How To Print Your Own Checks
Printing your own checks can save you money, and also add a whole new level of personal customization on your checks. There can be many advantages of printing your own checks which will be discussed in this article. Furthermore, this article will provide an in depth guide on how you can print your own checks.
Note, if you don’t want to print your own checks, but rather order them online, we recommend Carousel Checks, which let you order customized personal checks online.
What You Need To Print Your Own Checks
First, it is important to know everything that you will need to print your own checks. This will avoid any mistakes as one simple error can ruin the whole process.
First, you obviously need a printer, and you can use almost any inkjet or laser printers, however it is best to use magnetic ink, especially if you are going to print your own checks from scratch. Magnetic ink should be used because some banks have magnetic readers on their computers that read the routing information and bank account number that is on the bottom of the check. The magnetic ink contains magnetic particles and that encode your bank account information and routing information with special numbers. If you do not use magnetic ink you take the risk that your check will run through a computer with a magnetic reader thus, resulting in the check having to be input manually, which will result in a fee, as well as a slower processing time.
If you have already had your banking and routing numbers pre printed because you are only printing your own payee information on the checks, then you do not need the magnetic ink.
Magnetic ink can be harder to find, however it is usually available at Staples, Office Max and Office depot. It can be a little bit more expensive then regular ink, however it is not a huge price jump. Also, it is good to know that you can use the magnetic ink for any printing job that you will do.
You can technically print your own checks without any software, although it can be a lot easier and quicker to use some sort of software. The only software you need is any money management software that you might already have such as Quicken, Microsoft Money, Office Time and more. With these programs its easier to use pre printed blank checks, however you can still print a check from scratch with these programs.
These programs are very useful when you are printing your own checks because they help you track your checks. When you create a check a record of it is created automatically.
If you do not have any of these programs, you can purchase a program called VersaCheck. You can download this program online, or you can buy it at various office retailers.
Legally, you can just use normal paper to print your checks, however if you use regular paper, the bank processing the check might think that the check could possibly by fake and so on. It is recommend to use security paper, or carbon paper which can be found at office retailers such as Staples or Office Max.This kind of paper makes it more difficult for anyone to tamper or alter the check any way
How to Enter the Check Information
To actually enter the information when printing your own checks, the software will guide you step by step to enter the proper information in the proper location. You will need to know all the banking information that is on the check. It is very important to get this information correct, as any incorrect information will result in the check being returned.
On the bottom of the check, you will have to input the proper routing information. You can get this information by searching online by entering your bank location. Often times they will have the branch and transit number on their website. Next, you will need your actual account number, which you can get by calling your bank.
The following image illustrates the correct format for entering the banking information.
Advantages to Printing Your Own Checks
- saves you money, as once you have the paper and ink you can print hundreds and even thousands of checks before you have to purchase new ink
- The checks can be highly customizable, you can change the design of the checks depending on who you are issuing the check to.
Disadvantages to Printing Your Own Checks
- the clearing time for the check could take longer as some of the checks will look different then regular checks, which can make the bank suspicious
- if you do not use magnetic ink, the check will have to be processed manually which can lead to some fees
Partially Printed Checks
If you just want checks that already have your name and banking info on them, leaving you to enter the payee information and the amount, you can order them from check printing websites for a low fee. Once you order these checks, you will just insert the check into your printer and enter the payee and the dollar amount using the software previously mentioned in this article. If you choose this route, you will not have to worry about special ink or paper. Below are a few good sources where you can order these pre printed checks.
carouselchecks.com: With this site, you can order 300 checks for just over 20 bucks. The checks come with 3 checks to a page, with multiple designs for you to choose from. These checks come with fraud protection features. You can chose from a wide variety of designs, and can even order photo checks.
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vistaprint.com This is one of the best check ordering websites for pre printed checks. Vistaprint has a wide variety of checks to choose from, whether it be business checks or personal checks. You can choose between a wide variety of designs and quantities. This site makes it very easy and quick to add all your personal information that will appear on the check, which makes ordering the checks quick and easy.