How to Cash Checks if You Don't Have a Bank Account
Not having a bank account can be a real pain, since we live in a modern society now where it's almost obligated. There's lots of reasons that someone may not be able to open a bank account. Usually it's because someone is in debt and doesn't want their money being seized by creditors. Another reason is because someone owes money to a particular bank, and that bank uses ChexSystems, so other banks won't allow you to open an account until you clear your debt with the bank. So whatever the reason, if you're having trouble cashing checks without a bank account, there's a few other options available that you should know about, as they might apply to you.
Go to the Issuing Bank
If you look on the check itself, the bank from where the cheque was issued will usually be listed somewhere in the top left or top right section of the check. This bank may or may not have a local chain in your area. If they do, then you're in luck. The issuing bank of the cheque will usually cash the check without any need for you to have a bank account there. But you should first call them up and make sure of this, so that there is no confusions once you get down there. Some popular financial institutions that are known for doing this would be Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Bank of the West, and Chase, but these aren't the only ones, as most banks can do this as well. When you cash a check at the issuing bank, there isn't normally a fee taken out for doing it. So this is probably your best option if you want to keep every penny you earned.
Go to Check Cashing Places
There are Check Cashing companies all over the world and in every single one of the U.S. states. Some of them are stand-alone companies that focus on cashing checks and financial services, while others may just be part of a completely different company, such as a cheque cashing place on the inside of a liquor store or gas station. These places don't normally require a credit check, as they will usually just call up the bank who issued the check and make sure everything is ok with them before actually cashing it. Just be sure to ask what their rates are before you decide to cash yours, because they will take out a fee. A fee is completely normal for these types of organizations, since that's how they stay in business, but some of them have very ridiculous rates and this is why you should shop around first and compare the rates at many different companies before deciding on one. I've taken mine to one company who wanted 6%, and then walked down the street and found one who only wanted 1%. So it can be a major difference and you should always ask them what their rates are before handing it to them. Looking them up in the phone book or online and calling them first is the probably the smartest way to do this, as it will save you time and a lot of driving or walking.
Forward It to Someone Else
If you know of someone who has a bank account, you can always forward the check to them and they can cash it for you or deposit it into their account. This is quite simple, as all you really have to do is sign the back of it where it says "Endorse Here", or "Signature Required for Endorsement". You just need to make sure that you do not write below the line that reads "Do not Write, Sign, or Stamp Below This Line", as this could void the entire transaction or cause problems. You should also make sure that you can completely trust the person whom you're handing it to, as this allows them to take your money and keep it if they should decide to do so.
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