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  • Check Writing 101

    Financial Building Basics

How to Write a Check 

Swiping your debit card or transferring funds are common ways to pay for things in our digital world. But there are times when writing a check may be the only way to pay a bill. Whether you have never written a check or just need a refresher, the guide below will prepare you to successfully write a check.

Looking at a Blank Check

You will notice some parts of your check are pre-printed. This is for your convenience and ensures the financial institution has all the information needed to pay the person or company with funds from your account. Take note of the numbered areas listed below. 

GUCU-check-elements 

    1. Your personal information tells the person or company (known as the payee) that you are the one writing the check.

    2. Each check will have a unique number in the upper right-hand corner. This is to help you keep track of each check. Refer to this number when balancing your account or to verify the check has been cashed.

    3. The first set of numbers on the bottom of the check is your routing number. A routing number is a nine-digit number that identifies your financial institution. Georgia United Credit Union’s routing number is 261171309. 

    4. Your checking account number is a 13-digit number that identifies your personal account. It is the middle set of numbers listed at the bottom of your check.

    5. The last set of numbers is the check number and will match the number in the upper right-hand corner of the check. (See image 2.)

Writing a Check

Let’s say you need to write a check to pay for groceries at ABC Food Mart in the amount of $19.58.

 GUCU-check-complete
    1. Write the date including the month, day and year. You can use all numbers such as, “04/08/2020”, or write the month such as “April 8, 2020”. Be sure to write the year as “2020” so fraudsters can’t alter the year.

    2. Write the company or the person’s name (known as the payee) who will deposit the check. Be sure the spelling is correct or their financial institution may not accept it for deposit.

    3. Write the amount of the check in number format, making sure the decimal point and numbers are legible. Write close to the dollar sign to prevent someone from adding extra numbers.

    4. Write the dollar amount in words and the cents as a fraction with the number over 100. Draw a line to the end after the cents to prevent someone from altering your entry.

    5. This is where you will sign your name. This is a formal document that gives your financial institution permission to release your money to the payee, so use your legal name instead of a nickname.

    6. You can make a note of what the payment was for to help you remember why you wrote the check. This area isn’t required but it is helpful to reference when budgeting.

A Few Tips

  • Use ink to prevent someone from altering your information.
  • Record the check amount in your register.
  • Deduct this amount from your spending budget.

Is it Time to Order Checks?

You can securely reorder checks in Online Banking. In your account, go to the “Services” tab and select “Check Reorder”. Checks may also be ordered by calling our Member Care Center or by calling 800.Deluxe1.

Is Your Checking Account Free*?

Georgia United’s Unified Checking Account lets you manage your money without the worry of monthly services fees or minimum balance requirements. Plus, with free Online Banking and our Mobile App, you can access your account 24-hours a day from the convenience of your home or phone.

*Overdraft/returned item fee may apply, see fee schedule for additional fees that may apply.

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only.