Why Does Walmart Not Cash Handwritten Checks?

If you have a handwritten check you’re trying to cash, then you might be looking into Walmart as an option. After all, Walmart’s convenient Money Services Center offers a wide range of financial services, including check cashing. But does Walmart cash handwritten checks?

Simply put, handwritten checks are too easy to forge. Walmart only cashes printed checks, because they are easier to verify, and it’s therefore less likely that Walmart will end up cashing fake checks.

Unfortunately, even if your handwritten check is authentic and legible, Walmart still will not cash it. This policy prevents Walmart from having to discern between valid and invalid checks.

Walmart Cash Handwritten Checks

Other Stores That Cash Handwritten Checks

The following places are equipped to cash handwritten checks:

  • The bank where you do your personal or commercial banking
  • The bank that issued the check you’re trying to cash
  • A check-cashing store or “money store”

As always, the best place to cash a handwritten check is at a bank. Unfortunately, not all banks are equipped to cash every check, so it’s best to use your own bank (where you hold an account) or the bank that issued the check you’re cashing. Banks typically will not cash checks for non-customers if the check was not printed by that bank.

Major banks like Bank of America, Chase, Citi Bank, Key Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo will cash checks for non-customers as long as they are legible and printed on checks issued by the respective bank.

Another common way to cash a handwritten check without using a bank is to use a check-cashing store or “money store.”

Examples of check-cashing stores include:

  • Money Market
  • Advance America
  • ACE Cash Express
  • PLS Check Cashing
  • Check Into Cash
  • Mr. Payroll
  • Speedy Cash
  • Check ‘N Go
  • Money Mart

These stores are not available in all areas, so you will need to search your area to find out which check-cashing stores are available near you. 

How To Cash Handwritten Checks

Cashing a handwritten check is easy as long as you have everything you need.

To cash a handwritten check at a bank, credit union, or check-cashing store, follow these steps:

  • Gather your check and a valid piece of identification and head to your check-cashing location of choice (if you’re cashing at your own bank or credit union, you will likely also need to provide your account number)
  • Once you’ve arrived at the check-cashing location, visit a teller at the counter and let them know you would like to cash a check
  • At this point, you will need to “endorse” your check by signing your name on the designated line on the backside of the check (do not make any markings below the line as this could interfere with the processing of your check)
  • Hand the endorsed check to the teller along with your ID when requested
  • If the teller asks for your account number, provide them with this as well
  • If your check can be verified and your ID meets the requirements as a valid ID, your check will be cashed
  • The amount of the check-cashing fee (if applicable) can either be taken out of the amount of the check, or you may be given the option to pay the fee with another form of payment
  • Once you have paid the fee and received your check, you will be free to leave with your money

Are There Fees When You Cash Handwritten Checks?

Cashing a handwritten check is free if you cash it at a bank where you hold an account.

However, if you cash your check at an issuing bank as a non-customer, or if you cash your check at a check-cashing store, you will have to pay a small fee. Check-cashing fees vary from business to business as well as by region, but they can range anywhere from 1% to 12% of the total amount of the check.

Check-cashing fees are the main reason why cashing a check at a bank where you hold an account is the number one way to cash a handwritten check (because it’s free!). 

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