Can I Cash a Check at Any Bank or Credit Union?

An adult man bank customer making a financial transaction with a bank teller over the counter in a retail bank.
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Can I cash a check at any bank or credit union? If you visit a bank or credit union where neither you nor the person who wrote the check don’t bank with, they’re unlikely to cash a check for you.

However, there are instances in which banks and credit unions will agree to cash a check even if you don’t bank with them.

How To Cash a Check At Any Bank

Here’s some criteria if you wish to cash a check at any bank — including if you’re not a current customer.

  • You present a valid ID
  • There are adequate funds in the account
  • The check you want to cash is six months old or less
  • One of the account holders writes the check and
  • You’re the payee on the check

If you meet these prerequisites, some banks or credit unions may be able to assist with getting the check cashed.

What If You Try To Cash a Check Where You Don’t Bank

If you don’t bank with the financial institution you wish to cash your check, they’ll charge you a fee.

Usually, the bank or credit union you bank with will cash a check from a different financial institution. But, you may have to deposit the check in your account first. You can expect to receive the funds in a couple of days after depositing the check.

A Better Way to Bank

A few credit unions and banks provide the fee structure for such services so that customers who want to cash checks and don’t bank with them can make an informed decision.

Other Check Cashing Options

There are many other places besides the bank or credit union where you can cash a check–retail stores like Walmart and check cashing outlets like ACE Cash Express. Although having a bank account is helpful in keeping track of money coming in, like your paycheck, you can still choose to cash a check without a bank account.

Melanie Grafil contributed to the reporting for this article.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

Lydia Kibet is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance and investing. She's passionate about explaining complex topics in easy-to-understand language. Her work has appeared on GOBankingRates, Investopedia, Business Insider, The Motley Fool and Investor Junkie. She currently writes about investing, banking, insurance, real estate, mortgages, credit cards, loans and more. Connect with her on Twitter or moneycredible.com.
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