Parts Of a Check: The Complete Understanding

Although checks are less commonly used in the modern era of payment apps and automatic bill pay, they can still be a convenient way to make official payments or transfer money through the mail. Understand better as you keep reading through this article with the complete understanding of parts of a check explained in detail.

Parts Of a Check

A check can be used to look up details such as your bank routing number and account number, which is needed for certain transactions, such as setting up direct deposit or connecting to a payment app like Venmo. However, checks have been around for a long time, but they are not as common as they once were, and you can profit from learning how they function. To cash a check, make a payment, or set up a direct deposit, you must understand how to read a check. After seeing a few checks, you should have no difficulty locating the details you need on virtually every check.

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Meanwhile, here are the various parts of a check that you should be aware of when filling out or depositing.

#1. Your Personal Information

Usually, the name and address you have on file with your bank are located in the upper left corner. If you have changed your address and no longer reside at that address, you should still be able to use the checks as long as your account number remains the same.

#2. The Check Number

The check number is located in the upper and lower right corners of the check and is used for monitoring purposes. For instance, if your checkbook is stolen, you should notify the bank of the numbered checks that were taken (e.g., check numbers 1 to 100), which will assist the bank in identifying fraudulent withdrawals.

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#3. Date Line

When writing a check, the date of the transaction should be written on the dateline. If you’re attempting to postdate a check, that is, prevent the recipient from withdrawing funds from your account prior to a specified date, bear in mind that writing the check date in the future does not prevent the recipient from depositing it sooner.

#4. Recipient’s name

The recipient’s name is written on the top long line in the center of the check, normally followed by “pay to the order of.” The recipient may be a person or an organization.

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Additionally, you should pay to the order of “Money,” which ensures that the check can be cashed by anyone. This could be a handy choice if you are unfamiliar with the payee’s name but have no influence about who cashes the check. Generally, it is preferable to write down the recipient’s name.

#5. Payment Amount Of The Check

The payment sum will be written in two places on the check. The first is in the box in the center of the right-hand side, immediately after the recipient’s name, where you’ll enter the numerical value (e.g., “$50.50”). The second is on the long line underneath the recipient’s name, where you’ll type the sum in words (e.g., “Fifty and fifty cents” or “Fifty and fifty/100”). This assists the bank in clarifying the total sum in the event that either the terms or the numerical values are difficult to decipher.

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#6. Memo Line

The memo line is optional but suggested completing this line in the bottom left corner. You might write “June rent” or “summer camp fees. However, it makes the receiver understand what the check is for. And it can help you remember what the check was for later on when you’re going through your finances.

#7. The Name Of The Bank

This indicates the bank or credit union where the check writer has a checking account. As well as the source of the funds. If you wish to cash and collect the full sum, you may need to visit that bank. However, you may also deposit or attempt to cash the check at your own bank. But your bank can only pay out a portion of the check and retain the remainder. However, this section usually contains the bank’s logo and/or address.

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#8. Routing Number

Every check has a routing number as the address used to locate the bank of the writer. You will need this number when enrolling in direct deposit or ACH payments. However, it is seldom beneficial to know another person’s ABA number.

#9. Account Number

This is the account number from which the funds will be withdrawn. Again, this information may be useful if you’re signed up for electronic payments from your own account. But it’s not necessary when you collect a check. Meanwhile, your bank and the bank of the writer will use the ABA and account numbers. Perhaps, to process payments in the background. Probably, your account number is unique to your account.

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#10. Signature

You must sign the blank line in the bottom right corner of the front of a check. This signature confirms that you have approved the withdrawal of funds from your account.


You may ask, why do these numbers seem funny? They are computer-readable. Historically, banks printed account and routing numbers with magnetic ink. Therefore, computers could only read checks that included such easily recognizable numbers. Meanwhile, you will need to have a basic understanding of Ach Hold as well.

Chiemerie Ozurumba (Adorablepen) is a freelance writer & Computer Science degree holder, a personal finance expert, blogger, public speaker, and poet. He is also a relationship & life coach. Currently a writer at BusinessYield.

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