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How to Fill Out a Money Order

Banking, Banking Basics

Learning how to write a money order is easy, but it’s important to get it right. Here are five steps to complete one and make sure the funds are delivered to the right person or business:

  1. Fill in the recipient’s name.
  2. Write your address in the purchaser section.
  3. Include your account number if you’re paying a bill.
  4. Sign the bottom where it says “purchaser’s signature.”
  5. Keep your receipt.

(Details below.)

1. Fill in the recipient’s name
How to fill out a money order, step 1

Write the name of the person or business that will receive the money order on the line that starts with “Pay to the Order Of.”

The recipient will be the only person or company authorized to deposit or cash the money order. It’s a good idea to fill out this section as soon as possible to make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

2. Write your address in the purchaser sectionHow to fill out a money order, step 2

You’re the purchaser, so your information goes in this section. You’ll want the recipient to know how to contact you if there are questions or issues with the payment.

3. Include your account number if you’re paying a billHow to fill out a money order, step 3

Some money orders have a “payment for/account number” field. Filling it out helps make sure your account is credited for the payment.

4. Sign the bottom where it says ‘purchaser’s signature’How to fill out a money order, step 4

Your signature is important here, because it makes the money order official. Don’t sign the back. That area is for the person who receives it.

5. Keep your receiptHow to fill out a money order, step 5

This is your proof of payment. Store your receipt in a safe place, in case there’s a problem later.

When you know how to do a money order correctly, you have a good option for transferring money. Unlike writing a check from a personal bank account or handing over cash, a money order gives you proof of payment and assures the recipient that the funds are guaranteed.

Margarette Burnette is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: mburnette@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @margarette.