The parts of a check

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Now let’s take a close look at a check.

A blank check

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At the top of the check is where your name and address go. They’re preprinted on the check for your convenience and tell the person or company you’re giving the check to — also known as the payee — that you’re the one who wrote it.

Enter today’s date where the check says “date.”

The “Pay to” area is where you put the name of the person or company you’re writing the check to. If you’re making a withdrawal to get cash for yourself, enter “Cash” here.

Write the amount of the check in the spot next to the dollar sign.

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On the large line, write out the amount in words on this line. Start at the left edge of the line and when you’re finished, draw a line through the remaining empty space as far as the word “Dollars.” This is to ensure that no one else can alter the amount you wrote the check for.

The name of the bank that holds your account is pre-printed on the check.

Next up is the memo field. Write a brief description of your purchase here. This will help you remember EXACTLY where your money went.

Can you find the check number? It’s the number 102. All checks are numbered sequentially. The check number will help you keep track of your checks and expenses.

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The account number and bank routing number are at the bottom of the check. The bank routing number is first. It’s how the bank identifies itself to other banks.

Then your account number is listed. This tells the bank which account the money comes from.

Click the Next button to learn about using a check register.