Many banks will not cash your check if you don't have an account, so you may need to go to a check-cashing store. These businesses cash a variety of checks, from personal and cashier's checks to Social Security, pension checks and income tax refunds. You need the proper identification and there will be a fee depending on the type of check cashed. Policies vary between stores based on the type of check, the customer and other factors.
- Skill level:
Call several check-cashing stores and compare terms and fees, which vary from store to store. Some stores charge fees of 1.5 per cent of your check amount for business checks, 10 per cent for personal checks, 3 per cent for government checks and 6 per cent for cashier's checks.
Pick the store with the best deal and go there. Tell the representative what type of check you want to cash. Present valid photo identification--state identification, driver's license, passport, or military identification. Fill out a customer record card, which includes your name, address, and phone number, place of employment and frequency of pay periods. There may be a minimal new-customer fee of about £1.90, depending on the store.
Wait for the representative to verify that the check is valid. If you are trying to cash a personal check, the representative must speak to the person that issued the check and will call the bank to verify that the check is good. Social Security and other checks have to be verified as well. The verification process can vary from store to store, but most will call the bank to confirm the funds are there. This helps cut down on instances of fraud. If for some reason they cannot verify that a check is good, they will not cash your check.
Take your funds. When verification is complete, the representative will give you the cash minus any fees. If you visit the store in the future, they will have a record of your information on file and the process will be a little faster.
Tips and warnings
- If possible, avoid check-cashing stores during the first four or five days of the month, when they tend to be extremely busy cashing government checks.
- Open a bank account to avoid check-cashing fees. If you cash a personal check for £975, the fee may be £97.
- Some check-cashing stores offer more favourable terms for business owners
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