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How to Find Your Account Number on a Check

Paper checks used to be the only method of making payments from your checking account. Today, debit cards, along with the ease of making digital payments such as eChecks, have greatly reduced the need for paper checks in day-to-day life. But consumers still have an occasional need for these checks—and it's important to know how to read paper checks to find the information used to process each payment.
If you're unfamiliar with the different sets of numbers featured on your checks, here's a quick guide to help you identify the account number, routing number, and other key information found on a paper check for a credit union account.

What is a MICR number?How to Find Your Account Number on a Check 

The Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) number is a long series of numbers printed at the bottom of each check. This set of numbers uses specialized magnetic ink and a unique font to make these numbers more readable for both humans and sorting machines, and to increase the difficulty of printing counterfeit checks.

The MICR number typically contains three pieces of information: the routing number for the financial institution, the account number, and the individual check number. Together, these numbers offer a unique identifier for any payment made with a paper check.

How to Find the Credit Union Routing Number on a Check

On most paper checks, the routing number will be found on the bottom of the check, in the left-hand corner. It will start the longer MICR number that includes the account number and check number.

The routing number is often easy to identify because it's always nine digits in length. This routing number represents the financial institution where your account is opened, and it helps financial institutions route the check for payment once the check has been cashed by a different institution than the one where your accounts have been opened.

The routing number is always the same for a given institution, even when you have multiple accounts. For Oklahoma Central Credit Union customers, it's helpful to know the OCCU routing number in case you need it as part of a transaction. This number is 303986096. If you have paper checks issued by OCCU, you can find this number in the lower left-hand corner of those checks.

How Many Numbers are in an Account Number?

Most bank account numbers are between seven and 13 digits long. A typical account number is about 10 digits in length, but this can vary from one banking institution to the next.

Accountholders should always guard their account numbers carefully, as this information could be used to make unauthorized charges to your account if it falls into the wrong hands.

What is a Member Number for a Credit Union?

If you're wondering, "Is the member number the same as an account number?" the answer is, basically, yes. While each account you have with the credit union will be identified on its own, at a credit union, the account number is often the same as your member number. On a check, the member number refers to your membership account, and the paper check will be deducted from your checking account when cashed.

How to Find Your Account Number on a Check

If you're looking for your credit union account number on a check, you can find it on the bottom of the check, to the right of the nine-digit routing number and before the check number when moving from left to right.

It's important to keep your account number protected because it can be used to make purchases online. While paper checks have multiple security features built into the printed paper itself, electronic check payments can be easier to forge if someone has the routing number and account number for your account. If you suspect this information has been stolen, notify your bank or credit union immediately to freeze charges to your account and take other necessary steps, such as voiding your checks and changing your account number.

Even if you don't use paper checks on a regular basis, it's important to keep them on-hand as a backup payment option in cases where other forms of payment aren't an option. This financial tool can be a valuable one when it comes to paying for services, putting down deposits, or creating a record of payment in any number of situations.

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