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A Routing Number: What Is It? What It Means and Where to Get Your Own

Nine-digit identifiers called routing numbers are used to identify your bank or credit union during a transaction. In 1910, the banking sector embraced the numbers to speed up and streamline operations. There is less misunderstanding because each bank has its unique number. Therefore, although two banks may have similar names, their unique routing numbers make them easily distinguishable from one another.

How to find your routing number

The U.S. Bank routing number directory

Numerous routing numbers belonging to U.S. Bank identify the various areas in which we conduct business. Where you opened your account will appear in your routing number.


The nine-digit number printed in the bottom left corner of each check is the routing number. The second set of numbers printed on the bottom of your checks is your unique account number, which is typically between 10 and 12 digits long. The check number is the one that is located farthest to the right.

Monthly statement

Your routing number is in the upper right corner on your monthly bill. With e-statements, you can guarantee that your monthly statement is always available to you.

Digital banking

You can get your routing number by entering it into online banking and choosing the appropriate account. The account nickname, the last four digits of your account number, and the routing number are all visible in the top box. Choose the link for the final four numbers if you also require the whole account number.

When do I need my routing number?

Your routing number is used for all types of transactions. You’ll need your routing number if you want to open a new account at a financial institution. They’ll also ask for your routing number if you’re applying for a loan from a lender. The same goes for any other transaction requiring you to use a check or debit card.

Where is the routing number located on a check?

Your check’s bottom edge bears the routing, account, and check numbers. Routing numbers are always made up of nine digits. Account numbers are allowed to include up to 17 digits. On some checks, the routing number appears first, others, the account number, and still others, the routing number, check number, and account number.

Where to find routing and account numbers without a check?

Phone your bank.

Call your bank and ask for help from a representative if you have questions about the phone number you obtained online or prefer to speak to a live person.

The ABA’s online search tool

You can look for a maximum of two ABA routing numbers per day and a maximum of ten per month using the ABA website’s free ABA Routing Number Lookup service.

The bank’s website

Typically, your bank’s website will list its ABA routing numbers. However, remember that some banks might use various routing numbers for multiple transactions, so be careful to obtain the appropriate routing number for the transaction you wish to complete.

Bank statements.

Most banks’ monthly statements include information about your accounts, including their ABA routing number.

Importance of Routing and Account Numbers

Account numbers are the key to your finances since each is as distinct as a fingerprint. The security of this data is essential. Routing and account numbers are crucial since they enable various transactions.

These figures were created to show just where your cash is. It provides the system with information about the origin and destination of the money. Both numbers are essential to ensure that the funds are deposited at the appropriate time and location. Any inaccuracy in the figures provided can cause delays and exorbitant fees.

Additionally, it’s crucial to keep this information a secret. If someone has access to that information, they might be able to withdraw money from your account. Fraudulent checks and ACH transactions are two ways to do it. These figures are crucial, so you must only utilize them to create new transaction scenarios.

How Are Routing Numbers Used?

Bills for credit cards

The last item on this list, but by no means the last, is paying credit card bills. I use my credit card whenever possible to get as many miles and points as possible for my travel hacking. I consider one of two options when it comes time to pay for those cards. My bank’s online bill payment comes first. In this instance, the bank pays my charge on my behalf by using the routing and account details of the credit card provider.

ACH transactions

Second, I can use an ACH transfer to pay by entering the routing and account numbers for my check account on the website of my credit card provider. It is quick, cost-free, and simple anyway!

Paying taxes

Taxes and death are said to be the only two things in life that are certain. Whatever your opinion of the proverb, there are a few ways to pay your taxes when they are due. You can pay with a credit or debit card for an additional fee or, for free, with an electronic funds transfer using your routing and account information!

That’s accurate. When you file, you can collect a tax refund or pay your taxes directly from your bank account by providing your routing and account numbers on your tax forms.

ACH transactions

The same electronic fund transfer system—the ACH system—used for payments and payroll must be utilized to transfer funds between business accounts or between business and personal accounts held at different banks. The Federal Reserve Bank’s automated clearinghouse, also known as ACH, enables banks to transfer funds to other banks’ accounts by utilizing only their routing and account numbers.


I discovered that operating my firm as an S-Corporation and paying myself a regular salary for my work at my company is preferable for tax reasons. No matter how many employees you need to pay—whether it’s just one—you may require your bank routing and account numbers for payroll. For a variety of reasons, this makes sense.

How to write a check?


Put the check’s writing date, probably today, in the upper right corner. This enables the person receiving the cheque to determine the date of writing.


Write the name of the person or business you are making the payment. Write on the line, “Pay to the order of.” Since this information must be exact, you might need to ask, “Who do I make the check out to?” if you’re unsure of what to write.

Put the check’s amount in numbers.

A check has two places where you can write the amount you’re paying. The first is a tiny box to the right of the recipient’s name line.

In this area, type the exact dollar amount. For instance, if you want to write a check for 0.30 (one hundred dollars and thirty cents), you can write that. Ensure that the bank can deduct the correct amount from your account and write this correctly.

Put the check’s amount in words.

Put the cheque amount in words underneath the “Pay to the Order of” line. Therefore, if you are writing a check for $243.26, you should write it out as “$243.25”. It is crucial to write out the right number since, in the event of a discrepancy between the two figures, the words will prevail legally.


On the line in the bottom right corner, legibly sign the check. Use the exact name and signature that are in your bank’s records. This step is crucial because the bank won’t accept a check without a signature.


Even if it’s not always required to use the memo section, it’s still a good idea to make notes in case you need to find a payment later on. You might want to use this box to enter your account or Social Security number for paying taxes, utilities, and vendors.

Jason Rathman
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