How to Deposit a Check Made Out to Cash

A woman is making a deposit at an ATM.
Image Credit: zamrznutitonovi/iStock/GettyImages

I have a check made out to cash – now what? Depositing a check made out to cash is a simple process you can do using your phone, an ATM or by visiting your bank. Checks made out to cash are just like other checks written to a person or business, in terms of how you deposit them. They are written this way when the writer doesn't know exactly who is going to cash the check, or needs money and is paying herself with a check.

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Understanding how to deposit them and deal with the extra security required to handle them will help you get your money safe and fast.

Read More​: Can I Make a Check Out to Myself and Deposit It?

Endorsing the Check

The first thing you'll want to do when you receive a check made out to cash is to endorse the check. This means signing the back of the check where indicated. If you're depositing the check as an individual, sign your name on the back. If you're depositing the check into a business account you have, you can use your endorsement stamp (if you have one) or write the name of the business on the back of the check. If you're hand-writing the name of your business, add your name and title underneath.

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For added security, you can write the words "For Deposit Only" under your signature. This will prevent anyone from trying to cash it in the event you lose it.

Read More​: How to Deposit Checks at an ATM

Using an ATM

If you want to deposit the check at an ATM, endorse the check, then put your debit or credit card into the machine. Follow the directions for depositing the check. This usually requires selecting, "Make a deposit," after you enter your PIN and are asked what you want to do, then inserting the check into the slot. The ATM will scan your check, show you an image and amount and ask you if you want to confirm the deposit. Once you select "Yes," the ATM will take the check, then ask you if you want to make another transaction and whether or not you want a receipt.

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Visiting Your Bank

You can deposit your check at your bank by going to a bank teller. If there's a line, find a counter deposit slip and fill it out. You'll need your account number. If you don't have it, fill out the rest of the slip and hand it to the teller when you get in line. Present your debit card or other information the teller asks for and hand her the deposit slip and endorsed check.

If there's no line, you can hand the check to the teller, let her know what you want and she'll fill out the deposit slip for you and give you a receipt. You'll still need your debit card or an ID so she can verify you are the account owner.

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If it's after hours and the bank has a dropbox, you can fill out a deposit slip and insert it, along with the properly endorsed check, into a deposit envelope and place it in the dropbox. Check your account the next day to make sure the bank got your deposited check.

Read More​: How to Deposit Checks by Phone

Using a Mobile App

If your bank offers a mobile banking app, you can deposit your check by taking pictures of the front and back of your check and following the app directions. You'll need to log in, choose "Deposit a Check," take the photos, verify that they and the amount are correct and then make the deposit. The app will ask you to wait a day or two for the check to clear before trying to withdraw or spend the money.

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Know Your Timing

Just because you've deposited a check into your account doesn't mean you've deposited that amount of money. The bank that issued the check needs to pay your bank. If the amount of the check that you've deposited exceeds the amount you have in your account, you might not be able to withdraw or spend all of the amount of the deposit.

For example, if you have ​$2,000​ in your account and you deposit a ​$5,000​ check, you won't be able to withdraw more than ​$2,000​ from your account. This prevents people from committing fraud and the bank from getting stuck holding the bag.

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For this reason, you might see the word "pending," "authorizing" or "processing" when you log into your account to make sure the transaction went through.

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