(CTN News) – Filling out a money order is about the same as writing a personal check. Different outlets use different formats, but they all require the same basic information. Money orders are usually issued by Western Union, MoneyGram, or the US Postal Service.
The following is a step-by-step guide on when to use a money order, how to get one, and how to fill it out correctly.
When You Should Use a Money Order
Money orders are a good option when cash, a check, or a smartphone app aren’t an option for whatever reason.
Money orders are pieces of paper, but they are more secure than cash since they are addressed to a specific person, who will then have to endorse it and show identification in order to cash it. It is beneficial to use a money order if you do not have a checking account or do not want to use a personal check. You might not want to disclose personal information printed on checks, such as your address and account number, to specific recipients even if you use checks. Money orders are widely accepted because they are prepaid and eliminate the risk of bouncing checks.
How to Fill out a Money Order
The U.S. Postal Service offers its brand and format of money orders, as do some banks and credit unions. Other sellers, such as 7-Eleven, grocery chains, and check cashing services, generally offer one of two brands: MoneyGram and Western Union. Regardless of which type you get, the seller will print the date and the amount on the money order and then hand it to you to complete.
Steps to fill out a money order
After you’ve purchased your money order, fill it out carefully to make sure it gets to the right person and that he or she can cash it. Follow these steps:
1. Fill in the name of the recipient
In the “pay to” or “pay to the order of” field, write the recipient’s name. This could be the name of a person or a company. Make sure your writing is legible and ink is used.
You must complete this section as soon as you purchase the money order, as this will be the only person authorized to cash or deposit the check. The payee can cash the money order if the money order is misplaced or lost before the name of the payee is written on it.
Please enter your name in the field labeled “from,” “purchaser,” or “sender.”
2. Include your address in the purchaser section
Where the money order asks for the purchaser’s address, enter yours. You may have the option of filling in a second address field with the address of the person or business you are sending money to.
3. Write the account or order number in the memo field
to indicate the purpose of the money order. If you specify that it is to purchase a specific item or pay off a particular debt, for example. Include the payee’s account or order number here. Also known as “payment for” or “account number.”
4. Sign your name in the “purchaser’s signature” section
Sign the money order in the portion designated for your signature. A section titled “Purchaser’s signature,” “Purchaser,” “From,” “Signer,” or “Drawer” may be included. Do not sign the back of the money order. A money order is endorsed before it can be cashed by the person or business that you are paying.