Budgeting Debt

Where Can I Cash a Third-party Check?

Wanting to cash a third-party check? Some common places you can cash checks are: 

  • Check cashing stores
  • Currency exchanges
  • Banks
  • Credit unions 

However, there are some things you may want to consider before you write or attempt to cash a third-party check. 

What Are Third-party Checks? 

A third-party check is a check that the original payee has signed over to someone else. When someone writes a check, they make out the funding to a specific recipient. If that recipient decides they would like the funding to go to someone else, they may sign the check. This action makes their check a third-party check. 

Since third-party checks involve funding transfers, banks and financial institutions must track them meticulously. Furthermore, third-party checks may come in a few different forms. A few common check types are: 

  • Cashier’s check
  • Personal checks 
  • Certified check

To make sure you or a recipient are able to cash a third-party check successfully, it is important to understand the various forms such checks may come in. 

Mainly, certified checks and cashier’s checks differ regarding funding. Funding from certified checks comes from the payer’s bank account. In contrast, financing from cashier’s checks comes from the issuing bank or financial institution. Account-holders must purchase cashier’s checks from their own bank, which can then issue a check for the amount paid. People who don’t want to wait for their payee to cash or deposit their check may prefer a cashier’s check, so the funding is out of the account right away.   

But what about certified checks and personal checks? Although they are quite similar, certified checks and personal checks are not the same things. While funding for both check types comes from the payer’s bank account, some prefer certified checks over personal checks because they come with an extra layer of security. Before a payer may issue a certified check, their bank must confirm there are sufficient funds in the payer’s account. On the other hand, a personal check is backed up only by the credibility of the check writer.    

Where Can I Cash Third-party Checks? 

You may be able to cash a third-party check via:

  • Bank or credit union 
  • Currency exchange 
  • ATM
  • Cash Apps

Cashing third-party checks will carry fees. For example, currency exchanges often charge a fee for their services, while banks usually do not. Check out more information about the different places you may cash a third-party check below.

Cash Third-party Checks Into Your Bank Account 

You can cash a third-party check at most banks and financial institutions. But, some banks do not accept third-party checks; so before you attempt to cash such checks, review your bank’s policies. Some banks where you may be able to cash third-party checks are: 

  • Chase
  • Suntrust Bank
  • TD Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • Bank of America
  • Citibank
  • HSBC
  • M&T

To utilize bank services when you need to cash a third-party check, you must be an account holder. Non-customers are typically unable to cash checks or withdraw funds from a specific bank.

Cashing a Third-party Check via an ATM

ATM check cashing is one option you may consider to cash your third-party check. However, keep in mind that if you wish to cash third-party checks via an ATM, you would need to have a bank or checking account. A person cashing a check through an ATM is essentially the same as cashing a check with a bank, except that they are working with an automated machine instead of working with a bank teller. 

Currency Exchange To Cash Third-party Checks 

One way to cash a third-party check is to utilize a cash checking service at a currency exchange. Many currency exchanges throughout the United States can help you out with cashing a third-party check as well as some other financial services. For example, you may be able to cash funding you receive from payday loans at a currency exchange. Those who cannot receive payday loans online same day could go to a currency exchange to access their funding. 

Some popular check cashing stores are: 

  • ACE Cash Express 
  • Check ‘N Go 
  • The Check Cashing Store 

If you plan to cash a third-party check at a currency exchange, it would be best if both you and the original payee were there to cash the check in person. Some financial institutions require in-person verification where two parties are both present when cashing a third-party check. 

Cash a Third-party Check at a Credit Union

You may be able to work with local branch credit unions to cash your third-party checks. Credit unions exist as standalone brick-and-mortar businesses as well as inside many grocery and convenience stores. While you may not need a bank account per se, you will need an account with the credit union you intend to cash your third-party check with, even if they are inside grocery stores. 

 Use Cash Apps To Cash a Third-party Check

One check cashing option available to most people with or without a bank account is cash apps. A few popular online banking applications you may be able to use to cash your third-party check are: 

  • Google Pay
  • PayPal
  • Chime
  • CashApp
  • Venmo
  • Zelle (available to customers with a Chase account)

With an online banking app, customers can utilize mobile app deposits by taking a picture of their third-party check and cashing it virtually. 

Do I Need a Bank Account To Cash Third-party Checks?

No, you do not always need a bank account to cash third-party checks. However, it is often quicker and easier to cash a check when you have a bank account. For example, if you have a certified check backed up by your own bank, the payee’s bank may be able to process the check faster because they don’t have to confirm with the bank that sufficient funds exist.

Non-account holders looking to cash a third-party check are left with currency exchanges and some credit unions when they want to access their funds. You may want to cut out the potential for any hassle and get yourself a checking account. The benefits to having a checking account far outweigh any disadvantages. If you do not want your own checking account, you may consider getting a joint bank account with a spouse or trusted family member. 

What Is the Difference Between Cashing a Third-party Check and Depositing a Third-party Check? 

You put funds directly towards your available checking account balance when you deposit third-party checks. Alternatively, you can also deposit a third-party check into a savings account. When you cash a third-party check, the money never enters your bank accounts and comes directly back to you in the form of cash. 

When should you deposit a check vs. cash a check? If you need funds and have an adequate amount of money in your checking account, you shouldn’t have a problem cashing your check. But, if you are low on funds in your bank account or have upcoming automatic payments, it may be wise to deposit that check instead of cashing it. 

How To Cash a Third-party Check 

The third-party check cashing process is a bit different than the process required to cash a traditional check. First, to cash third-party checks, confirm with the intended recipient that they are willing to receive the check. If the intended recipient does not have a bank account, it may be more convenient to go with an alternate method to send them money. But, if they do have a checking account and are willing to receive a third-party check, then both the original payee and intended recipient can move on to the next step. 

Next, confirm that the financial institution or local bank where you are looking to cash a third-party check accepts them. Some branches work on a case-by-case basis for third-party checks, so never assume your bank will accept. If everyone feels confident about where the third-party check will be cashed, then it’s time to endorse the check! 

To endorse a check, the original payee signs the back of the check. Some banks require that the specific language “pay to the order of” preceding the recipient’s name be in the “memo” section of the check. Along with particular language, other banks may require picture identification, like a government-issued photo ID, when cashing third-party checks. 

After endorsing the check, the original check payee should give the physical check to the new owner. The new check owner may cash or deposit their check at this time. To ensure everything goes through, it may be good for the original check owner to accompany the new payee when they go to cash or deposit their check. 

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Where Can I Cash a Third-Party Check?