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Filling out a Personal Check

The personal check is not necessarily a dinosaur in terms of managing finances; however, they are less common than they once were by a large margin. It is plausible to write three checks per month in the adult world. In most cases, checks are written for small business for services to general contractors, electricians, tree trimmers, landscaping, medical bills or charities such as the humane society.  

Hence, we are providing this tutorial shows a step-by-step format to fill out a check; although, there is no exact order that needs to be followed. As you can see the name and the address of the check writer (you) has already been printed on the check. 


Step 1:  "Pay to the order of"

This is also known as the "payee." In this line input the name of the person or organization, or business to whom you are paying. If you are unfamiliar with what to write due to not having a previous relationship with the payee then a common phrase is . . . "Who do I make the check out to?"


This is important because if the information is incorrect, there is a chance that the bank will not accept the check.

Step 2: The Dollar Amont in the Rectangle

Write the amount in numeric form with commas and decimals. For example: 1,032.28 or 25.21. In addition, begin writing at the farthest left side of the rectangle. 


This a preventative measure to prevent a fraudulent check being written. For example, take a check that is $1.15. If there is enough space someone could write in an additional number to increase the amount of the check. Hence, $1.15 could be become $21.15. 

​Step 3: The Check Amount in Words

In the next line write the amount of the check spelling out in capital letters and add the cents on top; the numerator over 100; the denominator. In this example, 15/100. When using block form, it is more difficult to discern to that of lower case letters. This helps with clarity of the text and to prevent potential fraud.

Note: if the written amount differs from the number in the $ dollar box, then the written amount in word-form is considered the legal amount of the check. This doesn't mean that a check won't be processed using the $ dollar amount box so take your time when writing this out. 


Step 4: Applying the Signature
Sign the check in cursive in a legible format (as much as possible) in the bottom right corner. 

Step 5: The MEMO 

This is optional and is suited for notes to track what the check is regarding: Here are some examples:


-Tree trimming

-Grocery reimbursement

-Earnest deposit for home purchase

Step 6: Adding the Date
The goal here is to input the current date in the top-right corner so that you can retain accurate records. Some people will post-date a check so that it is valid for a different time frame: however, there is no guarantee that it will not be processed as soon as the bank receives it. 

filling out a personal check
dollar amount box on a personal check
pay to the order of on a personal check
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