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How to cash a check without having a bank account?

03.06.2021
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7 min.

The ways to cash a check without keeping an account with a bank

Most American consumers can easily cash checks through a cashier or by putting it into a bank ATM. But roughly 25 percent of the US population either doesn't have bank accounts or frequently refer to financial services' alternative channels like applying to payday loans for cashing cheques out. Provided you belong to this category and are searching how to redeem a check there are several options available.

How to cash a check without having a bank account?

Below are possible options for cashing checks out without carrying a bank account. A customer should:

  • Visit an issuing company
  • Attend a retailer
  • Study payday loan companies' offers
  • Obtain a debit card for payroll accounting
  • Sign a cheque for somebody they trust
  • Consider a prepaid account for a card
  • Open a debit card account without overdraft

Visit an issuing bank

Attention! Banks convert checks into cash for non-clients only in case the check was issued by that particular bank.

Even in this case, fees for check cashing can be faced and their volume depends on a bank. For example, TD Bank requires the charge of $7 when a non-client is aimed to cash this bank's check. Meanwhile, once a non-client of Citibank® wants to redeem a cheque for an amount less than $5,000 the commission will not be charged. A number of banks apply interest too. For instance, the Fifth Third Bank® withdraws a commission of 1% of the check sum (minimum of $4 and maximum of $25).

It is not a rare case when a non-client is persuaded to set up an account in order to avoid commissions paying.

Visit a retailer

Large retailers like Walmart and several supermarket chains offer cheques cashing services and they are usually cheaper than those provided at banks or check redeeming points. The scheme is actually simple as $4 are paid for all printed receipts up to $1,000 along with up to $8 for all printed receipts over $1,000.01 and less than $5,000. Commissions are very reasonable for any amount of a cheque.

Study payday loan companies' offers

Such companies usually offer check redeeming services. Surely, applying to them with this issue is better than receiving a micro loan but cashing cheques out at some other place may be more beneficial.

Despite sometimes the easiest way is to get services at cheque cashing points customers should remember that frequently they collect significant fees the risks connected with cashing out.

While payments of the equivalent to a percentage of a check' value may be charged by some cashing enterprises, others apply flat commissions together with percentage fees. The fact that cheque' of large amount redeeming services can be quite expensive.

Obtain a debit card for payroll accounting

In the event of cashing a salary check than it is better to clarify with the employer as there are a lot of offers of debit card types that allow to easily upload paychecks directly to the card.

Sign a cheque for somebody trustworthy

Another way to cashing out cheques provided a customer doesn't have a bank account is to hand over the cheque to a trustworthy person keeping an account in a bank and ask that person to redeem in at their bank.

Prior to this it is necessary to ensure that the person who will receive the cheque is willing to cash it and such operations are carried out by the bank.

Note! The person should be accompanied in case a cashier will ask for the customer's ID or issues regarding the cheque will arise.

Having proper identification documents is obligatory for this person and besides, it is necessary to be prepared to cover expenses for the check's cashing. The risk of personal and financial security exists because a paper cheque as well as cash can be lost or stolen.

Consider a prepaid account for a card

When various financial institutions as well as other companies have realized that most of the US population is not provided with the proper service they started offering prepaid card accounts in order to render services to this segment of consumers.

For example, Chase proposes prepaid cards allowing checks to be deposited free of charge at any Chase ATM but still a monthly fee for service that equals to $ 4.95 is required.

The company of Ingo Money serves a variety of prepaid cards and supplies mobile checks to these cards' accounts. The app of Ingo Money can be installed on a smartphone and used for taking pictures of checks with following depositing to a prepaid account. This service applies a commission for ranging from 1% to 4% according to the check type (the standard rate is 2%) as well as a minimum payment of $5 for a transaction. However, there is an option for the fee not to be charged. The idea of it is that funds will be credited within 10 days and a user has to wait.

Open a debit card account without overdraft

Almost anyone and even those who were previously blacklisted by banks is able to obtain a debit card account without overdraft.

But customers should be careful as for some accounts a monthly service charge can be applied and additionally such cards may not grant an opportunity to draw cheques.

Search other options

As with any other spending decisions, various options are worth being compared in order to find the most proper offer. Provided a customer utilizes alternative checks red methods then nearby companies claiming the cheapest fees should be examined as it can be of help once a customer needs to convert a cheque into cash quickly.

Requirements for cheques cashing out

Typically one to two valid IDs are necessary for obtaining cash from a cheque at enterprises mentioned above. These documents may include:

  • US passport
  • State identifier
  • US driving license
  • Military ID of the USA
  • Green Card (foreigner registration receipt/permanent resident card)
  • Tribal ID
  • Identity Card of the Mexican Matricula Consular

Non-cash options

If not cash but just a quick access to some of a check's funds is needed then customers should consider their transferring from cheques to debit cards of a prepaid kind. Depending on a card type, fees for setting up a new prepaid card and every depositing of a check can be charged. Prepaid card's funds accessibility policy determines the term when either all or part of such funds become available. Cheques of payroll and government allowance can be transferred directly to prepaid cards and funds are immediately accessible. Some cards use third-party services that affording to load a cheque onto a card within a couple of minutes by taking a picture of the cheque. Normally fee-for-service basis is applied.

Another option is keeping an account with Fifth Third Bank's Express Banking where holders are allowed to have an immediate access to their checking deposits for some fee based on a customer's activity. Thus, high transaction volume customers have free of charge service while those with low volume has to pay up to 4% of the amount. Additionally, an optional debit card comes with the Express Banking account having neither minimum balance requirements nor monthly and maintenance and overdraft fees.

The bottom line

Converting a paper cheque into cash may appear to be a challenge without having an account with a bank. Unlike clients who keep bank accounts and their income direct deposit, preliminary planning for cash receiving from checks as well as gaining access to money is necessary for non-banking clients.

It's a rather easy issue to find a proper bank or other company that is able to redeem checks without having an account. But fees and restrictions are usually applied in this case. And the risks for carrying checks and cash should be kept into consideration.

The most proper way to redeem cheques is to set up either savings or current account at a credit union or Federal insured bank with the ability of following payroll cheques, tax refunds, retirement benefits and other types of income direct transferring. This option is not only easy and safe but cheap as well.

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