Can You Write a Check to Yourself – (Yes and No…)

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If you’re wondering if you can write a check to yourself, the quick answer is yes, you can. However, it can be a bit more complicated than that. What if you don’t have sufficient funds in your bank account to cover the check? What if you’re trying to move funds between banks? Read on to learn all you need to know.

Can You Write a Check to Yourself?

Have you ever wondered, can I write a check to myself?

Yes, you can.

Of course, there are a few things you need to know about first.

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Can I Write a Check to Myself with No Money in My Account

The first thing you need to know is that you must have money in your account before you write a check to yourself or anyone else.

If you don’t, the check will bounce and you will be in all kinds of trouble.

However, if you have two bank accounts and you simply want to transfer money from one account to the other account, you can do so by writing yourself a check from one account to the second account.

Chances are, you might just be able to do a transfer online from one bank to the other, so there will be no need to write a check.

If you go this route, it can take up to three days to get your money, so a check might be faster if you are actually walking into the bank to cash it or deposit it.

What Happens When You Write a Check With Insufficient Funds?

If you write a check to yourself and you don’t have funds in your account to cover it, the check will bounce and you will be charged an insufficient funds fee.

The most common fee is $35 dollars.

This means you will have to come up with the amount of your check plus an additional $35 dollars.

If this check causes other checks to bounce then the fees can really start to pile up.

This situation can get a lot worse if you write this check and know you don’t have the funds to cover it.

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What is Check Kiting?

When you knowingly write a bad check to yourself it is called check kiting.

And it is against the law.

You can be arrested for check kiting.

Why would someone do this?

Let’s say you have a bank account at two different banks.

You don’t have any or much money in either bank, but you need additional money to buy something or pay a bill.

What are you going to do?

You can’t do a cash withdrawal as you don’t have any money in the bank.

One simple option might seem to be writing a check to yourself from one bank to the other and instead of depositing all of it, deposit a small amount and keep the rest in cash.

You might be thinking that you will get the money to cover the insufficient funds before the bank is ever the wiser.

Years ago that might have worked as processing times were much slower and you might have two or three or even four days before the bank figured out what was going on.

Nowadays, bank checks are processed electrically and very quickly.

It is doubtful you could even write this bad check and even if you do get it cashed, you won’t have more than a day to cover the missing funds.

In the end, you will have to pay all the bank fees for a bounced check.

Even worse, if you do this often enough (writing checks back and forth between accounts with no money) you will end up getting charged with a crime and arrested.

So, if you are wondering what happens if you write a bad check to yourself, it’s nothing good.

You can expect at the least to have to pay check processing fees, bounced check fees, the dollar amount of your check, losing your bank account, and possible jail time.

And no one wants that!

Can I Write a Check With Insufficient Funds?

To answer the question of whether or not you can do this, yes, sure, people do it every day.

The real question is whether or not you should write a check with insufficient funds.

The answer is no, you shouldn’t.

Whether the check is written to yourself or someone else, it will come back to bite you.

You will have to pay the bank’s transaction fee as well as a fee to the person you wrote the check to.

Not to mention, you will still be on the hook for the amount you wrote the check for.

Write enough bad checks and you will end up arrested, forced to pay any penalty fee, and most likely lose your bank account. Then you will find it very difficult to get another account.

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What Can You Do Other Than Writing a Check to Cash?

If you don’t want to write a check to cash, then you can put your name in the check payable line.

Just make the check out to you instead of cash or someone else.

There is nothing wrong with doing this. 

If you don’t like this option, then most bank branches have a bank transfer service.

This way your money will be transferred using the bank’s electronic payments system.

It can take two or three business days for the money to be transferred and you will have to pay wire transfer fees.

Why Writing a Check to Cash is a Bad Idea?

The only real issue with making a check out to cash is if you happen to lose the check before you deposit it or someone steals it from you.

Since it is made out to cash pretty much anyone could cash it and you could lose your money.

If you are making a check out to cash it is best to actually go to brick-and-mortar banks.

Don’t put the check in the mail and don’t use the ATM.

Go into your bank branch or credit union and cash or deposit the check personally.

Then you shouldn’t have any issues.

Can I Write a Large Check to Myself?

Yes, you can write a check to yourself for any dollar amount as long as you have the money in your account to cover it.

There is no dollar amount limit on a check to yourself or a check for cash.

You simply need to have the funds in your account.

Keep in mind, however, that your bank might put a hold on the funds until the check clears if it is for a large amount of money and you don’t have a lot of money in the account that you are putting the check into.

Is There a Maximum Amount You Can Write a Check For?

What if you are writing the check to someone else? Is there a limit then?

No, there is no limit.

It all comes down to having the money in your account.

If you can cover the check you can write it for as much money as you would like.

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Can I Write a Check to Myself and Deposit it in Another Bank?

Yes, you can. 

In the past, this was the easiest way to get money from one bank account to another account at a different bank.

In today’s world, most people just transfer money electronically.

But it is completely legal for you to use a check if that is how you want to handle it.

Just keep in mind that when you fill out the check to make yourself the payee.

Then you can go into your bank and deposit the money.

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To Sum it All Up:

Yes, you can write a check to yourself as long as you have the money in your account to cover it. Personal checks can be used for this purpose. You can write a check from one account to another or even an account that you have at another bank. Just be sure to make the check payable to yourself instead of cash. It is safer that way.

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