For over 40 years the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR) has had the authority and responsibility to set the maximum rates community currency exchanges (CE’s) can charge a customer for cashing a check.

State-Regulated Financial Institutions

DFPR is also the government agency responsible for the licensing and examination of CE’s.  Each year CE’s are required to undergo a DFPR review of each location and their financial records. Also, a determination is made that the CE is following all required state and federal laws as well as regulations imposed by DFPR. The CE is billed for the examination as well as being required an annual license fee. They must also file an annual financial and activity report with DFPR. CE’s are considered state-regulated financial institutions. Many are also required to be licensed in the municipality in which they are located.

Rates for Cashing a Check

CE’s have often been criticized by individuals falsely claiming that the rates charged are excessive. One elected official commented that CE’s were charging up to 5% to cash federal stimulus checks. In reality the maximum rate to cash such a check is 1.5%! Many CE’s, in an effort to make sure individuals, had as much of the money to spend on food and other needed items, reduced the charge to 1%.

The maximum rate to cash a public assistance check is 1.5%. For personal and government checks the rate is 1.5%. Checks $100.00 or less are 1.4%; checks $100.01 or greater are 2.25%. Certain checks, but not public assistance, carry a $1.00 service fee. These are the highest rates a CE can charge- many charge less. All fees are prominently posted in the lobby of every location.

Financial & Government Services

CE’s are conveniently located in Chicago neighborhoods, suburban areas, and other towns and cities across Illinois. Besides cashing checks, they also sell money orders. You can purchase vehicle stickers and license plates. You can transfer a car or boat title and send money to other countries. Documents can be photocopied or faxed and postage stamps purchased. Certain locations offer notary public. Many CE’s are open late hours. Some are open seven days a week. See all of the financial services available to you.

About the Currency Exchange of Illinois

Convenience and service are trademarks of the Currency Exchange. Individuals working at a currency exchange store often live in the community where the business is located. Some have been employed for many years. They are your friends and neighbors.

CE’s are committed to the communities where they are located. Not only to provide the financial services you need but also to support other businesses, churches, and the people who live and work in the community. For years, they have supplied school supplies to students of all ages through the Back 2 School program that CE’s founded.

What you have read here are facts. They are not false claims. Your community Currency Exchanges have been your neighborhood financial center where you can get things done for over 80 years. We want you to rely on us because we rely on you-the people of the communities we serve. We are in your neighborhood. Find a currency exchange near you.

chicago streets - currency exchange

With over 350 locations, many open nights, weekends, and holidays (and several stores with 24/7 availability), you can rest easy knowing your financial needs can be taken care of when you need them most. We’re in the heart of every community. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.