It’s completely legal to write a check to yourself, and you can write as many checks to yourself as you want as long as it doesn’t bounce. Ensure you have sufficient funds in your account from where the check is issued by the date you’re supposed to cash it in to avoid unintended fraud. Make sure you write your own name in front of “check payable to” to avoid misuse. There could be various reasons why one writes a check to themselves, but it all comes down to the transaction policy. It takes a check about a couple of business days to transfer funds between banks.
Writing checks to someone has almost become obsolete in today’s time. With the ease of debit and credit cards and so many other quick ways to transfer money online with a click of a button, gone are the times when one would write a check to someone, and they would have to wait for 2-3 business days to cash in the amount.
Though it might have become less popular, writing checks is still needed and, in some cases, a beneficial thing to do. When it comes to writing checks to oneself, people have a lot of doubts, and most of it includes why one would do it and if it’s legal?
In short, yes, you can write a check to yourself but let’s see how it benefits you!
Writing a check to yourself
There’s this misconception in people’s minds that you can’t write a check to yourself, but it’s not true. It’s perfectly legal to write a check to yourself.
The meaning of writing a check is to transfer an amount of money from one account to another. When you’re fulfilling this basic requirement, it doesn’t matter if the check is written to a second person or yourself.
You have to fill in the details like you usually would for another person except by writing your name three times on the check, including your signature, which is perfectly legal.
The only thing you’ve to keep in mind is not to mention “cash” in front of “check payable to.” This is a risky move because if you lose your check, anyone who gets their hands on it can cash in the amount.
Writing a check in your own name allows only you to cash in the amount.
Why one writes a check to themselves
Writing checks to oneself sounds illegal, but it isn’t. You’ve nothing to worry about as long as you have the required balance in the account that needs to be transferred to another account before the date mentioned on it.
Some people still find writing a check an easier way of transferring money for various reasons.
- Writing a check leaves behind a paper trail which is much easier to keep track of as it’s pretty straightforward.
- Not many people find advancing technology appealing, so transferring money online from one account to another is something they struggle with. Writing a simple check is much easier for them.
- People use it for paying rent, utility, and other kinds of bills.
Writing a check to yourself could be due to various reasons, but it all comes down to the transaction policy.
It usually takes 2-3 days to cash in the amount when someone writes checks. It’s not the same as digital transfer, where you can transfer a said amount from one account to another within a second without any difficulty.
It also depends on bank to bank and their policies regarding how much time they take to cash in the check. Due to this factor that funds aren’t transferred immediately, people take advantage of it and use it to their benefit by writing a check.
So, when they have enough funds in the account check has been issued, they can transfer it to their other account. It’s also helpful to write a check when your debit card or other cards aren’t working.
Availability of funds
The most important thing is to see if you have the required balance in your account from which the check is being issued by the date you’ve mentioned on the check.
Writing a check to yourself is easy and handy at the same time. If used rightly, it can benefit you in various situations, but one should be wary of accidentally committing fraud solely based on this factor.
When writing yourself a check, make sure you have enough funds in the account.
The receiving bank might accept a bad check and add funds to your account, but eventually, the check will bounce. When this happens, you’ll have to pay fees, your bank might close your account, or you find yourself in legal trouble.
This whole process is known as check kiting. It’s when someone takes advantage of the float to use non-existent funds in a checking or other bank account. Instead of being used as a negotiable instrument, checks are misused as a form of unauthorized credit.
So, make sure you have the available funds mentioned on the check by the date mentioned on it.
Checks from a business account
If you’re a small business owner as a sole proprietorship or use a business entity like a corporation or limited liability company, you can write yourself a check from a separate business account if you have signatory authority.
When an account is opened under a business name, banks require the names and signatures of all owners, officers, and employees who are authorized to write checks. This means they have signatory authority.
If you have signatory authority, a check made out to yourself can be deposited in your personal bank account just like any other check your receive.
If you want to pay yourself by moving money from a business account to your personal account and the names on accounts are different automatic transfers won’t be possible.
Check from the joint account
Some people have joint accounts with their spouses, and that implies both you and your spouse are authorized to write checks to anyone, including your personal account.
Pay attention to the bank where you’ve got this account because some don’t require both account holders’ signatures. This could become an issue as someone can easily scam you to open a joint account with them. Be careful where you open your account and what their policies are.
Ways to move your money
While writing checks to yourself is one way to move your money, it’s not the only option to do so. With checks, you’ve to wait until it cashes in, which means things might get delayed for you. Here are some other options to move your money.
Bank to bank transfer or the ACH transfer is when you can move your money electronically from one account to another. To use this option, one of your banks needs to offer a bank-to-bank transfer service.
Banks with apps online allow you to link your multiple accounts together. Funds move through the ACH network, usually for free.
Third-party services or apps can also do the same job for you when sometimes a bank doesn’t have its own app which provides all these features. Applications like PayPal are an example of asking permission to link to your account to make payments or receive funds.
It’s a third party and does involve some time to figure out how to set the app, but the transfer is pretty easy once you’re done. There’re several other apps like it that you can use to your advantage.
This kind of transfer usually involves a certain fee to help you transfer money from one account to another and is a bit expensive.
How big of a check can I write myself?
There’s no limit on the amount of which you can write a check to yourself. As long as the said amount written on the check is available in your account, you should have no issues. If the said amount isn’t present in your account, it can be considered fraud, also known as check kiting. It’s when you take advantage of the credit provided by the bank.
Where can I cash a check written to myself?
– Your local bank or credit union
– Visit the issuing bank
– Walmart check cashing
– Your local grocery store
– Gas station travel centers
– Transact by 7 eleven
– Endorse your check to a friend
– Cash your check using an app
How much can you write a personal check for without being taxed?
Writing a check for up to $14,000 shouldn’t be a problem.
The simplest way to subsidize others is by using the annual exclusion, which allows you to give $14,000 in cash or other assets each year to each of as many individuals as you want.
Spouses can combine their annual exclusions to give $28,000 to any person tax-free.
Is bouncing a check a crime?
When writing a check to someone or even to yourself, make sure you have sufficient funds in your account by the time it’s supposed to be cashed in. If you don’t have sufficient balance, you will be fined.
Your check will bounce, and that’s illegal. It will be considered fraud and often a felony leading to jail time and fines. Many states also permit civil actions where a plaintiff can recover up to three times the original check amount.
There could be various reasons you would consider writing a check to yourself. And if you’re wondering if it’s legal or not, then worry not because there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s perfectly legal to write a check to yourself and cash it in.
You need to be mindful of the fact that you should have the funds in your account written on the check, or it can be considered a fraud. Also, in front of “check payable to,” don’t mention cash; otherwise, anyone can misuse it.
In some situations, writing a check to yourself is pretty useful because it does take a couple of days for the amount to be debited from your account. If your reason for writing a check is convenient, you can write as many checks to yourself as you want as long as it doesn’t bounce.