Where are the routing and account numbers on a check?

If you have a checking account, chances are you also have a checkbook. You’ll notice your checks have several numbers printed on them, including your routing number, account number, and other elements. Familiarizing yourself with the characteristics of a check can be beneficial when it comes to paying bills, setting up direct deposits, and other financial tasks.

We'll show you how to locate your routing and account number on a check, along with how to identify other essential elements.

Check basics

A check is a special financial document you can use to pay companies or people. It guarantees that the payee — you — will pay the amount specified on the check to the recipient. When the recipient deposits your check to their bank account, that money will be transferred from your checking account and into their account. Alternatively, a bank may provide cash to the recipient in exchange for your check. You can use checks to pay bills or people.

In addition to being a helpful payment tool, you can also use a check to set up direct deposit through your employer. Your checks have your bank routing and account numbers printed on them, making it simple for your employer to identify your banking institution and account.

Along with your bank routing and account numbers, you’ll see a check number, your name and address, a line for payee information, a memo line, an endorsement line, and more.

Importance of routing and account numbers

Your routing and account numbers are important for check recipients’ banks, credit unions, and your employer. These numbers are used to identify your banking institution and payee account.

Apart from being important elements of checks, you’ll need your routing and account numbers to send and receive wire transfers. You’ll also need to provide this information if you have a side hustle and are paid as a contractor or opt to directly deposit your tax refund via tax preparation software or service.

Keeping your checks safe is essential because your routing and account numbers are sensitive information. Doing so will help protect you from theft and fraudulent transactions. Avoid carrying your checkbook around with you, and never leave it in your vehicle. Consider keeping it in a locked safe or another secure place at home for added protection.

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