How to Write a Check
With all the different payment options available, including the option to pay using a smartphone with Android Pay and Apple Pay, checks are becoming less and less common. It’s still an important skill to have, though, and fortunately it doesn’t take long to learn how to write a check. Follow these simple steps the next time you need to write one.
Date the Check
The top-right corner of every check has a date field which will have the word “Date” beneath it. Put the day’s date there, or write a future date if you’re writing a check in advance. For example, if you are paying your rent and mailing it out on March 28th but it’s not due until April 1, you could write April 1, 2017.
Specify the Recipient
The long line immediately below the date field is where you write the name of your check’s recipient. It will say “Pay to the Order of” by the line, and then you can write either a person or company name after that. Include the full name whether the recipient is a person or a business. While you can leave this field blank, it allows anyone who gets ahold of your check to cash it, so it’s smarter to put the recipient’s name here.
Write the Check Amount
There are two fields where you need to write the amount of the check to ensure accuracy. The first is the field with the dollar sign by it, which is right next to the field for the recipient’s name. In this field, you include the numerical amount. In the field directly below the name of the recipient, you write out the numerical amount with the cents expressed as a fraction over 100. If the amount is $28.75, you would write “Twenty-eight dollars and 75/100.” You need to write out the entire amount even with longer numbers.
The field on the bottom-right of the check is for your signature. Make sure that you sign it, because without a signature, the recipient can’t deposit or cash your check.
Optional: Include a Memo
The field on the bottom-left of the check is for a brief memo. You don’t need to fill this field out, so you can leave it blank if you’d prefer. However, you may want to include a memo to specify what the check is for. You could write “June Rent” if it’s for your rent in the month of June, or “Groceries” if you’re buying food at the supermarket. See if the recipient has any specific requirements for the memo field, as they may want you to include certain info. If you’re paying your rent to a property management company, the recipient may want you to include your apartment number or an account number in the memo field.
As you get used to writing checks, it will become second nature. Once you have a few under your belt, you’ll be able to write one out in seconds.