By Diane Lochner
"Where on Earth did I put it? I can’t believe I just lost another check!" Meet Allison, a college student who works three part time jobs, which means six paychecks a month. She waits tables at a pizza place, has an on-campus job at her college, and works at the local hospital.
Allison spends a lot of time keeping track of all those checks, and running around cashing them – time she’d rather spend studying for her biology classes. She wishes there was something she could do to guarantee never misplacing or forgetting about another paycheck.
there’s a better way
There is, and it’s called direct deposit. Allison can ask the pizza place, the college, and the hospital to automatically put her paycheck in her savings account every payday. Instead of her boss handing her an actual check, Allison will get something called a "notice of deposit." This shows her how much money was sent to her credit union, and how much was taken out in taxes.
Allison knows how automatic withdrawals work – she already has her cell phone and internet service paid automatically every month. For direct deposit, all she needs to do is fill out an easy form (her manager at the pizza place has them, so do the college and hospital human resource offices.) Ever wonder what that long string of numbers is at the bottom of a check in your checkbook? That’s your credit union’s routing number and account number. Allison will need both of those for the form. She might still get real checks for a little while, as the paperwork gets processed.