Some obvious but oh-so-important tips on check writing:
- Always use a pen to write your check. Pencil can be erased.
- The dollar amount in numbers and dollar amount in words must match. Many bank tellers look at only the amount in words.
- Always fill in all the blanks. Leaving any line blank makes it easier for someone to change your check.
- Don't write a check unless you have enough money in your account to cover it.
- If you make an error, don't strike through the error or try to correct in any way. Tear up the check and start over with a new one.
- Always record the check number and amount in your check register.
- Never sign a check until you need it. A blank check that is already signed makes it easy for a thief.
Next up: everything you probably never wanted to know—but must know—about "balancing" and "reconciling" your statement.