need to be filled out on a check are the date, pay to the order of, numerical dollar amount, legal line amount, and payee signature. Memo is optional. Below is a step-by-step guide of how to fill this out.
The bank routing number will be your bank’s routing number. One Community Bank’s routing number is 075912275.
The check number is the number of the check you are writing. If it is the first check you are writing from your account, it will be check 0001.
The account number is the account number the funds are coming from.
Step-by-step check writing guide:
Writing a check can be easy! Before you write a check ensure that you have enough funds in your bank account to cover the check. For example, if you write a check for $500, make sure you have $500 in the account the funds will be withdrawn from. Ensuring you have enough funds in your account can prevent insufficient funds fees.
a. Write today’s date on the date line in the upper right-hand corner.
2. Pay to the order of
a. Write the check to the payee. This will be the person or the entity you would like to pay.
b. Writing the check to ‘cash’ is an option, however, this check could be cashed by anyone who finds it.
3. Dollar Amount
a. Write the dollar amount in numerical form in the box. Be sure to write this clearly and accurately.
b. This is the amount you would like to pay the payee.
c. Ensure that you have enough funds in your account can avoid insufficient funds fees.
4. Legal Line Amount
a. Write the dollar amount in words. At the end, include the cents in numerical form and place the cents in a line above 100.
b. This amount should match what you wrote in numerical form in the box.
c. For example, if a check is written for 123.45, write this out as ‘one hundred twenty-three dollars and 45/100’.
If the numerical and legal line amount do not match, the legal line amount will overrule the numerical amount. The legal line amount is the amount that the payee will receive and that will be withdrawn from the account.
a. Sign your name on the signature line.
b. This ensures that you are agreeing to pay the amount written on the check to the payee.
a. The memo line is optional. This can be used for your own records, as a reminder on why you wrote the check, or when paying a bill you can add an account number here.
b. For example, if you are using the check to pay rent you can write ‘October Rent Payment Unit 123’.
If you have anymore questions about how to write a check or general check questions, please visit ONE of our locations or call our client contact center during business hours at 608-838-3141 or toll-free at 866-245-1686.