What are checks?

Checks are a safe and convenient way to pay.

Instructions:Click each question to learn more about checks.

What is a check?

Checks are paper forms that people use to transfer money from one place to another. A check is a written order that instructs a bank to pay a specific amount of money from a specific checking account to a specific person or entity, for example, a store.

Close up of a person writing a check.

How do you get checks?

Your financial institution will normally provide you with a small supply of checks when you open a checking account. You can order more checks when you need them, usually for a fee.

Why use checks?

Checks are a safe and convenient way to pay for things. If you have checks, you don’t have to carry large amounts of cash around with you. Each time you write a check, you have a record of how much you spent, and where. That can help you track what you’re buying, how much you’re spending, and avoid spending more than you planned. You can record checks that have cleared the bank or are still outstanding in a physical transaction register or online.