How to Cash Your Paychecks

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Many employers have switched from providing paper payroll checks to either direct deposit into a worker's bank account or a prepaid debit card. For employers, making the switch saves both money and hundreds of thousands of pounds of paper. As of 2010, more than 20 states have laws that permit employers to eliminate paper checks altogether, according to the American Payroll Association. However, if you prefer or continue to receive a traditional paper check, you can cash it in one of a few different ways.

Take your paycheck to the financial institution with which you have an established banking relationship, such as a checking or savings account. Inform the bank teller how much of your paycheck you wish to cash and how much you want deposited into your account, if any. Many financial institutions have policies on how much of your paycheck is immediately available. If your paycheck is for $200 or more, for example, the first $100 may be immediately available and the rest must wait to clear the bank. On the other hand, credit unions or community banks may have less stringent requirements, especially if you're a regular customer.

Go to the financial institution from which your paycheck is drawn and ask about its non-customer check-cashing policies. You can usually find the name of this bank printed directly on the check. Alternatively, ask your employer's payroll office the name of the financial institution from which the paycheck is drawn. There is no federal law or regulation that requires a national bank to cash checks for non-customers. However, these financial institutions can agree to cash your paycheck, but may charge a fee -- legally -- to do so.

Cash your paycheck at the nearest cash advance station or payday loan center. You can find national chain and smaller, independent cash advance centers. Some might be in convenience stores. Most of these check-cashing services require a fee. The fee might be a certain percentage of your paycheck or a flat-rate amount for each paycheck you cash. Also, many check-cashing stores offer prepaid debit cards onto which you can load the cash from your paycheck if you wish to do so.

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