Not everyone uses checks super frequently, so sometimes it helps to have a refresher on how to write a check, just to make sure you get it right.
You may not use paper checks very frequently, or maybe you do! Either way, knowing how to write a check is a great skill for anyone to have, just in case. Writing out a check may seem complicated at first since there are 7 different fields to know about, but once you know what these 7 fields mean, you'll find writing out a check easy to do.
While you're learning about how to write a check correctly, you can also make use of Check City's convenient and simple check cashing services.
What is a Check?
Checks are a form of paper payment. A personal check is a written financial statement that allows a bank to pay the check recipient through the check sender's checking account. But there are also many other different kinds of checks aside from personal ones.
Paper checks are a kind of paper payment that allows a bank to take money from the bank account of whoever wrote the check (the check writer), to pay whoever is depositing the check (the check recipient). You can get your own checkbook full of checks through your bank or credit union.
How to Write Out a Check
Learning how to write out a check might seem complicated, but it's really easy once you know what goes in each check field. 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 top right-hand corner of the check, 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 payment 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."
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 #6: Signature Line
Here is where you sign the check.
Field #7: Check Numbers
At the bottom of each check you'll find 3 sets of numbers. The first set of numbers is the routing number, the second set of numbers is the account number, and the final set of numbers is the individual check number.
*Quick Tip: 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 balancing and financial records.
How to Write a Check Amount
Learn how to write a check amount so you can comfortably write out any number in words! If you have any questions about how to write your specific dollar amount you can take a look at the charts below. A printable number chart is also available by clicking here.
But let's quickly go over some frequently asked number to words questions:
How to spell 90: ninety
How to write a check for 1,000: In the Dollar box you would write, "1,000.00" and in the Dollar line you would write, "one thousand and 0/100."
How to write a check for 1,500: In the Dollar box you would write, "1,500.00" and in the Dollar line you would write, "one thousand, five hundred and 0/100."
How to write a check for 100 dollars: In the Dollar box you would write, "100.00" and in the Dollar line you would write, "one hundred and 0/100."
How to Write a Check with Cents
A lot of people have questions about how to write a check with cents. 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 Dollars line, "one hundred and 50/100."
How to Balance a Checkbook
In the back of your checkbook, there is a check registry—extra pages with a chart to record key information from each transaction. Whenever you write a check, keep the check stub to make filling out the check registry later easier.
Field #1: Write the same date on the check on its line in the check register.
Field #2: In the description, column write the same things you would write on the "Pay to the Order of" and the memo line.
Field #3: In the "payment/debit" column write down the amount you paid.
In the deposit/credit column record deposits to your own account, like when you deposit a check into your own account.
In the balance column keep track of your total account balance, adding deposits to your account, and subtracting transactions you've paid.
Field #7: Write out the check ID number. It's the last couple of numbers at the bottom of the check. This way you'll know exactly which check in your checkbook went to what, including which are voided checks.