How to Sign a Check Over to Someone Else (the Right Way)

Checks aren’t as common as they used to be. With Venmo, PayPal, and other ways to send and receive money, maybe you haven’t had to deal with checks too often.

While they aren’t as widely used as in years past, most people still need to cash and deposit checks on a fairly regular basis. This being the case, you might at some point find that you need to know how to sign a check over to someone.

I’ll show you how to do this the right way, so you can be confident next time this comes up, and avoid any confusion.

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woman signing company check over to someone else

Can You Sign a Check Over to Someone Else to Deposit?

The answer is yes, in most cases. You are generally able to sign over a check to someone else, but there are rules.

You need to first make sure that the bank you’re depositing to will be able to accept the signed-over check. This means the bank of the person who will be depositing the check has to okay the transaction.

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Why Would You Want to Sign a Check Over?

This process can seem a little complicated and intimidating, so why would you want to do this in the first place? What are the reasons for signing over a check?

There are several purposes for why you might choose to do this. You might need to pay someone for something or don’t have access to a bank account, for example.

To Pay Someone Money You Owe Them

Maybe you owe someone some cash. In that case, you can sign a check over to them in order to pay them back.

They can simply cash the check or deposit it into their own bank account, saving you from needing to handle this yourself.

You Don’t Have a Bank Account

If you don’t have an account in your name, you may find it challenging to pay people. If you owe someone some money or need to pay them for something, you can write a check over to them. That way, they can deposit or cash it without you needing to have your own account.

How to Sign a Check Over the Right Way

If you need to sign over a check to someone, there is a correct way to make sure it works. You need to first ask if the person receiving the check is alright with having it signed over.

The good news is the rest of the steps really aren’t that complicated – not much harder than depositing it yourself. Once you get permission from the depositor and the bank, there’s just one extra thing.

Step 1: Make Sure the Recipient is Willing to Accept the Signed-Over Check

You need to ask the person you’ll be giving the check to if it is okay with them for you to sign over the check. It may be inconvenient for them, after all, especially if they want cash right away or don’t have time to stop by the bank.

Step 2: Check With the Bank That the Check Will be Deposited Into About Third-Party Check Policies and Procedures

Remember that banks have their own rules about this and may or may not accept a signed over check. You need to ask the bank about their requirements. Check their website or place a call to ask about policies and procedures.

Step 3: Locate the Section on the Back of the Check That Says “Endorse Here”

Each check has a section that tells you where to sign. It’s located on the back, and it says “endorse here.” 

Step 4: Endorse Your Name As It Appears On The Front Of The Check

In the “endorse here” section, endorse your name in the same way that it appears written on the front of the check. Sign this with your unique signature.

Step 5: Write “Pay to the Order of (Recipient’s Name)” Underneath Your Signature

After signing on the back of the check, directly under it, write “Pay to the order of (name of recipient).” This is where you add the name of the person you want to cash or deposit the check. 

Step 6: Give The Check To The Recipient

After you’ve signed and signed over the check, give it to the recipient. They can then cash or deposit it at their bank, assuming their bank’s rules allow it. And that’s it! You’re done!

Related: How to fix a mistake on a check


What are Alternatives to Signing Over a Check?

Signing over a check is a relatively simple process usually. It only takes a couple of minutes, and you’re done. But what if you’d rather not get involved in the details of how to sign a check over to someone else? Are there other ways?

Open a Checking Account

Not having a checking account can be one of the reasons that people decide to sign a check over to another person. But if you have a checking account, you can write checks to others in their name, and you can also deposit checks into your account.

Setting up a checking account isn’t difficult, and it’s something that every adult should have for simplicity with finance. Do some research about banks and find one that you would like to work with.

After you do this, you can set up an account online or if your bank has a branch near you, you might choose to have a meeting to set up the account. Either way works, depending on what the bank offers and what you prefer. 

Best Banks for First Time Checking Accounts

PNC

PNC bank offers an entirely online process, and they have an app. They offer cash rewards for opening various accounts, and their high yield savings account is also a great way to build up more cash. Because of this, they’re a great bank to get started with.

Chime

Chime is a good bank for beginners. They don’t have overdraft fees for up to $200.00, and there are no monthly fees with this bank. Not having overdraft fees is a big bonus for first-time account holders, because it gives you some room to learn. They also offer ways to help build your credit, online banking, and .50% APY.

Lending Club

Lending Club offers a $0 monthly fee, which is excellent for first-time checking accounts. There’s also a 1% cashback offer even with a debit card. And .10% APY with accounts of more than $2500.00.

Ask the Person the Check Originated From to Write a New Check Directly to the Third Party 

Rather than messing with all the extra steps needed to sign over the check, ask the person who gave you the check if they could write a new one to the recipient.

This saves you from needing to be involved. They may be willing to do this if you explain the situation but be prepared for them to say no, in which case you’d just sign over the check yourself.

Use a Check Cashing Service

This service will give you the chance to cash your check without needing to use a bank. They’ll take your check and give you the cash, but keep in mind there’s a fee for this service.

This means you’ll lose a bit of your check money. If you’re okay with that, then this can be a good way to go.

Should You Still Use Checks?

Are checks a thing of the past? No, actually. In fact, many people still prefer to get paid by check from companies that they work for.

Some people still write personal checks, as well. But it is definitely less common than it used to be. And if you want to handle your money more digitally, there are many ways to get started.

Alternative Ways to Pay Others and Get Paid

Here are some ways to be paid and pay others money without needing to mess with checks.

Direct Deposit

Most people have enabled direct deposits to their accounts for their paychecks. This is a good idea because it’s generally faster than a check, and it saves you time.

Once you set it up, you simply get paid without having to think about it. I would recommend asking your bank about direct deposits to save yourself from dealing with paychecks every two weeks. Plus, then you don’t need to keep or shred the checks later.

This is also a great way to handle any recurring income from side hustles or freelance work. It helps you to keep payments more consistent.

PayPal

Many people use this platform to send and receive funds. It’s an online account you can set up that keeps your money secure. You can transfer cash to your bank or keep some in PayPal and pay others with it. It’s all handled online, and it’s very easy.

PayPal also keeps your money safe by keeping your information protected. You can buy online without worry that your card information will be exposed, and someone will access your money.

Venmo

This app can save you time if you don’t have cash and need to pay someone for something quickly. Things like lunch or coffee can easily be split.

You just need to connect through the app with the person you’re paying and transfer the funds. People can also pay you. It’s a speedy and convenient way to handle money.

Cash

There’s nothing like cash. While I don’t recommend carrying a lot of it with you, it is an excellent way to pay someone if you don’t have a checking account or they don’t.

But it’s best to pay them right away to avoid carrying large bills. Cash is also suitable for easy purchases like groceries or eating out. It can save time in restaurants, and you don’t need to worry about overspending.

Follow These Steps to Sign Over a Check 

Signing over a check only requires a few steps. Simply ask the recipient if they’re okay with it, then endorse it, and sign over the check to them.

They will then deposit it into their own bank. If you prefer not to do this, you can ask the person who wrote the check to make a new one for the person you want to pay.

There are alternatives to signing over a check, including opening a checking account or using a check-cashing service. You can also use methods like cash, direct deposit, Venmo, or PayPal to save yourself time and send and receive money. These can all keep you from needing to use checks at all if you prefer.

While checks are still widely used and many will continue to use them, you can choose from many alternative approaches to save yourself the extra paperwork. There are lots of ways to pay people, like through an app.  

But this is a great thing to know how to do because you never know if you might be in a situation where it is necessary to sign over a check. It might be that it’s someone else’s preferred form of payment or that person doesn’t have any apps or alternative ways to pay you.

Or maybe someone that you need to pay prefers a check to other methods. In that case, it’s best to know how to sign over a check to someone else so you don’t miss a beat. 

Increasing your financial knowledge is a great way to help yourself understand your money. It makes it easier to switch between different methods of payment, too. The key to being financially fit is to find out as much as you can about investing, saving, and spending your money.

Gaining more knowledge about subjects like this that others may have forgotten can make you more informed than the average person. Try to spend some time learning about each topic in finance: retirement accounts, saving, checking accounts, getting out of debt, and bringing in extra cash.

You’ll know more than others about money, which will help you be better off financially. 

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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