What is a starter check? Mean, Overview and 20 Facts

If you’ve ever opened a new checking account at a bank, you’ve probably received starter checks. You might be wondering what starter checks are at this point.

People don’t know what starter checks are or what they can be used for, though. In reality, you can use them to buy a lot of things every day and in a lot of different places.

What is a starter check?

You could think of starter checks as basic bank checks. Starter checks are the checks that your bank will give you along with your ATM and debit card when you open a new checking account. (See how a checking account is different from a savings account)

The bank can give you these things right away, but not your checkbook. Permanent checks for your checking account must be sent to a printer to be made.

What do starter checks look like?

Starter checks resemble ordinary checks and still contain the bank routing information required to execute the check, but they do not include the customer’s name or other personal information. Additionally, they have a very low check number printed in the upper right corner, which indicates a fresh account.

In rare instances, the initial check may not contain check numbers preprinted. The graphic below illustrates the distinctions between a standard starting check and a bespoke starter check.

Starter Checks vs. Third Party Checks

Many individuals mistake starter checks and third party checks for being identical, although they are not. Banks typically issue starter checks at the time of account opening; these are relatively simple checks.

For the later check, numerous parties are engaged in the actual check cashing operation. The distinction between the two lies in the manner in which the check is cashed.

Starter Checks vs. Regular Checks

There are distinctions between beginning checks and standard checks. There will be personal information on regular checks, such as the individual’s name and address.

In addition to a phone number, a driver’s license number is included on certain regular checks.

Additionally, the name of the financial institution will appear on standard checks.

On the standard check, the financial institution’s address will also be printed.

On the other hand, starter checks have omitted a lot of this information.

Typically, blank cheques without a written name serve as the initial deposit. The client or individual is responsible for filling out this information.

You can use starter checks as genuine checks and as an alternative payment method if your debit card is denied at a retailer.

What is a starter check?

On the checks, the individual must write down their address. Due to the lack of an address on the checks, many mobile banking systems will not cash them. There are a few check cashing applications that do not utilize Ingo, so this is an option.

Yes, account numbers are printed on starter checks, as some individuals may question. When a check is cashed, account numbers are necessary for financial institutions to transfer funds.

The routing number and account number are displayed on starter checks.

Also included on starter checks will be a low check number.

The sole exception to getting these new checks blank would be the previously mentioned print-on-demand services at banks.

What is a starter check?

Some banks now have technologies that enables them to print customers’ personal information on their initial checks. This approach has become significantly more economical in recent years due to the availability of affordable software.

Is a Starter Check Free?

Yes, they are typically free if you choose a simple, generic template in which you fill in your own personal information.

A bank may, however, charge you for these checks if you choose to have the bank print your personal information on bespoke starter checks so that you do not have to. These checks are typically referred to as instant counter checks or counter checks.

Unfortunately, banks are considering printing on their temporary checks (or counter checks) as a new revenue stream, which is terrible for their public relations. With the evolution of money toward a cashless system, the last thing banks need to do is begin charging for first checks.

People already complain about banks and their costs, and now a new checking account holder will be charged for TEMPORARY counter checks?! If this occurs, my recommendation is to create a checking account at a different bank.

Are Starter Checks Valid Checks?

Starter checks are valid. You can pay bills and perform all other actions that are possible with a standard check. In addition, you can invalidate a starting check to establish direct deposit.

Starter checks can be used to pay for groceries, child care, and auto loans.

Temporary checks are acceptable, but not everything accepts them since they lack the personal and security information that most retailers and vendors require.

When an organization, business, or merchant accepts a starter check, the danger of fraud rises. With permanent printed regular checks, a merchant is confident that the check has passed a bank’s background check.

In addition, routine checks include the name of the issuing bank and financial organization. This information is absent from beginning checks.

Can You Use Starter Check To Pay Cash For a Car?

If you are considering purchasing a new vehicle, you may be attempting to determine how to pay for it. The majority of dealerships and private parties do not accept starter checks as cash payment for a vehicle.

Many of these checks lack an address, making it impossible for a dealership or private seller to connect the check to a driver’s license. There are superior alternatives for paying cash for a vehicle.

Do Starter Checks Expire?

No. There is no expiration date printed on these checks. However, when you create a bank account, you will receive a limited amount of these temporary checks.

Some banks will provide up to 10 if you request them.

However, with debit and ATM cards, many customers prefer to pay using these alternatives.

In addition, as stated previously, many establishments will not take these checks out of concern for fraud and bounced checks, as they are essentially blank checks with no personal information printed on them.

What Banks Give Starter Checks?

The majority, if not all, banks provide starter checks nowadays.

At the moment of account opening, however, many individuals choose to depend solely on the debit card that is issued to them immediately.

What is a starter check?

However, the following banks provide starting checks and counter checks:

Morgan Stanley

JP Morgan Chase Bank

Navy Federal Credit Union

Bank of America

Ally Bank


US Bank

Capital One

BB&T Bank

Key Bank

PNC Bank

TD Bank

The majority of banks currently provide free checks with account opening.

Several of the banks listed above have limits, so be sure to consult their respective websites for specifics.

Although the majority of banks offer interim checks, they may only be available for particular account types.

Can you deposit a starter [temporary] check in your account?

Absolutely. There is no restriction preventing you from depositing a starting check into your account.

Simply complete the check as usual, making it payable to yourself, and then deposit it into whatever account you control.

Know the direct deposit hit time, which is required for banks to update accounts before funds are accessible.

As long as a routing and account number are included on the checks, you should have no trouble depositing them.

Who Accepts Starter Checks?

There are several shops and locations around me that cash personal checks, including starter checks. Included among these stores are petrol stations, department stores, and anything else imaginable. Some landlords may even take them as payment for rent.

This is frequently the case for new renters who have relocated from another location. Establishing new bank and checking accounts can occasionally be time-consuming. If the landlord has conducted a background check on you, they will likely be willing to accept your check.

Even Section 8 landlords are likely to approve these tenant checks. If you use one of these checks to pay your utility bills and mail them, the firm will likely accept them rather than calling you for a fresh check. If the check is in their possession, they will seek to deposit it over not depositing it.

How Do You Find Your Starting Check Number?

Your beginning number is the initial check number associated with your checking account.

Many beginning numbers are 1001 because it gives the impression of an older account. You or the bank determines the initial number. But there is no fixed rule; you may begin your first checkbook with whatever number you like.

What is a starter check?

If it is an existing account, the check number should begin where the last check left off. On the first check on a brand-new checkbook, you will see your initial check number. If the check has already been cashed, contact your bank to obtain this number.

Grocery Stores That Accept Starter Checks

A limited number of food retailers accept temporary checks. In contrast, Publix is able to cash both temporary and personal checks. You must present a picture ID, your address, and your phone number.

Does Walmart Accept Starter Checks?

In accordance with their policy on check cashing, Walmart will not cash temporary or personal cheques. However, they cash several additional checks, including:

Government Checks

Payroll Checks

Tax Refund Checks

Insurance Settlement Checks

Cashiers’ Checks

Retirement Account Disbursement Checks.

Walmart accepts all preprinted checks. As long as the money orders were initially purchased at Walmart, these locations are also handy for obtaining money orders.

Does Target Accept Starter Checks?

Target does not cash interim checks. If you are experiencing difficulty purchasing, you can shop online with eCheck purchases and avoid the need to do a temporary check.

Does 7-Eleven Accept Starter Checks?

Yes, you may cash your starting check using the transact card at 7-Eleven. Ensure you have the right identification and review the 7-Eleven check cashing regulations for specifics.

Best Place to Cash a Starter Check

The bank that issued the temporary check is the best location to cash it. A large number of consumers and businesses (including a large number of outlets) are unwilling to accept counter checks due to the possibility of fraud.

If the check bounces, the whole risk is transferred back to the business or individual that received it.

This is why it makes the most sense to cash these checks at a bank, namely the bank from where you received them. If you don’t have checks or a bank account, you still have options for sending money. If you need to send money anonymously to pay bills, personal costs, or other parties, you can use PayPal.

What is a starter check?

Numerous locations accept PayPal payments nowadays. Additionally, you may obtain a money order from locations near me and utilize it in lieu of a beginning check. Be informed of the current money order scams in order to avoid falling victim.

Can starter checks be used to pay bills?

Bills, including monthly utilities, can be paid with a starter check. However, the absence of personal information and the low check number raise security issues for financial institutions. This may result in processing delays while the bank verifies the extra information provided.

To utilize the starter checks, the client must hand-write the missing personal information, which may result in the check being refused or the seller taking further steps to verify its legitimacy.

In addition, some businesses may be afraid that the check may bounce because the low check number implies that it was written from a fresh account and the original deposit may still be outstanding. These are valid worries for businesses, and they would undoubtedly frustrate and maybe shame the consumer.

Financial institutions can employ an on-demand check printing technology in-house to offer personalized beginning checks for a charge to avoid consumer problems from pre-printed starter checks. Financial institutions can gain income by charging for this service, as many clients will personalize their initial checks.

Routing and Account Numbers

Routing and account numbers are on a check’s bottom. Left of the check are the routing numbers. These indicate which bank issued a cheque. Your account number is to the right. This notifies the bank who’s making a transaction.

After the account number, a symbol and additional numbers follow. These digits represent the check number, which also appears in the upper right corner of the check. In some instances, the check number appears at the bottom right of the check. They might perhaps be preceded by two zeros.

Typically, the account number is followed by a non-numerical sign and additional numbers. These numerals are the check number, which also appears at the top right of the check. In certain instances, check numbers display first on the bottom right side of the check. There may be two zeros preceding them.

What to Put on Starter Checks

When you write a blank check, the recipient will want to know who the check is from. When banks receive blank starter checks, they may take additional procedures to verify the contents, delaying the transaction. A combination of little personal information and a low check number on a starting check is a red signal to banks and companies, prompting them to ask more questions upon receiving such a check.

Even if you are giving a beginning check to someone you know, you should always include your name and address in case the recipient loses it. You may also include your phone number on the check, making it simple for the recipient to contact you and expediting the transaction in the event of a problem.

Even if you are delivering a small check to a friend, you should always include your name and address in case the recipient loses it. You may also include your phone number on the check, making it easy for the recipient to contact you and facilitating the transaction in the event of a problem.

What is a starter check?

Historically, Social Security numbers were printed on checks because many companies, particularly merchants, required them. In order to expedite transactions, banks include Social Security numbers on checks. If you wish to limit the likelihood of identity theft, you need not include your Social Security number on a blank check (you might lose the check or it might be stolen)

You may also choose to avoid including your Social Security number on customized checks. The driver’s license number is another option for providing valuable information in the personal information section. This is another instance in which you expose more of your personal information to individuals or organizations that may not require it.


To put it simply, starter checks are just there in case you need to write a check before your personalized checks arrive in the mail.

They can be very helpful when you’re in a jam, but not so much when you’re trying to send one to a company that might not accept it.

You can also use the information on them, like your account number and the bank routing number, to set up online bill pay services or direct deposit if you want to.

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Pat Moriarty
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