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Completing a check for the very first time or for the very first time in a while? You may have questions, such as where to sign a check and how to out the amounts. While you may not compose lots of checks, it’s still an important skill to have.
Let us answer your concerns with a fast how-to of how to write a check for rent, or for any other transaction for that matter.
Composing checks is a simple and important ability every adult must know. To compose a check, fill in the current date on the line in the upper right corner, the name of the recipient in the “Pay” field, the mathematical amount beside the dollar indication ($), and the written form of the very same amount on the line beneath; sign the check on the bottom line and consider including a “memo” about the check’s purpose on the lower left line.
All of these actions are essential so the bank and/or individual you are giving the check to understands when you composed it and what amount the check is for.
Feel free to reference the images included in this article to make sure that your own rent check is ready to deliver.
If you’d like some more in-depth information on each section of a paper check or want to learn more about different situations where you can and can’t use checks, read on.
One of the most important parts of filling out a check is making the amount very clear. This is why the amount has to be recorded twice on every single check, both in numerical form and written out in words.
For instance, if you are paying $130.45, you will write “one hundred thirty and 45/100” on the line below ‘Pay to the order of.”
If the amount includes cents, you’ll need to make this clear in both amount spaces. When writing out the amount, denote cents by writing “and #/100.” Don’t worry, whoever will be receiving this check understands what this means.
Just because writing a check is different from handing over cash, it doesn’t mean you can write a check for an amount of money you don’t currently have.
In the U.S., you write a check using your bank account. You can compose a check up to the monetary balance you have in your account. However, if you have overdraft defense, you may be able to compose a check for an even greater amount.
Bouncing a check (having it returned due to inadequate funds) is a major problem and could even lead to some legal trouble that no one wants to deal with.
If the quantity of a bounced check is big, the recipient may take legal action against you, take you to court, and you might end up in jail.
Just be sure to clearly mark the amount on the check, and make sure that both of the amounts match exactly.
The memo line represents an optional description of the nature of the payment. You can write something like “phone bill,” “lease,” and so on.
If you have an account number with the payee, you need to mention that account number here.
In many cases, there is no legal requirement to fill out the memo line. It’s really just a chance to make the purpose of the check clear and make organization a bit easier.
For example, when writing a rent check, you’ll want to make it clear on the memo line which month you’re paying rent for.
Outside of that, the memo line is for your benefit and the benefit of the person receiving the check.
Writing your signature on a check is a crucial step to preventing fraud. Each person has their own distinct signature, and signatures are quite difficult to replicate.
On every check, use your signature the very same way you wrote it when you opened your checking account.
If you have a joint account, and if there are multiple signatories, any licensed person can sign.
Don’t worry about matching your old signatures exactly. There will always be a small amount of variation, and banks understand that. But if a bank notices a signature on one of your checks is wildly different from your own, it may be a red flag that fraud has taken place.
These next features aren’t things you need to fill out but just elements of every paper check.
Each check has a different check number. Please keep in mind that the check number appears two times on the check– once on the top right corner and again at the bottom center.
The check number is an organizational tool. When balancing your checkbook, make sure you write down exactly what each check was for, keeping careful track of each check number.
This is the routing number of your bank. It’s an easy way for different businesses to find your bank.
The routing number is always 9 digits and starts with a 0, 1, 2, or 3. On a check, this number is constantly bracketed by this unique sign: 9.
This is your savings account number. This number will be the exact same on all of your checks.
You need to keep your account number secret, as anyone who has both your account number and routing number could potentially spend your money or have it wire transferred to their own account.
Other payments via check
Don’t forget that checks can be used to make other small payments besides rent and bill payments.
Certain businesses will accept checks for smaller purchases like groceries and other goods.
However, it’s important to remember that paying with a check in a store is much slower than using a card or cash, and it also requires a few extra steps to make sure that the checks belong to you and not to someone else.
Balancing your checkbook
Balancing your checkbook is for your own benefit. You’ll have a grid in the front of every checkbook, which allows you to keep track of different checks you’ve written, alongside their corresponding number.
This helps you keep track of how much money you still have and how much money will soon be paid out via check.