If you have a personal check, you may wonder how to cash it without paying a fee. The answer depends on the type of check and the bank where it was issued. Now, where to cash a check? SoFi experts say, “Don't make the blunder of cashing a check just like that anywhere.” Here's what you need to know:
#1. Determine the Type of Check
There are different types of checks, and they are not all created equal. Some can be cashed without a fee, while others will cost you money to cash. The kind of check you have in your hand will determine whether or not it's worth it to try to deposit the funds into your account.
#2. Present the Check at Your Bank
You can also present the check at your bank and ask them to cash it. This method is less popular than cashing it at a grocery store or convenience store, but it's still common enough. In fact, if you don't have an account with the bank where you're trying to cash the check, they may require that you open one and deposit some money into that account before they let you cash your check there.
If your bank requires any minimum balance or income level for you to open an account with them (or if they already have such minimum requirements), presenting them with a stack of checks like this could be a quick way for them to see that these are not someone who would pose an undue risk on their books.
#3. Present the Check in Person at the Payor's Bank
The third way to cash a check without paying a fee is to present the check-in person at the payor's bank. This strategy varies depending on the policies of each bank. For example, some banks will cash checks for free, others charge a fee, and still, others don't cash checks at all.
It's important to call ahead and find out their policy before you go into their branch with your checkbook in hand—and make sure you bring an ID with you.
Also, keep in mind that some banks have limits on how much money can be cashed over the counter in one day (so if your friend deposited $1,000 into their account yesterday, they might only let you take out some of it today).
#4. Cash the Check at a Company With a Check-Cashing Policy
Check-cashing stores are locations that allow you to cash your paycheck without paying a fee (keep in mind there may be one). These stores can often be found near grocery stores or gas stations and are open until late in the evening. You'll need to provide identification, your social security number and the name on the account before receiving your money.
The best way to cash a check without paying a fee is to have the payor give you cash. However, this is only sometimes possible or practical. The next best thing is to find a company that offers check cashing services for free. If you need a different option, then try presenting the check at your bank or in person at the payor's bank.