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How Do I Deposit a Money Order?

An international money order in US Dollars (USD) issued by the United States Postal Service.
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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
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  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
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There are a few different ways to deposit a money order, though in general it can be deposited much like a check or cashier’s check from a bank. This means that if you have a valid account at a bank and someone has written you a money order, then you may be able to simply sign the money order and deposit it into your account. Much like a check, however, the document will need to be made out to you and be valid with a proper date and signature from the issuer. Some banks will not allow you to deposit a money order, however, so you may need to cash it first and then deposit the cash into your account.

A money order is a document that can be used in many ways similar to a check. In general, someone can purchase one from a business or agency that offers the service, using cash and receiving piece of paper that usually looks much like a check for the amount that was paid. It is guaranteed for a certain amount when issued and has the name of a person or business receiving the money order filled out on it. If the money order is to be paid to you, then you can typically deposit it just like a check.

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As long as your bank accepts money orders, you can simply sign the document and deposit it into your account. The money order will need to be made out to the name on the bank account into which it is being deposited. Since money orders are issued by private companies, and not banks, they can often more easily be forged and used to receive money illegally. This potential for abuse has led some banks to no longer accept them, and so you may not be able to deposit one at your bank.

If you cannot deposit a money order at your bank, then you can simply work around this by cashing the money order and then depositing the money into your account as cash. You should know that not every business that issues money orders will cash them, so you should determine where you can cash it before trying to do so. Most post offices will issue and cash money orders, especially ones that have been issued by another post office. Once you cash it, you can then deposit the cash, even at a bank that would not otherwise allow you to make the deposit.

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Discuss this Article

Fa5t3r
Post 3

@pleonasm - Well, the other way to make sure that your money order isn't fake is to get it from a reputable company that wants to retain your good opinion.

I prefer money orders because they are a bit safer than cash, but not as complicated as a check. I've had to send money orders myself and I've cashed them and never had any problems.

pleonasm
Post 2

@MrsPramm - I think it's a good idea for all people who are going to be handling money orders to take a few lessons on what to look for in a fake.

I think the problem is that sometimes the money order is real and there is simply not enough money in the account it links to. I think in that case you can call the bank to query it, but even that could be risky, as people can move money so quickly online.

Really, I think it's better to either get cash or a direct deposit when it comes to accepting money, and especially if you're getting paid for something. That's the only way you can make sure you're going to get what you are owed.

MrsPramm
Post 1

Do be careful about this, because I've heard of shady people paying with fake money orders and getting away with it because of the time between when the person receives it and when they try to cash it.

Unfortunately, while a bank will be able to tell if something is fake, an average person probably won't. This happens most often to small business owners with checking accounts that need to stay in the black or they'll go out of business, so do be careful.

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