General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

How to cash a government check without a bank account? (See details)

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (10000 points ) June 6th, 2011 from iPhone

I have no bank account and am unable to open one due to the fact that I’m in ChexSystems. I am due to receieve a check from the government soon and they offered electronic fund deposit but obviously I have no bank so they’re sending me a check instead. Now I’m wondering how to cash it… I called my local grocery stores but they only do payroll checks. If I sign the check over to my boyfriend, can he deposit it into his bank account? Any suggestions are appreciated!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

25 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Yeah, if you sign it over to him you should be good to go. You can also take it to a branch of the bank it was issued at and cash it, providing you have two forms of photo ID to show them.

Blueroses's avatar

Walmart money center will cash a government check as long as you have proper ID.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Blueroses I called my Walmart and they said they don’t cash checks. But my local Walmart isn’t a super Walmart. Maybe that’s why?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

It doesn’t have to be super, it has to have a money center.

Blueroses's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 You have to check with the Money Center which is separate within the store. It’s where you buy money orders and Western Union. Check here for your local store. It’s nice because Walmart has a lower fee for cashing checks. Even your boyfriend’s bank, depending on the amount, might put a hold on the funds because the check wasn’t issued in his name.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Blueroses Well I just called another Walmart that has money gram/western union and she informed me that apparently no walmarts cash checks anymore! I wasn’t aware of that. So I guess my best bet is to have my boyfriend deposit it into his account. I was just concerned that it might cause a problem if I’m in chexsystems.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 No, because then it’s his, not yours.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Ohhh right. That makes sense. Thanks! :)

Blueroses's avatar

Hmm. @ItalianPrincess1217 I recently had to wire money to a friend and there was a long line at the Money Center for people cashing their govt and payroll checks. I just called here and the girl I spoke with had no idea why you would be told that at your Walmart. This one and most will cash any govt check up to $5000.

The only thing she could think is if your state passed any legislation about check cashing fees and requiere a new license that your local store doesn’t have yet. She suggest you go in and talk to a supervisor. It’s not likely they’ll turn you away when you’re standing there.

tedibear's avatar

Have your boyfriend call his bank before you sign anything. There are banks that will not accept second endorsed government checks, even for accountholders. If they will do it, have him find out if you need to be there with your ID and if you will need to endorse it in front of them.

@ItalianPrincess1217, do you have a U.S. Bank near you? In some areas, they offer an account to people who are on ChexSystems. Just a thought.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Blueroses That’s so strange! Maybe it’s a NY thing? Both of my local walmarts said they don’t. But I could have sworn I recently seen signs that said “check cashing”.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@tedibear Good idea. I’ll definitely check into their policy before signing it. And no, I don’t believe there’s a US bank near me. I’ve never heard of it.

Blueroses's avatar

Ah, OK. It took some looking but I found out Walmart doesn’t cash checks in NY or RI. What a drag. They sure don’t publicize that policy. You might be stuck with a rip off check cashing place which really sucks.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Blueroses And even finding a check cashing place is beginning to seem impossible! I’ve called every place I can think of and nobody does it.

Blueroses's avatar

Yeah. It looks like NY passed some check cashing regulations to protect the consumers but unfortunately it looks like people in your position are totally screwed. Can you drive to CT?

Or maybe see if your boyfriend will open another acct like savings in his bank and add your name to it? This probably won’t be the only time you’ll need to cash a check. Being in ChexSystems should have no effect on being able to be added to someone else’s acct.

tedibear's avatar

@Blueroses – If the bank runs ChexSystems as intended, @ItalianPrincess1217 is unlikely to be able to be added to his account.

creative1's avatar

The federal reserve has branch offices where you can cash checks, I don’t know what city you are in but maybe this will help you branch offices You will need definate id in order to cash the check.

ETpro's avatar

I don’t think any reputable service would cash it as a third-party check signed over to someone it isn’t made out to.

If you are in CheckSystems because an old account was overdrawn and went into collections, you can probably go to the original bank branch involved and talk to one of the branch officers. Tell them you have a problem that they can help you solve, and they have a problem you can help them solve. In other words, you have a mututal interest in seeing the check cashed. Offer to open a savings account (can’t be overdrawn) if they will let you deposit the government check as the opening deposit, less whatever you owe them. They get to recover funds they otherwise may have to write off. You get a savings account, and can withdraw funds once the check clears and you have repaid the bank, and while it will take a month or more, you will eventually get updated in CheckSystems as having had an issue, but having made it right. That’s a much better situation than you have now, and you will, after CheckSystems updates their listing, be able to open a checking account in a bank where you did not have the original problem. The bank where you had the original overdraft won’t take anything more than the risk free savings account for 2 to 3 years. But other banks not involved in the original problem will.

Of course, all this relies on the government check being big enough to cover the original debt and you being able to part with the needed cash to pay if off. If that’s not the case, then you are stuck with the outrageous fees check cashing services charge, and you have to risk walking out of there with a fist full of cash in your pocket.

JLeslie's avatar

It seems to me you should be able to cash a government check anywhere. But, I have no idea if that is really so. I think maybe it is likely that if you cannot cash it at any bank, then maybe a bank will let you start a savings account with it. Once you have a savings account you won’t have this problem anymore.

Boyfriend? I thought you are married?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@ETpro The boyfriend might not be able to cash it, but he could deposit it and then withdraw the same amount, which is essentially the same thing but taking a bit more time.

ETpro's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs I seriously doubt that. If I were in this situation again, I would check with the boyfriend’s bank before signing it over. The last thing you want to do is add a lot of markings on the back of it raising additional suspicions in people’s minds.

I just dealt with a similar situation a few months back, and I am reporting what I did that worked. I have now been able to reestablish full banking privileges after a disastrous hit when a major client went bankrupt owing me a boatload of money, and filed charge-backs for what had already been paid. This person’s challenge may be different, but I do know what-of I speak.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

It slipped my mind that my sister works at a bank! I called her and she explained that he can open an account with her bank, I can sign the check over to him, and he can deposit it. There will be a couple day hold on it. If he wants to cash it, he’d have to have the funds in his account at the time to cover it because it’s a third party check. It’s not urgent that I cash it so I’ll simply have him deposit it and wait a few days. Thanks for all the help guys!
@JLeslie I was married. I thought you knew…long story. I’m pm you if you want to be filled in!

JLeslie's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 No, I am all confused. I did see a question posted by you about divorce, but I had assumed it was for someone else, not yourself. Give me the quick scoop on PM.

Haleth's avatar

“You can also take it to a branch of the bank it was issued at and cash it, providing you have two forms of photo ID to show them.”

This is correct. When I was on unemployment, the checks were issued from Wachovia. Whatever bank the check is drawn from (it will be on the check), go there with two forms of ID and they’ll be able to cash if for you. It will probably be free.

Signing the check over to your boyfriend is also an option.

I was in chexsystems once in the past. It started from a small overdraft during a tough time. By the time I had the money to replace the amount I’d overdrawn, the bank had added so many fees that I could no longer cover the balance. They closed the account and it went to collections, but paying it off was actually very easy. The collection agency only asked for the amount of the original overdraft; they didn’t attempt to collect any of the bank fees from me. I opened a new checking account a few weeks later, with some extra savings as a safety net.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther