How to cash a check: save money and avoid problems (2023)

If you receive a check, you can cash or deposit it to access your balance. Anyway, it's importantkeep fees to a minimumand avoid costly mistakes. This article explains what to expect when you have a check you need to cash.

How to cash a check

The easiest way to cash a check is to go to a bank or credit union where you have an account. If you do not have a bank account, there are several alternatives that are detailed below. At a bench, do the following:

  1. Ask about the fees for cashing the check and the cheapest ways to get your money.
  2. Confirm the back of the checksign with your namein the approval area.
  3. fillDeposit receipt(if necessary) and sign the receipt.
  4. Show the cashier a valid ID.
  5. Take your money and put it in a safe place before you leave the bank.

where to cash checks

The best places to cash a check is your bank or the bank the check was issued to (this is the bank listed on the face of the check, or the financial institution the money will come from).


Your bank probably won't charge you to deposit a check, but you may have to pay a predetermined amount when you go to the bank that wrote the check.

When will you receive the full amount?

Each bank or credit union has its own rules about when you can receive money after you deposit a check. However, if you personally deposit a check of $200 or less at a bank, you can generally access the full amount the next business day.


If you deposit a check at your bank's ATM, the money can be used or withdrawn on the second business day.

You may not be able to cash a check for the full amount of the payment, especially if the payment is over $200. The benefit of going to the check writer's bank is that you have a better chance of getting 100% of the check amount right away . This is because that bank has real-time access to the checking account in question, so it can check if funds are available in the check writer's account. If the check is for more than $200, you often have to wait until the second business day to use the money.

Funds Availability Policy

If you're cashing a check, your bank may only allow you to receive the first $200 in cash, and you should.Wait a few daysbefore the remaining money is available. Your bank may very well allow you to withdraw more money (or spend the money with your debit card) right away. But until the check is actually cashed, there is a risk that the check will bounce and you will have to replace that money.


Any bank can refuse to cash a check, even if that bank's customer wrote the check and has sufficient funds. The bank may decide not to cash checks if there is something suspicious or if it decides not to serve non-customers.

Other places to cash checks

Check cashing, cash advance and payroll companies can also cash checks for you. However, they often charge high fees, so it's best to avoid these places. Over time, rates will increase and you'll end up with less money to spend.

You can probably do better (or avoid the fees altogether) by opening an account at a bank or credit union. If you get more than a few checks a year, open a bank account. Having a bank account not only saves you money in fees, but it also saves you a lot of time. For example, you can use a bank or credit unionmobile deposit featureDeposit checks using your mobile device instead of going to a check cashing store.

Many grocery stores and supermarkets allow you to cash a check and are often cheaper than check cashing stores. Prices can range from one to three dollars (or less). Ask for financial services at the customer service desk at the front of the store.

If opening a bank account is not an option, consider using aprepaid card accountinstead of. Some prepaid cards even allow you to deposit checks using your cell phone and may not charge a monthly fee. You can then use the card to withdraw cash or make purchases, although you may have to wait for the check to clear before spending all the money.


Take the time to research all the branches available to you, including ATMs that accept deposits. Credit union members may have additional options: If your credit union is part of a shared branch network, you can use thousands of branches across the country to cash checks.

Deposit money or receive money?

maybe you don't need itCash registera test. You also candeposittake money without money. With this option, the bank will add funds to your account and you will be able to use the funds later. Receive money only if you plan to spend it soon. The money is safe in the bank and you will not be tempted to spend more than necessary.

It might even be more convenient to mail the check. For example, you can use a mobile device to make deposits from virtually anywhere or deposit checks at an ATM outside of bank hours.

Before cashing a check

Before attempting to withdraw money, make sure the check is legitimate. If you try to cash a forged or stolen check, you could get into legal trouble, be robbed, or end up owing bank charges.

Some common scams involve paying you with a fake check and then asking you to do something, e.g. B. to transfer money or return money to the check writer. For the scam to work, there is usually a time constraint that requires quick action before the check clears.

If you are not sure whether a check is valid, take it directly to the bank that issued the check or discuss your concerns with your bank. If you decide to cash the check, plan to wait a bit before spending the money. Your bank may take several weeks to detect a bad check.


Cashing a check for someone else or signing a check for someone else to cash it for you is also problematic. Banks may not follow these instructions, and you may unknowingly find yourself in trouble with bad checks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I cash a check without identification?

Many banks and check cashing services require a valid photo ID to cash a check, but there are still ways to cash checks if you lose your ID. For example, you can use online mobile deposit or deposit the check at an ATM. You'll usually need an account to do this, since you'll likely have to deposit the check instead of cashing it. If these are not options for you, you can give the check to a friend or family member and ask them to cash it for you.

How do I cash a check for minors?

A parent can cash or deposit a checkminor childwith just a few steps. All you have to do is print your child's name on the check and write "Minor" under the name. Then print your name and relationship to the child and pay the check as usual.

How long does it take to cash a check?

Cashing a check is a quick process that takes just a few minutes at the bank. However, your balance may not be fully available for up to a week.

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