Check Cashing Centers: Pros, Cons & Alternatives
Most people have mixed emotions about using check cashing centers; however, there is good discussion as to why these financial service centers should, or should not, be used.
Check Cashing Center Pros
- Payday loans and other types of loans
- Money transfers
- Bill payments
- Money orders
- P.O. boxes
- Stamps, envelopes, and mailing services
- Notary public
- Currency exchange
- Prepaid debit and credit cards
- Public transportation passes and tokens
- EBT services
- Photocopying and faxing services
- ATM machines
- Motor vehicle renewal and registration
Check Cashing Center Cons
Check Cashing Alternatives
Are you tired of paying the high price of cashing a check at a check cashing center? Below are some alternative methods for cashing checks.
The more common way to cash a check is to cash it at a bank if you have an existing checking account. Banks will cash checks for account holders, just as long as there are enough funds to cover the check in case it bounces. If funds in the account are not enough to cover the amount on the check, the account holder must wait until the check clears to access the funds, usually only a day or two.
Second Chance Banking
Second chance banks are available to people unable to open a traditional checking account. They are similar to checking accounts, but with some restrictions. There may be fees associated with using second chance banking such as activation and deposit fees; however, some companies allow consumers to cash personal and non-personal checks at available branches.
Most prepaid card companies allow card holders to have payroll and government issued checks (such as social security, disability, unemployment, and tax refunds) directly deposited into their account for free. Once a payroll check is deposited, the card holder can withdraw or make purchases against the deposited funds.
Some banks will cash checks for non-customers if the check they are cashing is drawn on an account from that bank. This method can be used to cash both personal and payroll checks. The name of the bank that a check is drawn on can usually be located on the bottom right corner of the check. Some banks charge a fee when cashing checks for non-customers while others do not.
Most Walmarts across the nation allow customers to cash payroll checks and some government issued checks. Walmart will cash checks that are equal or less than $1500. The cost for cashing a check is usually a maximum charge of $3. To cash a check, the customer has to show a valid ID and enter their social security number using a PIN pad.
Safeway will cash non-personal checks that are equal or less than $1,499, including payroll, social security, unemployment, tax refund, and disability checks. The cost is $2.25 for every $200 cashed and they will only cash a check within 7 days of being issued. When cashing a check, the customer will need to show valid ID and enter their social security number using a PIN pad.
Local Grocery and Liquor Stores
Like Safeway, some local grocery and liquor stores offer check cashing to their customers. For example, most Lucky grocery stores will cash non-personal checks other than tax rebates. Procedures and restrictions at Lucky grocery are similar to those of Safeway, but usually with a fee of $1.00 for every $100 cashed.