Some individuals don't have bank accounts. You might distrust banks, or perhaps you intend to set up an account, but you haven't had a chance to do it yet. If you get a check, though, you may still need to cash it. There are ways to do that even if you don't have an account with a traditional bank.
Cashing a check does not have to be as complicated as looking into consolidation loans or doing your taxes. It's actually relatively simple. We'll talk about three of the easiest options available to you in the following article.
1. Check-Cashing Stores
Check-cashing stores are one of the most popular options for individuals who need a check cashed because they don't have a bank account. These are brick-and-mortar businesses where you can go in and get your check cashed for a small fee.
You can get a paycheck cashed that way, a check someone sent you for your birthday, or any other check you happen to receive. If you go this route, you might shop around a little to see if you can find the best rate.
These stores generally charge a percentage of the check's amount. Some may charge as little as 2% of the check's worth, but others might want nearly 10% of its value.
Some people aren't aware of this, but you can often cash checks from the bank that issued them, even if you don't have an account with them. To do this, you'll need to look where you live to see if there are any branches of that bank. If you're in a part of the country where that bank has no locations, this won't be a viable option for you.
If you find the location of a bank that issued the check, they will usually charge a small fee to cash it there if you don't have an account, similar to what you'll see with a check-cashing store. However, some banks don't charge any fee if the check is for a small amount. For instance, PNC will cash checks for you up to $25 and won't charge you anything, even if you don't have an account with them.
3. Large Retailers
You can also look for check-cashing services at major retailers, such as Walmart or KMart. There are not as many KMarts around the country as there used to be, but there's a Walmart in nearly every decent-sized city and many smaller ones as well.
What you'll need is a valid ID and the check. With Walmart, you can expect to pay $4 or less for checks up to $1,000. That's a much better deal than you get with most check-cashing stores. Knowing where the Walmart is in your area often means you'll get back more of the check's total amount.
You Can Cash Checks Without a Bank Account
Cashing a check with no bank account is always possible if you get a little creative. Major retailers like KMart or Walmart can do it for you, and their fees are pretty reasonable. You can also cash a check at the bank that issued it, even if you don't have an account there. You might not even pay a service fee at certain banks if the check is for a smaller amount.
You can usually find check-cashing stores as well. That's often one of the more expensive ways to cash a check, though, since they typically charge you a percentage of the check's amount. If you're using a check-cashing store, shop around to see which one close to you has the best rates.
You may want to at least consider setting up a bank account so you can cash checks there, but you always have other options if you're not interested in doing that.