The Difference Between A Check and A Check Stub

The difference between a check and a check stub can sometimes become confusing, especially if you’re just starting out in the world of banking or being employed for the first time. Most often, employers that write or print checks will submit both a check and a check stub to the employee to explain how the final pay was calculated. However, there are instances where a payment is made by check and no stub is attached, which is often the case for contractors or independent workers. Vice-versa, those that are paid through direct deposits may only receive the check stub as proof of payment.

What is a check?

According to the website, a check is “a written order directing a bank to pay money”. When a person receives a check as payment, it provides bank authorization for them to receive the check’s full amount, which is taken from the account of the check provider. If funds are not available (insufficient), then no funds are dispersed. As a legally binding document, checks can be used in court as a contract between the writer and its recipient.

What information does a check contain?

Three types of information are located on checks – recipient information, provider information, and bank information. Recipients will find their full legal name, the amount they are being paid on the check in both the numeric and standard numeral form. Traditionally contact information of the writer is also on the check, to include their name (or company name), address, and contact phone number. Bank information which includes the bank’s routing number and the account number of the writer. In addition, some banks may have a logo prominently displayed.

What are the most common uses of checks?

Checks are most commonly used in exchange for a good or service. They represent legal tender and serve the same functionality as currency.

What is a check stub?

A check stub is a record detailing the information contained on a check. Since checks are submitted to the bank in exchange for its cash value, no proof of the transaction is retained by the person(s) cashing the check. Therefore, stubs are traditionally retained by the check recipient as a receipt.

What information does a check stub contain?

Check stubs come in a variety of forms such as payment check stubs that are used in payroll or business stubs which are given to contractors. The most common information contained on the check stub includes the recipient’s name and account identifying information (employee number, last four digits of social security number, etc), the business information of the check writer (name, address, etc), the check amount, and a breakdown of how the check’s final value was calculated (deductions, fees, etc). On some check stubs (especially those records of payroll), a history of payments over a time period may be present.

What are the most common uses of checks stubs?

Most often check stubs are used as proof of earnings by the recipient. As a legal record of payment, these documents verify the amount that was received and is most often used to report proof of income.