how to write a check with cents
Jo Larsen
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When you write a check, the amount of money that you are transferring is written out in words and numbers.

In order to make sure that the amount on the check is accurate, it’s important to understand how to write a check with cents correctly. A simple but important part of personal finance.

In this article, we will walk you through the process of how to write a check with cents so that there is no confusion about the amount being transferred. Paper checks are not used very much today, thanks to electronic transfers or EFT’s but sometimes when you still need one, you need to know what to do.

Credit and debit cards are used some much more now along with e-transfers but everyone one in a while, a paper check is required. So let’s get to how to write them.

Why is it important to Know How to Write Checks with Cents?

“One cent. Two cents. Three cents.” Have you ever wondered why we say these words when we write out checks? It turns out that there’s a very good reason for it. When you write a check, you need to include the amount of money in both dollars and cents.

This is to prevent fraudsters from adding an extra digit to the end of the amount and changing the value of the check. For example, if you wrote a check for “twenty-five dollars” without the cents, someone could easily change it to “twenty-five hundred dollars.”

By including the cents, you make it more difficult for someone to alter the amount without your knowledge. So next time you reach for a pen to write a check, remember to include those all-important cents! How to write cents on a check is important!

1. How To Write a Check With Cents

Check-writing isn’t as simple as it once was. No longer can you just write out a check, sign it, and hand it over. Nowadays, you need to take into account the payee, the amount of the check, and whether or not there are any cents involved.

75,205 Writing Check Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock
Write a check with cents

Writing a check with cents may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple. All you need to do is follow these steps:

First, write out the amount of the check-in numerical form in the dollar box. Be sure to include any cents by writing them as decimal points (for example, $100.00). Next, spell out the same amount on the line below.

Use fraction form if the amount has cents (for example, “One hundred and 00/100”). Finally, sign your check on the signature line.

The key is to remember to include the cents when you write out the dollar amount. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • When writing the date, always use the month/day/year format. For example, February 14th, 2016 would be written as 02/14/16.
  • Write the complete name of the person or business to whom you’re making the payment in the “Pay to the Order Of” line.
  • Below that, write out the dollar amount of the check-in both dollars and cents. Be sure to spell out “dollars” so there’s no confusion (for example, “$123.45”).
  • In the “Memo” line, you can include a brief note about what the check is for. This is optional but can be helpful if you need to reference this check later on.
  • Finally, sign your name in the designated spot at the bottom of the check. And that’s it!

2. What To Do If You Make A Mistake While Writing A Check?

If you make a mistake while writing a check, don’t worry! You can usually fix it by drawing a line through the mistake and initialing it.

If the mistake is in the dollar amount/dollar sign, you’ll need to write the word “void” next to it and start over with a new check.

Be sure to keep your checks organized so you don’t accidentally write one for more or less than what you intended! Keeping track of finances and debt is important.

If you need to cancel a check entirely, write “VOID” across the front of the check-in in large letters. Again, be sure to initial and date the change. Once a check is voided, it cannot be used for any purpose.

This is also a good tip when you write a check to someone such as your employer for direct deposit purposes for your pay. That way they have all the necessary information but it cannot be cashed or used for anything else.

3. How To Fill Out The Memo Line On A Check

The memo line on a check is an optional field that can be used for writing notes or reminders about the purpose of the check. When filling out the line, be sure to use clear and concise language so that there is no confusion about what the check is for. Some common examples of how to use the memo line include:

  • For rent payment
  • To pay a utility bill
  • For groceries

If you are writing a check for multiple purposes, you can list them all on the memo part. For example, if you are paying your rent and your utilities with one check, you could write “Rent and utilities” on the memo line.

If there is not enough room on the memo line for all of the purposes of the check, you can write “See attached” and list the purposes on a separate sheet of paper.

When writing a check with cents, be sure to include the cents amount in both numerical and written form.

You can also use the abbreviations “&c” or “cts” after the dollar amount to indicate that there are cents included in the total amount.

4. What Happens When Your Bank Account Is Not Enough To Cover A Check?

The check will bounce if you don’t have enough money in your account to cover it. This implies that the payee will be sent a returned cheque.

69,236 Bank Account Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock
Bank Account

When this happens, you may be charged a fee by your bank and you will owe the payee the amount of the check plus any additional fees associated with the bounced check.

It’s important to keep enough money in your account to cover all of your checks, as well as any other payments you may have authorized (such as automatic bill payments).

If you’re not sure how much money you need to keep in your account or know your account number, speak with your bank or financial institution. They can help you determine how much money you need to keep on hand to avoid having a check bounce.

5. What To Do If Your Check Gets Lost Or Stolen?

If your check gets lost or stolen, you should verify your checking account and contact your bank immediately. They will be able to cancel the check and issue you a new one.

You should also keep an eye on your account to make sure that no one tries to cash the check. If you see any suspicious activity, you should report it to your bank right away.

6. How Long Checks Are Valid For

The general rule is that a check is valid for up to six months. This doesn’t mean that the money will still be in the account when you go to cash it, but the bank can’t refuse to honor the check based on its age.

After six months, you may have trouble cashing a check, but it’s worth a try. If the check is made out to you, you can sign it over to somebody else and they can attempt to cash it.

There are some exceptions to this rule. If a check is dated for a specific date on the date line in the future, it cannot be cashed until that date arrives.

For example, if you have a rent payment due on September first and you write a check dated September first, your landlord cannot cash that check until September first.

Another exception is if a check is post-dated. This means that you wrote the check but dated it for a future date on purpose.

For example, if you wrote a check on August 31st but dated it for September 30th, the bank will not cash the check until September 30th.

Postdating checks can be helpful if you need to make sure someone doesn’t try to cash the check early.

However, banks are not required to honor post-dated checks, so it’s always best to talk to your bank about their policy before writing one.

How to Write Cheques with Cents
How to Write Cheques with Cents

Conclusion | How To Write A Check With Cents?

Assuming you have a checking account and bank routing number, you can easily write a check with cents. The process is similar to writing a regular check, but with a few additional steps.

When filling out the amount of the check, first write the dollar amount in words, then put the numerical value of cents below it. In the small box on the right side of the line, write “/100” after the cent amount.

This indicates that the check is for that amount of money. Finally, sign the check on the line at the bottom.

FAQs | How To Write A Check With Cents?

Q: Do I need to include cents when writing a check?

A: While it is not required to include cents (less than one dollar) when writing a check, it is generally considered good practice to do so. Including cents ensures that the recipient knows exactly how much money they are receiving.

Q: How do I indicate cents when writing a check?

A: You can indicate cents by writing the numerals for the number of cents after the dollar amount. For example, if you are writing a check for $25.50, you would write “twenty-five dollars and 50/100” or “twenty-five dollars and fifty cents.”

Q: What happens if I forget to include cents when writing a check?

A: If you forget to include cents when writing a check, the recipient may still cash or direct deposit the check.

However, they will only receive the dollar amount that you wrote on the check. For example, if you wrote a check for $25 but forgot to include the two zeros for the cents, the recipient would only receive $25.

Q: Can I write a check for more than 100 cents?

A: Yes, you can write a check for more than 100 cents. However, you will need to indicate how many dollars and how many cents you are writing the check for.

For example, if you are writing a check for $125.50, you would write “one hundred twenty-five dollars and 50/100” or “one hundred twenty-five dollars and fifty cents.”

Q: What other information might be important?

The numbers running across the bottom of the check represent the following:

Routing transit number. The first sequence of numbers represents your financial institution’s routing transit number. This code identifies your bank, allowing the check to be directed to the right place for processing. 

Account number. The second sequence of numbers is your unique account number. It was assigned by the bank when you opened the checking account.

Check number. The last sequence of numbers is the check number. It is also featured at the top of the check, beneath the date. It helps you track the payment later if needed.

Q: What about a Cashier’s Check?

In order to write a cashier’s check, the bank will take money from your personal checking or savings account and transfer your funds to the bank’s own account. They will then write the check under the bank’s exact name. Because the bank uses their own money to back the check, it is more secure and trustworthy.

Q: Who to Write a Check In Cents?

When you write a check (or cheque) in the United States, you must write the amount of the check in numbers, followed by the word “dollars” and then spell out the fraction of cents. Here’s how to do it:

For example, let’s say you want to write a check for $127.58. You would write “One hundred twenty-seven dollars and 58/100.” Notice how you drop the “0” when writing 58/100 – this is because 58 cents is more than half a dollar, so we don’t need to add the extra zero.

Sometimes, people will also use a “/” instead of “and” when writing out fractions of cents, like this: 127 dollars 58/100. This is perfectly fine, although using “and” is technically more correct.

It’s important to remember that you always need to put the word “dollars” after the numbers, even if the amount is something like $1 or $10 – you can’t just write 1 dollar or 10 dollars. This seems like a small thing, but if you don’t include “dollars”, then your check could be easily rewritten for any other amount (for example, someone could change a 1 to a 9 and make your check for $91).

So always remember to write out the full word “dollars” after the Numbers. Another way to help prevent fraud is to initial any changes made on the check. And finally, never sign a blank check – someone could fill in any amount and forge your signature!

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