When you learn how to cash a check, you open up new opportunities to get quick and easy access to money. That can even be the case if you don’t have a bank account, which shouldn’t be an easy when you need cash.

Technically, a check is properly cashed when the recipient signs the back of the check and presents it to a financial institution or check-cashing service for cash, or if a person deposits the check into his bank account.

In most cases, though, cashing a check is done with the intent to exchange the signed check for the cash value listed on the front of the check. The goal is to get that task completed with no hassles and no or minimal fees – and there are multiple ways to cash a check with minimal or no difficulty. 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Cashing a Check

Before you can cash a check, take time to make sure the check is properly signed by the sender and ensure the check is in good physical health (i.e., all sections are filled out and there is no damage to the check that would negatively impact the ability for you to have it cashed.

Once that review is complete, start the check cashing process:

  1. Sign the check (banks call that “endorsing” the check) on the top back of the check designated for the recipient’s signature. Not signing the check will disqualify you from being able to cash it.
  1. Go to your financial institution (usually a bank or credit union) and complete a deposit slip (if required) and ask if there are any fees associated with your cashing the check.
  1. If you don’t have a bank account, head directly to the bank or financial institution listed on the front of the check.
  1. If there are no fees, or the fees are agreeable to you, present the check for cashing.
  1. Present current identification to the bank teller or the person cashing your check. Usually a driver’s license and/or debit card are enough to cash a check.
  2. Accept payment for the check and count it for accuracy’s sake.

If you’re simply depositing the check, you can have the bank or financial institution’s customer service representative deposit it straight into your account. Or, use an ATM machine and deposit your check into your account automatically. It’s worth noting that if a check is voided, you will not be able to cash it.

Expect a deposited check to take at least one business day to clear before the cash is available to you. If you’re depositing a check at an online payment vendor like PayPal, your check payment may take up to three days to clear.





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