Although personal checks are no longer as popular these days as they were in the past, they are still a relevant topic when it comes to finances. Personal checks pertain to those notes, basically a piece of paper with the payee’s details, that they can use as money orders. 

You can then cash a check in the bank, deposit the amount to your bank account, or choose any other accredited legal office to receive or get access to your product’s worth. The ways of cashing a personal check are important for entrepreneurs, whether aspiring or established, especially since technology has been rapidly changing the landscape.

Not everyone can process personal checks, payroll checks, and government checks, in the bank. And as we have mentioned, there are alternative options you can opt to go for. We have listed several of the ways available personal checks transactions to guide you when you receive your product payment.

1. Your Local Bank Or Credit Union

As mentioned previously, your best option to cash your money is through your local bank or credit union. These establishments typically offer no-fees services. Also, you can immediately receive your money after transacting with the establishment. You also have the option of doing all those processes online through your mobile bank, avoiding the long queues typical of going to the brick and mortar office.

When you are not fully satisfied with the options available in your local bank, you can join an authorized credit union. They typically offer lower fees for your transactions as compared to banks. However, these unions are limited to a certain area where they are allowed to offer their services. If you need access to a national network of branches, the bank will remain your best bet.

2. The Issuing Bank

If your local bank does not offer cash services for a personal check, you can visit the issuing bank instead. This is also the best option for those who do not have a bank account in the first place. 

The issuing back can be the cheapest and quickest way for you to cash your check, and they can also have a higher cashing limit. The details about the issuing bank can be found on the check itself, it is the name indicated in the left corner above the memo line.

Remember that each bank has different policies and requirements when it comes to cash personal checks. You must always clarify the details via phone or email before transacting. These issuing banks may charge you fees for the service, which could be fixed or a certain percentage of the amount you will be receiving. 

They may also offer prepaid debit cards whose terms and conditions you’ll have to understand and follow closely to ensure that your money will not expire.

3. Walmart Check Cashing

Walmart is not just a grocery store, you can also opt to cash a personal check here. They have fees of up to $4 for $1000 checks and $8 for amounts greater than $1000. You can either receive your money in cash or it can be deposited straight to your Walmart MoneyCard. The latter option typically has reloaded fees waived for select institutions and government checks.

Walmart can cash a variety of different checks including pre-printed, payroll, government, tax, cashier’s, insurance settlements, and a variety of other types. The daily cashing limit is $5000 which is usually raised to $7500 from January to April. Walmart however does not cash any personal checks above $200.

4. Your Local Grocery Stores

Although not all grocery stores have this option, you can also cash your check in your local grocery store. They typically only receive payroll and cashier’s checks or money orders. A charge of up to 2% of the balance of $6 per check is the usual fee paid. You should use this option when you will be buying your goods in the store, and remember to always clarify their protocols in the customer service before transacting. 

5. Gas Station Travel Centers

Although rare, you can also opt to cash your check at gas station travel centers. A limited number of places still offer this service due to check fraud, however, and your best bets are on interstate centers. You can even have free checking cashing when you purchase fuel within two hours of the transaction. To know whether your gas station travel center has cash service, you should call them ahead

6. Transact By 7-Eleven

7-Eleven is among the biggest convenience store chains in the world, and you can also opt to cash your check here. You just have to download the app Transact to avail of this service. Similar to mobile banking apps, you just have to take a picture of your check and this amount can be directly deposited to your reloadable 7-eleven prepaid card within 48 hours. This card can be used in any store that accepts Debit MasterCard

7. Endorse Your Check To A Friend

If you have a friend who can cash your check for free, you can also opt to go for this option. This is termed “third-party checks” wherein you sign the check off by placing a “Pay to the order of Friend’s name” and then fixing your signature. 

The bank may ask both of you to sign several forms to legalize the transaction, which you can clarify by calling their office in advance. Take note however that some banks do not honor these types of transactions as they are prone to certain check fraud risks.

8. Cash Your Check Using An App

There are also several mobile apps that you can choose for cashing a personal check. Again, similar to the mobile banking option, you need to take a picture of your endorsed check so these apps can process your transaction. 

They also charge certain fees, either fixed or check amount percentage that you can check before availing their services. These apps will then give you your options for the next steps that you can take to receive and use your money.

9. Check Cashing Stores

Lastly, you may choose to transact with check-cashing stores. These are establishments dedicated to these types of transactions, however, they offer the highest fees. This cash any type of check, but in exchange for the convenience, they will charge a percentage of the balance rather than a flat fee. 

They also offer prepaid debit card options where you will have to pay monthly membership fees to maintain, similar to those that are already mentioned previously.

Steps On How To Cash A Check

The world has already evolved into a period where the use of banknotes and checks are no longer that popular of a practice. Plenty of us are no longer familiar with how this system works. This is why we are here to give you an easy-to-read guide about check cashing of a personal check which can be summarized in two easy steps. 

1. First, Endorse it.

When you have checks at hand and you want to cash a personal check, the first step is endorsing these checks. This is done by signing the back of the checks with your name to signify that you are transferring your rights as owner of the amount to the institution where you do your check cashing. With this, the credit firm that handles this personal finance aspect can withdraw the amount from the payee’s account later on.

Checks endorsement is especially important if you lose the said documents. Without your signature behind the note, the cashing of the check is not authorized. Thus, no crook can hamper personal finance transactions. Endorsement of the personal check is an important process that gives you a sense of security about your transaction.

2. Find A Financial Facility That Will Cash It.

After ensuring that you have filled up all the necessary details, you can take your document to an establishment that can process it. However, this is not as easy as it sounds. Many institutions do not offer their services to those without a bank account and they usually ask a fee for the service. Your best option if you are without a bank is to go to the bank who issued the document as indicated in the logo and name displayed.

Flat fees of about $6 to $10 are common charges, but other institutions can charge a 1% off the balance. This depends on the policy of your chosen establishment, hence it is necessary to conduct prior research before going. They also set different minimum and maximum limits on the checks that can be cashed. You should clarify their policies via call or email before proceeding to process your checks.

Other institutions offer prepaid debit card services for those non-customers who regularly find themselves cashing personal checks. If you choose this option, you become that institution’s customer and you can withdraw your money from their branches or bank account machines. 

These cards however typically have a monthly fee and the institution may also charge you if you withdraw from out-of-network facilities. This option is especially helpful for those with personal checks that amount to larger sums of money.

writing a cheque

Where Is The Best Option To Cash A Check?

Despite the abundance of alternative options for cashing your payroll checks or government checks, you should know that the best place for cashing a check is still your bank or credit union. 

These institutions offer direct checks services wherein the amount of money indicated in the personal check is transferred to your account immediately. Doing this is typically free of charge, as it is part of their customer perks as a financial institution. The money from your checks should be available for withdrawal within one or two working days.

The advent of technology has greatly transformed processing checks as well. Nowadays, you can receive your money even at home. There are mobile banking apps that ask you to simply take a picture of your note and the indicated amount can then be deposited to your account. On the other hand, if you need the money on hand immediately, you can visit the physical bank and have the teller do check cashing on the spot.

What To Remember When Cashing A Personal Check?

As with any financial transactions, there are certain documents and reminders that one must have and follow for a smooth and safe cashing of a personal check. We have listed these tips to help you prepare for your transaction.

1. You Always Need To Bring A Photo ID

For the institution to validate your identity, you will have to provide them with a valid photo ID during your transaction. This is to ensure that the person they are transacting with is the legal owner or the legally authorized representative to receive the cash.

2. Some Locations Won’t Cash Handwritten Checks

As mentioned previously, some establishments do not cash handwritten checks. The reason for this is to prevent check fraud, which will be detrimental to the institution offering the cash service. You should check with their customer service whether they can cash a personal check at hand before doing your transaction to not waste your time.

3. Certain Stores And Banks Charge More To Cash A Check Than Others

Another reason why you should contact your chosen institution before conducting a transaction with them is the fees. Some establishments charge more than others, and it is best that you fully understand these policies to prevent unwarranted complaints later on.

4. Most Places Have A Daily Redemption Limit

There are a lot of risks that the institution offering a cash service will have to take. To prevent check frauds, they have a daily redemption limit that gives them protection against potential frauds that could occur with the number of checks they cash. These limits can also prevent them from legal repercussions that could follow large monetary transactions.

Conclusion

The ways on how to cash a personal check are plenty, but at the end of the day, what matters most is how safe and convenient your chosen option is. You must remember that there are a lot of risks that could happen when using checks for transactions, but all of these are preventable. Despite their seemingly tedious processes, you should always choose to transact with an authorized financial institution to protect yourself from frauds. Truly, it is best to stay safe than be sorry.

Categories: Personal Finance