How to Cash a Personal Check Without a Bank Account

How to Cash a Personal Check Without a Bank Account

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How to Cash a Personal Check Without a Bank Account

Cashing a check is fairly straightforward when you have a bank account. However, getting your money can be more complicated and can involve several steps without an account. 

If you are due a check after a personal injury lawsuit, you may be wondering how to cash a personal check without a bank account. While it can be easy to cash a check with a smaller amount at any convenience or grocery store, cashing a more substantial check, such as a personal injury settlement, can be tricky. Moreover, every check-cashing method has its advantages and disadvantages.

Morgan & Morgan could help if you want to get justice and compensation after experiencing a personal injury. If you win, we can track your injury settlement and assess your options for cashing the check when it arrives. Contact us now for a free and confidential consultation.   

Not Having a Bank Account Is Common

Having a bank account can make life much easier. However, you are not alone if you do not have a bank account. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), more than 5 percent of US households did not have a bank account in 2019. There can be many reasons why individuals lack an account, such as:

  • No access to a branch
  • Mistrust of banks 
  • Unable to meet minimum balance requirements
  • Not having a government-issued ID (required to open an account)

Moreover, gender, age, and racial differences can also play a role. For example, women are less likely to have bank accounts than men.

In addition to those who do not have a bank account, there are so-called “underbanked” individuals who have savings and checking accounts but rarely or never use them. Underbanked persons may have difficulty accessing bank services or prefer to pay bills and cash checks in alternative ways. 

Morgan & Morgan understands that there can be many reasons why individuals may not have access to a bank account. We are here to help the injured get what they deserve and can advise you on your options of cashing your settlement check.

Options for Cashing Your Personal Check Without a Bank Account

Individuals without a bank account can have various options for cashing a check, such as grocery stores, the issuing bank, or check-cashing stores. Some choices are more convenient or affordable than others. Learn more below. 

The Issuing Bank

Cashing your check with the issuing bank can have various advantages, such as a short hold on the funds and affordable fees. However, not all banks will cash checks for non-customers. Moreover, there can be substantial differences in costs.

If the bank that issued your check allows cashing, remember that it will want to prove that you are the person whose name is on the check. Banks generally require non-customers to show two forms of government-issued ID when cashing a check. Depending on the bank’s policies, accepted IDs can include:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Birth certificate
  • Military ID card
  • Social Security card
  • Permanent resident card

Some banks allow secondary sources of identification, such as utility bills, property tax bills, and others provided one source of identification includes a photograph. 

Most banks’ fees for cashing a check range from $7-10 per check. However, some banks take a percentage of the check amount as their fee, which can be expensive. A small number of banks offer free cash checking to non-customers. 

Retail and Grocery Stores 

You could cash your check in your local grocery store or another retail establishment. Some of the most common retail locations for check cashing include:

  • Local grocery stores (Walmart, Kroger’s, Winn Dixie, etc.)
  • Department stores 
  • Convenience stores 
  • Gas station travel centers

Cashing checks at grocery stores and other retailers can work out relatively cheap, as fees are generally lower than bank prices. Most stores cash checks for $3-$6. However, grocery and convenience stores generally only allow you to cash checks up to $5,000; some have even lower limits. Therefore, if your injury settlement amount is substantial, you will have to look for alternative ways to cash your check. 

Check-Cashing Stores

Check-cashing and payday loan stores should be the last resort for cashing a check, as fees can be exorbitant compared to other options. Such stores often base their prices on a percentage of the check amount, typically around 4-5 percent. However, some charge as much as 10-12 percent.  

You can find payday loan and check-cashing stores in many locations, which makes them convenient. Moreover, customers can generally leave with their cash on the same day, which is a considerable advantage over banks, which often put long holds on funds. 

Prepaid Card Accounts

Opening a prepaid debit card account can be a good option if you want to avoid opening a bank account. After opening the prepaid account, you will receive a debit card, allowing you to deposit your check into the account. You can then withdraw the cash from an ATM with your new debit card. 

Prepaid debit cards do not usually require credit checks or bank accounts, which makes them a great solution for those without access to traditional banking. You can buy a prepaid debit card from credit card companies, banks, retailers, and other financial providers. 

However, before opening a prepaid card account, ensure you know all the terms and conditions. Prepaid accounts can come with steep fees. They may also place an initial hold on the funds, which can be as long as ten days. Moreover, if you receive a high settlement amount, you may not want to have all the money tied to a prepaid card that could get stolen or lost. 

Signing the Check Over to a Relative or Friend

If you have a trusted relative or friend with a bank account, you could ask whether they would cash the check for you. Banks generally allow individuals to cash checks for someone else. 

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Morgan & Morgan

  • What Is the Process of Receiving a Settlement Check?

    The process of receiving a settlement check can be complex and lengthy. Getting what you deserve after winning a case or accepting an out-of-court settlement involves several critical steps. Moreover, you or your attorney may have to follow up with the insurer or at-fault party multiple times, as checks can get lost or delayed. Generally, the steps before receiving a personal injury settlement check include:

    1. Signing the Release 

    Even after your settlement amount and terms are agreed upon, there are still some steps to take before you can hold the money in your hands. One of the essential documents before an insurer agrees to issue your check is the release form. This document releases the defendant, the person or business responsible for your injuries and losses, from further legal claims regarding the matter. Release forms typically contain: 

    • Details of the accident 
    • All parties involved in the incident 
    • Your damages, such as medical expenses, income loss, and others

    The settlement agreement is binding after the form is signed, and victims generally cannot reopen the case and seek further damages later on. Therefore, before signing a release form, seek legal advice to protect your rights. 

    2. Issuing the Check

    After signing the release form and passing all the paperwork to the responsible insurer or at-fault party, your settlement check should be on its way. In most cases, the settlement check will be with you in four to six weeks. However, there can be delays in the process, including: 

    • The insurance company is short-staffed, or employees are on vacation
    • One party did not sign the release form correctly 
    • The check was lost in the mail
    • The insurer lost your check or essential claim paperwork 

    You are entitled to receive your injury settlement check within a reasonable time frame. If you followed up with the insurance company about a delay and are not getting any answers, consider getting an attorney on your side. 

    3. Depositing and Cashing the Check

    Your attorney typically receives the settlement check and deposits it in an escrow account until the funds clear. Once all liabilities are paid, such as medical bills, attorney’s fees, legal expenses, and other costs, you will receive a check for the remaining amount. You can then go ahead and cash the check.

  • How Do I Receive a Personal Injury Settlement Check?

    If you or a loved one was hurt due to another’s fault, whether an individual or business, you could be entitled to compensation. Such accidents and incidents can include car crashes, slips and falls, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, and others. 

    Damages you could seek from the responsible party can include medical bills, wage loss, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, and others. Most personal injury claims are settled out of court. However, in some instances, you have to sue to get the compensation you deserve. After accepting a settlement offer, you should receive a settlement check within approximately six weeks. 

    If you believe that you have a personal injury claim, Morgan & Morgan could help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys work tirelessly for the injured. We can be in your corner, fighting for what you deserve.

  • Who Pays for My Bills While I Wait for the Check? 

    Personal injury victims can have astronomical costs, such as healthcare expenses, property damage, and wage losses. When trying to make ends meet, a settlement check cannot come soon enough. Unfortunately, victims are generally responsible for paying their medical bills and other expenses when they come due. However, if a check does not come for weeks or even months, you need to know your options. 

    Healthcare Expenses

    If you have private health insurance, your policy should pay for all or most of your medical costs until you receive damages from the responsible party. If you do not have medical insurance, ask your healthcare providers whether they would consider deferred payments. You can then pay them once you have received the settlement. You may also be entitled to government benefits such as Medicaid or Medicare.

    Wage Loss

    Wage losses can be considerable, especially if you have a significant injury with a long recovery. In the first instance, you could negotiate with your employer, who might allow you to take vacation and sick days. However, depending on what caused the injury, you could qualify for other sources of income. For example, some car insurance policies cover lost wages. Moreover, you could be entitled to Social Security benefits if you suffer a permanent disability.

    Help Is Available

    You do not have to struggle alone if you are facing steep bills and expenses due to a personal injury. Morgan & Morgan can be here for you. We see the destructive impacts of personal injuries on victims’ finances every day and leave no stone unturned to help clients rebuild their lives. We could help you sue the responsible party and assess your options for paying urgent bills while you wait for a check. 

  • Morgan & Morgan Could Help You Get What You Deserve 

    If you are looking to find out how to cash a personal check without a bank account, Morgan & Morgan is here to help. Not having a traditional bank account is nothing to be embarrassed about, and you should not suffer any disadvantages. Everyone should be able to cash checks and easily access their money, regardless of whether they bank traditionally or not. 

    Morgan & Morgan does not leave clients out in the cold once they win their case. We can be by your side until you hold your money in your hands. We want to help you get compensated as quickly as possible, so you can move forward with your life. Contact us now to schedule a free case review and find out more. 

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