So you have a personal check that someone wrote you but you don’t have a bank account. Great, now what do you do with it? The good news is that you can cash a personal check and I’ll show you where and how to do just that.
First of all, let’s get some things out of the way just to start. Most check cashing places won’t take personal checks.
It’s not that you have done anything wrong or that you are a bad person or anything, it’s just that personal checks carry a much higher risk than other kinds of checks.
For instance, when a business writes a check, there is often a very good chance that the check is going to be good and that they won’t run into a problem with it.
In addition, it’s just easier to verify a check from a business, particularly something like a payroll check where the check casher can just go ahead and call the business and check to make sure that the person works there and was recently paid.
But with personal checks, there’s often no easy way to verify the check. It’s just a nightmare most of the time to be honest and that’s unfortunate because of the number of personal checks that are written all the time.
But fear not, if you have gotten a personal check written to you and it’s completely legitimate than not all hope is lost. In fact, you may be able to find a place to cash that personal check and it may be easier than you might initially think.
Places To Cash Personal Checks
Now, lets just keep something in mind up front. I said that finding a place to cash a personal check would probably be easier than you might imagine but I didn’t say that it wouldn’t involve any work.
The truth is that you are still going to have to spend a little time looking up the local check cashers in your area and making calls to see what check cashers will cash your personal check.
I know, it probably sounds like a real pain but the truth of the matter is that it’s really quick and painless. In fact, you can get started right away by just going to Google.com and searching “Local Check Cashers.”
Google will give you a pretty good list of check cashers in your area that you can call right away and within just a few minutes you will probably have found a few businesses that will in fact cash personal checks.
However, there’s a PRO TIP involved here that you might not think about at first, but you should!
While you are on the phone with these check cashers be sure you ask them what their rate for cashing personal checks is and right them down, one by one.
You see, when it comes to these types of checks the rates that businesses charge you for processing them can vary greatly so it’s worth your time to check it out, ask what they charge and find the best price.
Last but not least, be sure that you ask them what you need to have with you in order to cash a personal check. Some states have laws that require you to have something like a photo ID but when it comes to personal checks – you might need a few other things as well – so get it all out of the way and ask up front. You will probably save yourself a good amount of time by doing it right the first time!
How Cashing Personal Checks Work
When it comes to actually cashing these types of checks, often times it is going to work like many other kinds of checks work.
The first thing that the check casher is going to do is make sure that you are you – that is that you are the person that the check is written out to.
That means you will probably need at least a state issued photo ID at minimum, but you may also need a utility bill or a work ID. Knowing this up front can save you a lot of time which is why you want to ask these businesses what you will need while you are calling them to find out what to bring with you.
Once the business is satisfied that you are the person to whom the check is written out to they will then need to verify the check. Often times that will mean that they will call the bank and at least verify the funds are present.
Now you’ve got to keep in mind that not all banks will verify funds for check cashiers and if the person who wrote you the check has such a bank that won’t verify the funds the check casher may not be able to help you with it. It’s not that you are a bad person or did anything wrong – it’s just that some banks aren’t as willing to work with check cashers as others.
However, if the bank isn’t a problem and the check casher can verify that the check is good then the next thing that will normally happen is that they will go ahead and process your check and give you your money minus their fee, whatever that may be.
Typically speaking, personal checks carry a slightly higher fee than other types of checks but it would be uncommon for the fee to be much above 5%. There are cases where it may be of course, but typically speaking it won’t be that bad.
Again, this is one of those things that you will want to ask about when you are calling around to see what businesses will process personal checks to begin with. That way you know who is going to give you the best price and where you are going to get the most money out of that check.
Once the check is processed, you’ll get your ID(s) back and that’s it – you are all set.
The Nerd’s Thoughts
Now see, wasn’t that much easier than you might have thought?
I’m not sure why some people make such a huge deal out of cashing personal checks. it’s really not the end of the world and in many cases they are just as good as any other check.
That’s not to say that they are without risk. All checks carry some risk. But when it comes right down to it, once the check is verified, there is normally a pretty good chance that it will be just fine.
So if you have a personal check written to you that you just don’t know what do with then take a moment, go to Google and look up some local check cashers. Give them a call, ask them:
- If they take personal checks.
- What you need in order to cash a personal check.
- How much they charge for cashing personal checks.
Right it all down and you will know where to go to get the best price and the most money out of your check!