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Nice overview of the parts of a check and how to complete one
Your employer is required to keep a record of what you were paid and why, so most times you can go to them and get the numbers that appeared on a previous paycheck. They should be able to look it up on their system. The Social Security office also receives some information about your paycheck. If the time period has been many years, you might want to check with them.
If you provide your paycheck stub as proof of employment or income to a loan officer, you are most likely making a legally-binding statement. Be careful you obey the law. Changing something on a pay check stub simply in order to get a loan or receive some other help is fraud. Also if you are an employer, the information you provide on the stub has to be accurate. You cannot say that you took out certain monies for some purpose if you didn't really. That's also fraud.
If you have a bunch of blank paycheck stubs lying around, don't worry about them being legal documents or any of that. It's not until they are presented -- either as proof of income or as a report that you've taken the necessary legal action to insure payroll compliance -- that they become really valuable.
Not trying to be funny, but the best way to fill out a check stub is to use accounting software to do it. If you insist on doing it yourself, you should take a year or two to attend bookkeeping classes first. If you have a very simple payroll system, you might want to check out our page where we describe doing your own payroll using Excel, but due to tax laws and regulations, most people don't have a very simple system. We also have Word and Excel templates you can download. See the left-hand sidebar for these.