How to Write a Check Correctly and Securely: Step-by-Step

Proper, safe check writing is a critical piece of the financial literacy puzzle. A check can be used to pay your bills or make a big purchase or shop online. If you know the proper way to write a check, this will ensure smooth and safe processing. Learn now in this article step by step how to fill out a check and protect your sensitive financial information.

Parts of a Check

But before following the step-by-step process of writing out a check, it is important to recognize the many parts of a typical check:

Date line: This is where you write the date the check is issued. Writing the current date ensures that the check is valid and can be cleared within the shortest time possible.

Payee line: Name of the person or the business to which you’re making the payment. It is really important to get the spelling right of the payee’s name in case that check has to be processed.

Amount box and amount line: In the amount box, write in the numeric dollar amount of the payment. On the amount line, re-write it out in words for the same amount to prevent tampering and/or fraud.

Memo line: Optional space that you can write a short message to the payee; it is used to indicate the reason for payment.

Signature line: Here is where you sign the check to render it valid and legally enforceable.

Step 1: Date the Check

Always start by writing the date, or at least the day of the week, on the date line that appears on the top right of the check. This way the check will reach the recipient in time, with no ambiguity about when the payment was actually overdue.

Step 2: Fill in the Payee Line

Then, under the payee line, write down the name of the person or business from whom the payment is coming. The name should be well spelled for the payment to reach the right owner.

Step 3: Write the Check Amount in Numbers

Write the amount both in figures in the amount box on the right side of the check. Clearly and legibly write, and be explicit in writing, to avoid being misunderstood or misread, thus causing errors during processing.


Step 4: Amount in Words

Step 2: Amount Line Write the same amount in words below the payee line on the amount line. This step helps verify the amount written in numbers and helps avoid fraud or alteration in the number. Make sure you write the amount clearly and correctly.

Step 5: Memo Line (Optional)

You may include an additional message in the memo line, optionally, that says what the payment is for. This is not a necessary feature, but it will help make clear, on the record, what the transfer was for.

Step 6: Sign the Check

Lastly, sign the check where indicated at the bottom right corner. By doing so, you authorize the payment to be made and make the check legally valid. Sign your check correctly, leaving no space for the misuse of your check by con men.

Checking the Check Done

Having done the above, make a pause to scrutinize the check for its correctness and completeness. Ensure that the date, payee’s name, amount, and signature are in place before you issue the check.

Keep Your Check Safe

Following are some important points to secure checks from fraud and theft when preparing or managing them:

– Your checks should be stored in a safe place, such as in a locked drawer or safe.

Do not predate your checks or leave spaces in between, to be filled in by someone else later.

– Check your bank account frequently for unauthorized transactions or suspicious activities.

Here, consider the alternatives to electronic payment that will help you avoid physical payments without any attendant risk. 


 The art of writing checks correctly and securely begets the effective management of your finances. If you can follow through on the above step-by-step guide and take some caution in protecting your checks, your transactions will correctly and securely be done. Just make sure to review your checks before issuing them so that you can protect yourself against fraud or other unauthorized activities. When you write checks for any other purpose, you may keep these in mind as you now know this can be done confidently without putting your personal information or money at risk.

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