How to Endorse a Check to someone else

Although electronic transfers and direct deposits are becoming more and more popular, there are still companies that use paper checks for paying their employees. A paper check is also a handy way to settle a personal debt or pay someone for an odd job. When you receive a paper check that is written to you, you have the option of either cashing it yourself or writing it over to someone else. By endorsing the check to another person, you allow that person to either cash the check or deposit it in his or her own account.

Endorsing a paycheck to a friend or family member is a quick way to give that person money. Instead of stopping at the bank, depositing your paycheck, and then writing a check to the recipient, you can skip the bank altogether by endorsing the check to the person you want to have the money. If your spouse has a bank account that does not have your name on it, you may need to endorse checks to your spouse on a regular basis in order to manage your finances as a couple. To endorse a check to someone else, follow these steps:

1. Find a quality blue or black pen that will allow you to write legibly.

Never endorse a check in pencil or erasable pen, since that makes it too easy alter. Also note that banks may refuse to accept checks endorsed in pencil, especially if they have been endorsed to a third party.

2. Locate the line on the back of the check.

The words “do not write below this line” usually appear on the back of each check along with a fine line near the top of the check. You will need to make sure your entire endorsement is written above that line.

3. Make sure you have the correct spelling of the person’s legal name.

If you misspell the name or write the endorsement using a nickname, there is a chance that the bank will not cash the check. Also, banks will not cash checks with words crossed out or written over, so once you write the name on the check, you will be unable to change it.

4. At the top of the check, write the words “pay to the order of” followed by the person’s name.

5. Sign your own name below that.

Be sure to leave room for the recipient’s signature. The recipient will need to endorse the check with his or her own signature in order to cash it.