How a check can be cashed without paying high fees – Check Cashed

It is observed that cashing a check is quite common and easy for majority of the people in American Households. With active bank accounts and daily transactions, the process for them is a piece of cake and all they usually have to do is get their check deposited in the bank or just click a picture of the check from their phone and the task is done. But when it comes to the people who do not hold a bank account (also known as the unbanked households), getting their check converted into cash to be able to spend the amount is a task more complicated and expensive.

How can you cash your check without paying big fee:

Check Cashed


  1. Avoid going to the payday lenders for getting your check cashed.
  2. Get you check cashed at the issuer’s bank.
  3. Usually visit a retail store to get your check cashed.
  4. It is preferable to cash your check with a prepaid card.

The check cashing service basically works on a pre-decided fee that is charged for the process either depending upon the amount of fee or the credibility of the source (check). All that has to be done in the process is that you need to visit a check cashing store and give your check to them. After that they verify your identity details and let you know about the fees that will be charged and upon agreeing on the same, you get your cash amount within a few minutes.

The process does involve a fee that sometimes can also be high and unaffordable for a few people, however the fees usually vary and depend on the company you go to get your check cashed. But in any of the ways, the process does cost you money and some amount of money from your check will be deducted before you receive the final amount.

The only way to not pay the fees is if you get a bank account opened in any of the nearby or trusted banks. However, sometimes it might not be possible for everyone to get a bank account and thus, other options for the same need to be looked at.

According to the FDIC, it is said that 34.1% households in America experienced loss of job, unemployment and sudden major income loss which in turn lead the families to not have a bank account. Furthermore, according to the reports by New York Times, over a million low income American households/individuals have been blacklisted (blocked) from opening their own bank accounts due to transactional errors like bounced checks.

Taking into consideration the different problems faced by individuals who do not have an account of their own, below given are a few options for you to go for. Also mentioned are a few mistakes that you should avoid when you want to get your check cashed.

Mistake: Getting your check cashed at a Payday lending store

Check Cashed


The payday lending stores have been in the news in these recent years due to the payday lender who are seen engaging in predatory, wrong and scandalous dealings with their customers in different ways. A lot of negative experiences including huge amounts of interest on loans and unclear, unfixed fees for check cashing have been experienced with customers who visited the payday lenders for financial services.

While not all of these payday stores may engage in such activities, still going to they payday lenders is not the right choice to make and should be avoided at the most. This is because even if not scandalous, these stores charge you a heavy amount of fee for cash checking which is way more than the rates at usual retail stores. According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau reports, it is said that the fees at Payday lending stores are as high as 5-10% from the check amount and few other services cost even more.

Good Option: Get your check cashed at a Retail Store

There are many retail stores around the state that offer checking cashing services. These include Walmart, Kmart, etc and even some grocery stores. The fees charged for the process may vary in the stores but they are much lesser than that in the payday stores and are quite affordable and reasonable. In the case of Wal-Mart, the fee is around $3 for a check amount of $1000 or less and $6 for checks above $1000. In Kmart, the fee is around $1 for checks upto $2000 and two party personal checks up to $500.

Alternative Option: Depositing a check to prepaid card

The prepaid card service stores claim that they offer services at low cost and they are good alternatives to the traditional banks. But when we dig deeper into the same, it can be realized that the process under getting your check cashed through prepaid cards is complicated and lengthy. In the process, you need to get your check deposited to a prepaid card which not just costs a transaction fee for depositing the cash but also a monthly fee that is charged for maintenance.

But if you do not have or do not want a bank account this is a good option to go for and you will pay comparatively lesser amounts than the traditional bank transaction process.

Good Option: Get your check cashed at the Issuer’s Bank

Yet another preferable option to cash your check is to go to the issuer’s bank i.e the bank (source) mentioned on the check. The task is very simple as all you need to do is visit the mentioned bank, get your identity verified and you get your check cashed within minutes. While this is easy and sounds simple, the same does not apply in the case of checks issued by the government. The process is not so simple and you won’t be allowed to walk into the U.S. treasury like the local banks in America. It is necessary for Credit Unions and Banks to cash the checks issued under their name, provided that the account has enough money to cover the amount mentioned in the check. For the same, they usually ask for identification proofs like driver’s licence, passport, state ID or any other government-issued identity card. If you do not have an account in the bank, they may possible charge you some fee which usually varies and depends on the bank. In the case of Citibank, they earlier did not charge any amount for check cashing even for non-customers while TD Bank around $5 per check. In all, getting your check cashed at the bank mentioned in the check will charge you considerably less charges than any other banks or stores as the name of the bank is mentioned in the check.

In all, it can be concluded that the check cashing service does cost some amount of fee but how much to pay varies highly depending on various factors including the price of the check, issuer’s bank, the store you go to get your check cashed, etc. Deciding the right one plays a huge role here and if you wish to go for an option that is affordable and easy- you can either visit a retail store or go to the issuer’s bank in order to pay comparatively less amount of money for the same process. Under all the process, however it is required to verify your identity and the check also needs to come from a credible source.

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