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Where To Cash Handwritten Payroll Check
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Cashing a check isn’t easy for the millions of consumers who don’t have a bank account. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s 2021 Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, 5.9 million U.S. households do not have a checking or savings account at a bank or credit union.
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There are ways to cash a check without a bank account, but they cost more, often take longer and are riskier than cashing a check at a bank where you have an account. Here are five different ways to do so and how much they will cost you.
Banks and credit unions are not required to cash checks for non-consumers, but most banks will cash a check written by a checking account holder at that bank, even if it is payable to a non-consumer.
There must be sufficient funds in the payee’s account to cover the check. The bank will ask the payee (the person to whom the check is issued) to show a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, before cashing the check.
The payee should also expect to pay a percentage such as 1 percent of the check amount or a flat fee. It can add up over time. For example, if you pay 52 weeks a year and it costs you $8 to cash your paycheck at a traditional bank where you don’t have an account, that adds up to $416 in check-cashing fees for the year.
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There may also be other barriers, such as limits on check amounts and rejection of personal checks by both parties. Even checks six months or older may be rejected.
Walmart charges $4 for checks up to $1,000, a maximum fee of $8 for checks over $1,000, and a maximum fee of $6 for two-sided checks.
Many grocery chains offer check cashing services. Kroger and Publix are just a couple. Fees typically range from $3 to $6.
Consumers without bank accounts sometimes use prepaid cards to deposit checks and access their money. Prepaid card accounts are similar to checking debit cards. Your spending is limited by how much money you have loaded onto the card.
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There are several options for prepaid card check cashing. Some prepaid cards allow you to set up direct deposit so that checks are automatically loaded onto the card. Other cards come with an app that lets you load a picture of your check onto your card. Alternatively, you may be able to deposit your check at an ATM to load the card.
Fees are a major drawback of prepaid cards. The Walmart MoneyCard charges $2.50 to withdraw cash from an ATM (not including the bank fee) or bank teller window, and 50 cents to check your card balance at an ATM. The monthly fee is $5.94 unless you put at least $500 a month on the card.
Reload charges can be steep. Adding money to a Green Dot prepaid Visa card costs up to $5.95. Green Dot also charges $32.50 for an ATM withdrawal and 50 cents for an ATM balance inquiry. In addition, there is a $7.95 fee each month, unless the card is loaded with a minimum of $1,000.
Check-cashing outlets can be the most expensive places to cash checks. Some of them require customers to become “members” or purchase check-cashing ID cards before cashing checks. In addition to a membership fee, they may charge a first-time usage fee.
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Check cashers typically charge 1 percent to 12 percent of the check’s face value. Some businesses charge a flat fee on top of a percentage. Most check cashers are paychecks and government benefits checks.
According to the Consumer Federation of America, the national average fee for cashing a check at one of these services is 4.1 percent. So if you cashed a $500 check, for example, the fee would be $20.50. If that’s your weekly paycheck, you’ll pay $1,066 in check-cashing fees for a year.
Not only are check-cashing stores extremely expensive, but there is also the risk of fraudulent practices. For example, the Better Business Bureau warns consumers about a scam in which customers at a check cashing bank are called by someone claiming to represent the business. The caller offers the customer a loan and requests payment to secure the loan. Of course, the credit is never received and the customer at the check cashing store is defrauded of their money.
Another way to cash a check without having a bank account is to have a trusted friend or relative who has a bank account sign the check and give the check to their bank.
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Make sure the person you are signing your check to is willing to cash the check and that it is theirs
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