The Benefits of Setting Up Direct Deposits

Receiving your first paycheck at your first job is a rite of passage into adulthood. It feels good to look at that piece of paper and know that you earned the income it represents. Your hard work means you have money to spend as you like!

In the past, there was only one way to cash that check: You signed the back and brought it into your financial institution, where it might take a few days to clear before you got your money.

Today, there are multiple ways to not only quickly and conveniently cash your first payroll check, but manage your ongoing deposits as well... and you don't even have to wait for the check to clear with some of them!


5 Ways To Cash Your First Payroll Check

1. Cash it at your financial institution

You've probably got a checking or savings account (and if not, this is the time to set up both). All you have to do is sign the back of the check, provide your member or account numbers, and hand the check to a teller.

Depending on your existing balances, you may be able to walk out with the cash you need, but be aware you could wait up to 5 days for your check to clear before you can get your money.

2. Cash it at the issuing financial institution

Most financial institutions will honor a check drawn from an account of theirs because they can check the balance while you're standing there. Ask first what their policies are — some banks charge a fee or a percentage of the check amount if you're not a customer — and be sure to bring government-issued ID with you, like your driver's license or a military ID.

3. Cash it at an ATM Machine

If you don't have time to get to your branch when it's open, your financial institution may allow you to deposit checks through an ATM machine. Members of Hanscom FCU, for example, can access deposit-taking ATMs nationwide. Locate a deposit-taking ATM near you here.

4. Sign up for direct deposit

With direct deposit, the money you've earned is deposited directly into your checking or savings account by your employer. Your human resources or payroll department will first have you fill out a form to get your financial institution's routing number and your account number.

Direct deposit can ensure that payroll funds are available to you predictably and dependably. When payday rolls around, you don't have to worry about running over to your credit union or bank with a check, then waiting for it to clear. Everything's handled electronically so the money you're owed will show up in your account on payday. 

Hanscom FCU members can take advantage of Payday Perqs when they have direct deposit with us. In many cases we're notified up to two days before payday that a direct deposit to your account is pending and we make that deposit available to you immediately. This means you can get paid up to two days earlier than your co-workers who are waiting around for payday! (Of course, you could be a good co-worker and let them know about Payday Perqs.)

5. Deposit it remotely

If you've got a computer with a scanner, or a smartphone or tablet, there's no need to visit a branch or an ATM to cash your payroll check. Mobile check deposit, or “remote deposit capture," will let you deposit your check into your account with a scan or photograph.

You'll need to download your financial institution's remote deposit app and your check may take some time to clear, but it's a convenient way to cash your payroll check if you're busy or out of town. Just sign the check, photograph or scan the front and back, and either log in to your account or app to upload the image.

If you have an account with Hanscom FCU, you can deposit a check with ease wherever you are in the world with EasyDeposit and EasyDeposit Mobile. Use your computer's scanner, or download our mobile app on your smartphone in the Apple's App Store or Google Play

If you want to switch to a Hanscom FCU account or switch the account where your deposits are sent, you’ll want to change your direct deposit information as soon as possible to minimize payment complications.


Need to Make an Update? Change Your Direct Deposit In 3 Easy Steps

When you switch financial accounts, you'll want to make sure your payroll check makes the transition, too. It's actually a fairly straightforward process to make the switch, and you can accomplish it in three easy steps. Ready?

  1. Gather information from your new account. You'll need your new account number and the routing number of the financial institution, along with their name, address, and main phone number.
  2. Fill out a direct deposit authorization form with your employer. This will allow them to make the switch between your old checking account and your new one. You'll need to provide them with the information you've gathered in the first step. Some employers will also ask for additional details, such as the type of account (checking/savings/investment), the names on the account, and/or a voided check.
  3. Keep your old account open until direct deposits show up in your new account. You could create some unintentional overdrafts by assuming the switch is made immediately. It's helpful to remember the timing of these changes. The new direct deposit information may not take effect for the upcoming payroll but rather the following payroll.

If your employer has employee self-service set up, you'll be able to enter your new banking information yourself directly into the system.  Be sure you have your new account and routing numbers ready to input.

To help minimize potential glitches with the switchover, set up the new direct deposit account for a test amount (say $10 or $20).  Once the account is validated and the funds are deposited successfully, you can go back into your direct deposit information, enter the appropriate distribution of funds and delete the old account if you no longer want payroll funds deposited in that account.

Not sure if you have employee self-service or of the timing of your changes? Contact your human resources department for additional guidance.

If you receive benefits through Social Security, you can make a change to your direct deposit through your My Social Security account.

If you receive your pay or retirement benefits from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), you can make the switch by logging into your myPay account and clicking "Direct Deposit" on the Main Menu.

If you have more questions about changing your direct deposit information or cashing your first paycheck, visit for more information.


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Hanscom Federal Credit Union
Hanscom Federal Credit Union

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