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Can You Write A Check To Yourself?

Last modified: Nov 15, 2022

It's a question that comes up repeatedly: can you write a check to yourself? The answer is yes, you can, but there are a few things you need to know about how to do it, and this article will guide you through it. Stay tuned!

Can you write a check to yourself?

While it's less and less common to see someone writing a check, they are still widely used by the masses. Writing checks is an effective and inexpensive tool for moving money from one account to another, even if both bank accounts are yours. Check writing is easy, and everyone can do it - from youngsters to the elderly because no technology is involved in writing a check. Checks are a convenient way to transfer money without using a pin, and most importantly, you can write a check to yourself. This way, you can remember all the passwords on your credit cards. 

How to write a check to yourself

Since checks date long before the technology existed, writing one is pretty straightforward, and we are here to help. Below are some steps you should follow when writing a check. You can skip the steps in that exact order, but make sure you complete all steps nonetheless, in whatever order you prefer. For clarity, we decided to start from the top of the check and move downwards. You won't have to worry about writing a check to yourself but look at all other options for paying yourself. 

  • Date

On the top right corner of the check, you'll see a space, and "Date" is inscribed before the blank space, which naturally implies that you need to use the current date or future date. Writing the exact date is helpful for you to track when the transaction took place. You should write the date, such as Month, Day, or Year or abbreviate it as MM/DD/YYYY.

  • Check out to cash

On the line that says "Pay the Order to," you'll write the word "Cash" because you are writing a check to yourself. If you were to write a check for another person, you would write the payee's name on this line. 

  • Amount in numbers

The third step to writing a cash withdrawal check is to write the check amount in numbers in the box provided. Ensure you write the exact amount after the $ sign (already printed on the check). For example, if the amount is 500, you write 500 in the right-hand side small box. 

  • Amount in letters/words

You need to write the amount with words, so there is clarity over the numerical amount you already wrote. Writing a definite amount in letters helps you avoid fraud and confusion. This amount will be considered the official amount. If the amount written differs from the numerical amount, the lettered amount will legally be the check amount. Make sure you write in capital letters and that the handwriting is neat to clarify the official amount. 

  • Memo Line

To write a check to yourself, in the bottom left corner of the check, you'll find a memo section where you can write the purpose of this check. The Memo line can remind you why you wrote the check in the first place when you need help remembering. Again, this step is optional and will not affect how the bank processes the check. 

  • Sign

The most important thing left for last, and for a good reason, is signing the check. The check must be signed with your name and signature as provided in your bank file. Even if we said that you don't need to follow the steps accordingly, please ensure that signing the check will be your last step. When you sign a check without an amount and the payee, your bank account is open if the check gets stolen on the streets. 

Deposit the Check

The essential step in writing a cash withdrawal check is depositing a check to endorse the back by signing it. You can deposit a check made out to yourself in a few ways: 

  • Deposit the check through an ATM. Just insert your ATM card and PIN, then follow the instructions to make a deposit. You should endorse the back of the check first.
  • Take a picture of the check from the bank's app. 

When you deposit the check, please ensure the signature on the back is the same as the one on the front, and pay close attention to spelling. If there is a misspelling, the check will be considered invalid, and you won't be able to deposit it.

Cash the Check

The next thing to write a check to yourself is to cash the check. Once you're ready to check, you need to cash it directly at the bank where you have an account by showing them your ID and endorsing the back of the check with "For Deposit Only." Sometimes, you need to write in your bank account or social security number. Even though you may only cash the check in the bank where you have an account, keep check-cashing stores and other banks out.

What is a Check to Cash?

A check to cash is simply another way to write a check to yourself, but instead of giving a name in the section "Pay to the Order of," you write cash and then try to deposit it into your bank account. To do this, fill out the check as you would any other. 

What is Check Kiting?

Bank fraud is pretty common, according to cybercrime and identity theft statistics. Even though check-kiting doesn't deal with identity theft, it's still considered bank fraud to a certain extent. If you constantly ask yourself - can I write a check to myself, you should avoid check-kiting. Check to kite is the unlawful practice of writing checks on an account with insufficient funds to take advantage of the float period. The check kiter typically writes a check on one account and deposits it into another account at a different bank, using the funds from the first deposit to cover the check amount. Then, take the check to your bank and deposit it as you would deposit any other check. The funds will typically be available within one business day. However, this can be tricky if the check gets lost or stolen. Because it doesn't state to whom the money should be transferred, anyone can quickly cash the check without committing fraud.

Alternative transfer methods

If you don't need to transfer the money from one bank account to another opened bank account, you don't have to write a check to yourself. There are other ways to get money from one bank account to another without writing a check. Some of these include: 

  • ACH transfers

Can I write myself a check? Even if you understand how to do it, sometimes you want to find another alternative. An ACH transfer is an electronic money transfer between banks. Most ACH transfers are used for payroll direct deposits and automatic bill payments. With a bank-to-bank transfer, you can electronically transfer from one account to another, but one of the banks needs to offer a bank-to-bank service so you can use this service. Typically, it's fast and straightforward to move money across the United States using ACH. The Automated Clearing House (ACH) network (a network of banks that enables the process of sending funds electronically) is generally used, with transfers going through for free.

  • P2P transfers

Writing a check to yourself can be a bit complex for some. One of the most commonly used transfers these past few years has been P2P transfers/payments, also known as peer-to-peer payments. Nowadays, people refuse to carry money in their wallets and entirely rely on their credit cards. But what happens when you are out to dinner and want to split the bill? That's where these P2P payments come in handy. These money transfer apps allow users to transfer money to one another from their mobile through a linked account or card instantly. 

  • Online Services and Apps

Transferring money through online apps is one of the best alternatives to moving money without learning and wondering - can I write a check myself? These apps allow you to transfer or access funds in your traditional bank account. The only downside is that it takes a few business days for the transfer to be fully processed due to verification or security confirmations. In addition, when using mobile apps for transferring purposes, there might be a limit on how much money you can move in a single transaction. If you are interested in this alternative method, there are many user-friendly online apps that you can look up and see what each app offers. 

  • Wire transfers

A wire transfer is an electronic transfer between banks or people in which no physical money is involved. Wire transfers are typically used for large sums of money or when you need the funds to be available immediately. If you are looking for a fast and simple alternative, a wire transfer should be your option.

  • Business accounts

Another alternative to how to write a check to yourself is by using business accounts. Businesses often need to transfer money between their bank accounts. This can be done using a service such as Paypal or by setting up a direct deposit with their payroll provider. 

  • Interbank transfers

Interbank transfers are electronic money transfers between banks. This type of transfer easily transfers money from one account in one bank to a different account in another bank. Interbank transfers can be done online, by phone, or in person at a bank branch. 

Bottom line 

Writing a check is still one of the top choices to move money safely. Not only is writing a check a safer option, but it's a convenient one. There is no need to carry a lot of cash with you or pay fees for the other alternatives. Hopefully, this article helped you understand the most crucial question repeatedly asked: can you write a check to yourself?


Is It Illegal To Write a Check to Your Name?

No federal law prohibits you from writing a check in your name. Therefore, writing a check in your name is not a crime, and it's not considered illegal. 

Is There a Maximum Amount You Can Write a Check?

There is no limit to how much you can write a check for. However, some banks may limit how much you can withdraw from your account or how much money you can send in a single transaction. 

Why Writing a Check to Cash is a Bad Idea?

Writing a check to cash is a bad idea because if the check gets lost, the person that found the check can cash the check without being accused of theft.

What is Check Kiting?

Check to kite is a form of fraud that involves writing checks on accounts with insufficient funds to take advantage of the float period. 

Can I write a check to myself with no money in my account?

If all you want to know is whether you can write a check to yourself without any money in your account, the answer is no. You cannot write a check to yourself with no money in your account. If you do, the check will bounce, and you may be charged with bank fraud. 


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