Are you wondering how you can cash a check without a bank account? Chances are that you are not alone. As we speak, roughly 8.4 million households do not have a bank account, according to the FDIC. In addition, a total of 28.3% of Americans are either unbanked or under-banked. This means that they normally rely on other alternatives to banks for all their financial service such as check cashing. If you do not have a bank account you can still cash your check but it might be costly for you in the long run. Nearly, all the available services that can help you cash your check will impose a certain fee.
Also, most service providers might not cash personal checks. The good news is that there are options that can help you cash your check even without a bank account. This article will outline them for you so that you can have a better understanding and make the right decision.
How Do You Cash A Check Without A Bank Account?
As mentioned above, a check should not feel like a worthless piece of paper simply because you do not have a bank account. Fortunately, there are several ways you can cash it. Some of these ways include:
1. Check-Issuing Bank
If you want to cash the check at any bank, it will be difficult for you as the bank will not actually know whether the funds are actually available in the account of the person who wrote the check or not. Sometimes, there are instances when the check bounces and this can be detrimental.
In this case, it is advisable that you visit the branch of the bank where the check was issued. Here, you will need to tell the bank teller to check whether the account from which the check is drawn, if there are funds in it or not.
Since the name of the bank is always written on the check, you will be able to know which bank to visit. Although most banks can do this for you, some might charge you a certain fee. However, If you come across a bank that does not charge to cash a check, you will be able to save more money in the long run.
2. Cashing at a Retailer
Besides checking your check at the check-issuing bank, you can also cash it at your nearest retailer. Be it your nearest grocery store or other big-box retailers, you can trust that you will be able to cash your check at any of these points. For instance, some of the stores that offer check cashing services include Walmart, Kroger, and Kmart.
However, if you choose to cash your check this way, you will have to incur a certain fee. The amount of money incurred as transaction fees will vary from one retailer to another. After all, all these retailers are in business and have to earn some profits. Therefore, you should shop around and compare the fees charged. If you are rational enough, you will get a cheaper option and even save some money.
3. Check-Cashing Stores
The other convenient way of cashing your check if you do not have a bank account is at the cash-checking store. Here, you will have an easy way of accessing your funds. However, you should brace yourself for the charges that you are likely to incur. Besides cashing cheques, these stores also offer other money services such as payday loans, title loans, and many more.
Most of these stores hardly charge a flat fee whenever one wants to cash his or her check. Instead, they will charge a certain percentage of the check, which can range from 1% to 4%. Some of them can actually charge a flat fee on top of these rates. Therefore, you should compare the rates from different stores and then make a wise decision.
4. Try a payday lender
Sometimes, you might not live near a check-cashing store and you urgently need some money. The good news is that payday lenders can be of great help in such scenarios. You will note that payday lenders usually take these checks and in return give you the amount of money you need without necessarily asking you too many questions.
However, you should be ready to pay high fees for your check to be cashed. In fact, you might actually walk home with less cash that you deserved as a result of these charges. However, you will enjoy the convenience that they offer when you do not have any other alternative.
5. Consider a prepaid card account
You will note that some banks can allow you to cash your check at their ATMs and then load the money to your prepaid debit card. Thereafter, you will be able to make purchases out there. If you have ample time to wait in line at the bank branch, you can go ahead and consider this option.
However, just like other methods, you have to part with some money as service fee. You will realize that prepaid card accounts usually carry a certain monthly service fee. Therefore, brace yourself for these fees if you have to cash your check, every now and then.
6. Endorse it to a friend
Sometimes, you might have a friend or a family member that has a bank account and he or she might be of great help as far as cashing your check is concerned. Here, you should endorse the check to them by writing on the back of the check and indicate that you would like the money to be deposited into that person’s account. Thereafter, your friend will deposit the funds and then give you money.
Although this method is cheap compared to the ones mentioned above, you have to trust the person that he or she will cash the check for you. Once the money is deposit in their account, they will then give the money to you. Here, an element of trust must prevail for this to happen. In case, the friend does not pass the money to you, the bank will not help you much as you will fully signed the check over to them.
What Is The Best Way To Cash A Large Check Without a Bank Account?
If you have a large check and you want to cash it, the best option you should consider is going to the bank that issued you with the check. This is because the banks that issue large checks also cash them. You do not need to be a customer for your check to be cash.
All you need to do is to visit the bank in person and present the check to the bank teller. It will be cashed for you and you might only need to pay a small amount of money for this service. However, there are banks that do not charge anything for this service. If you visit such banks, chances of saving more money are quite high.
Key Considerations Before Cash A Check If You Don’t Have A Bank Account
If you do not have a bank account and you want to cash a check, there are a number of considerations that you should make. These considerations will influence the option you will consider when cashing your check. Some of this consideration includes:
1. Be ready to incur a service fee
If you choose to cash your heck using a retailer or a check-cashing store, you will have to brace yourself for the fees involved. Also, if you visit the bank that issued you with the check, you will still have to pay the service fee. This fee is normally charged since you will enjoy the convenience involved in the whole process.
To be on the safe side, you should compare the different cashing fees charged and then choose the one that charges the least. After all, you should be rational enough and aim at saving more money.
For instance, if you visit the bank that issued you with the check, you might be charged a lesser cashing fee compared to if you visited check-cashing stores for the same service. If the cheapest option is not there, you can consider the most expensive option as a last resort.
2. Your ID will be need
For you to enjoy cashing services in various places, you will be needed to present one form of identification. This is usually the case in order to verify that you are the legitimate person who wants to cash the check.
Sometimes, you might be required to present two forms of identification. Such is usually the case when you want to cash a large check. There is an array of IDs that can be accepted in most of the cashing points. These include:
- State-issued ID
- Your driver’s license
- Military ID
- Tribal ID
- Mexico Matricula Consular ID
- S passport
- Resident alien ID
- Green card
3. It is hard to cash personal checks
Sometimes, you might have a personal check that you want to cash. While this might seem possible, you should note that there are fewer options for this undertaking. In fact, if you have a payroll or government check, it will be easy for you to cash the check. The same applies if you have a pre-printed check.
However, if you have a personal check, you might experience difficulties in cashing it as most check-cashing stores do not accept such checks. In this case, you might consider visiting the issuing bank or better still consider asking the person giving you the check to give you a cashier’s check or money order instead. Since these checks are repaired, it will be easier for you to cash them.
4. Consider the lowest-cost option all the time
Although some options might be costly for you as far as check-cashing is concerned, there will always be that option that might be cheap for you. As a rational person, you should consider going for this option and you will be able to save a dime.
For instance, if having your own bank account will cost you nothing. All you need to do is to fill out an application and it will only take a few days to set up everything. Thereafter, you will be able to receive checks of your own without the hassle of looking for third parties to help you out.
5. Consider opening a bank account
Since the check-cashing fees might be higher than you expect, it is only wise that you consider opening a bank account of your own. The good news is that there are many banks and credit unions where you can open a checking account. Ideally, you should consider choosing an online bank that charges the least fees so that you can save more. Also, your bank of choice should have better saving rates.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I cash a check at Walmart without a bank account?
Yes. Walmart now offers in-store checks to cash of payroll checks, tax checks, government checks, insurance settlement checks, cashier’s checks, and many more. However, it is important to note that they do cash a personal check.
2. What should you do with cash a check if you do not have a bank account?
If you do not have a bank account, you can still cash your check at the check-issuing bank or at the cashing stores. Better still, you can cash it at a retailer, and you will be good to go. This way, your check will not look like a worthless piece of paper.
3. Are there apps that can help you cash your check?
4. How can I cash a check immediately?
If you want to cash your check immediately, you should consider taking it to the check writer’s bank. This is actually the bank or credit union that holds the check writer’s fund. By doing this, you will be able to get money out of the check writer’s account to your hands, almost instantly at that bank.
5. How do you cash a check with another name?
This can actually be done by having the payee endorse the check (sign the back) and below that, you should write ‘pay to the order of Kelvin James’. Kelvin James can now endorse and then cash or deposit the check. This is commonly referred to as a 3rd party check.
6. Can you go to jail for depositing a fake check?
Yes. If a person knowingly deposits a fake check, with the intention to obtain money that is not theirs or to deceive a bank employee, he or she is subject to criminal consequences. One of these consequences can be to serve a jail term or criminal office. Typically, the more money involved, the greater the criminal consequences.
Failure to have a bank account should not be a hindrance to accessing your hard-earned money. Nowadays, various ways, such as the ones mentioned above, can help you cash it seamlessly. Although you might incur a certain checking fee at some point, it is worth it. More importantly, you will enjoy more convenience as you will have ready cash to purchase any item you need. Consider the above-mentioned methods of cashing a check without a bank account today and you will not regret it.