Where and How to Get a Pay Stub + How to Use It

how to get a pay stub

Your pay stub is more than just a document that shows how much money you are making every payday. In fact, once you learn how to get a pay stub and the different ways to do it, you will understand the key purposes and benefits of having copies of your paycheck ready for you to use.

For instance, you may be unemployed, or you may have suffered from an accident that left you unable to work for a significant amount of time. On the other hand, you may also be currently employed, but you need valid proof of income to qualify for a mortgage or a loan.

In this article, you will learn how and where to get a pay stub, along with alternative documents you can use in case you are unable to acquire or create one. Let’s start!

Key Takeaways

  • A pay stub is issued by employers and records an employee’s gross and net wages, withheld taxes, and deductions in a given pay period.
  • Through payroll or an employee portal, contacting your bank or previous employer, and using a pay stub generator are all examples of how to get your paycheck stub.
  • Printing and saving copies of your pay stub saves you time, effort, and resources for when you might need to provide valid proof of income later on.
  • Pay stubs are useful for filing taxes and increasing your chances of getting approved for loans and renting residential properties.

What is a Pay Stub?

A pay stub is a document that contains an employee’s net and gross pay and net salaries, hourly rates, and the taxes and deductions applied to their earnings. It is also called a payslip, paycheck stub, or earnings statement.

Depending on which type of pay period a business follows, pay stubs may be created weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly.

Employers are responsible for preparing and issuing pay stubs to their employees every payday. Pay stubs are also crucial in establishing trust and transparency between employers and employees.

More precisely, an employee’s earnings statements come in handy in ensuring that:

  • Employees get compensated properly. For employees, their pay stub helps them verify whether they are paid according to the hourly rates set on their employment contract.
  • Employers withhold a percentage of their income for taxes and benefits. Aside from calculating their pay, employees also use their paycheck stub to verify that their taxes and benefits are duly withheld and covered by employers.
  • Employees have a valid proof of income when they want to rent an apartment, apply for a car loan, qualify for housing, or use any other type of credit.

How to Get a Pay Stub From Your Employer

An employee getting a pay stub from employer

If you are wondering how to get a pay stub for filing taxes, securing a loan, or renting property, there are two ways you can secure a copy of your earnings statement:

#1. Through Payroll

Your employer issues your pay stubs every payday, so you can anticipate when you can secure a copy of your latest paycheck stub. You can get a printed copy of your pay stub or an electronic (paperless) one, depending on your company’s payroll practices.

Printed pay stubs are usually attached to the check and are less hassle since you already have a solid copy in your hands. If not, your employer may email electronic copies of your earnings statement.

#2. Through Employee Portal

Employee portals are among the most common and modern ways to get a pay stub from work. It is like an all-in-one portal where you can log in and view your pay stubs, an overview of your gross earnings, deductions, the amount paid for your taxes, and records of reimbursements, loans, and benefit plans.

Make sure that you are logged into the portal and that you have found the pay stubs that you need.

Select the option to download your earnings statement, and you’ve secured a digital copy of your paycheck.

How to Get a Pay Stub From Your Previous Employer

Securing a pay stub from your previous employer may take a while, depending on the time that has passed since you resigned from your last job. For instance, if you resigned over six months ago, it will take longer for your most recent employer to retrieve your records.

Aside from time constraints, it will also depend on whether the company caters to a handful of employees or over 100.

Here’s how to get a pay stub from an old job:

1. Contact Your Previous Employer

Contacting your last employer via phone call is highly recommended because it is faster and you can communicate more clearly. It is easier to explain why you need copies of your pay stubs and clarify any instructions given by the human resources department or payroll personnel.

Make sure to contact your previous employer during their office hours to ensure there is someone available to receive your call. Alternatively, you can send an email if you are unable to arrange a call.

2. Update Your Contact Information and Address

Check that your contact information and address are up-to-date. This is especially true if you moved residences or changed your mobile number and email address.

Inform your last employer of the changes in your mailing address and contact details to keep your pay stubs from getting lost in the mail or delivered to the wrong residence. Always double-check that the information you provide is correct before sending.

3. Follow-up

Some companies give a concrete time frame for when the pay stubs are available for claiming. Others let you know in advance if the paycheck statements have already been sent to your email or mailing address.

On the other hand, make a follow-up phone call or send another email if it has already been a week or more and you have not received any update or confirmation regarding the status of your requested documents.

How to Get a Pay Stub from a Bank

A more direct method of getting a pay stub involves contacting your bank. This method is also applicable if you receive your earnings in cash and deposit them into your bank account or if your employer disburses your salary into your account every payday.

1. Inquire

Contact your bank and check if they offer services that let you acquire copies of your pay stubs. Banks that offer pay stub services will give you a list of requirements that you must fulfill and submit.

2. Fulfill the Requirements

These requirements include securing documents to check your account and verify that you or your employer have been depositing money into your bank account.

3. Receive Your Pay Stubs

Once the bank confirms your documents, you will receive a notification and a specific timeframe within which you can expect to get your pay stubs through the contact details you have provided.

Finally, your bank will send your pay stubs either via mail or electronically to your email.

How to Save & Print Your Pay Stub

Let’s say you are looking to apply for a car loan or suddenly have to move apartments due to unforeseen emergencies. Surely, the loan officer or landlord will ask you to present your most recent pay stubs as proof of income.

There is a reason why loan officers, banks, and property owners rarely accept electronic copies of pay stubs from applicants and interested tenants. With today’s technology, it is easy to forge fake electronic pay stubs that are tough to scrutinize unless you have a physical copy that you can inspect more closely.

Online portals are susceptible to system errors and even cyberattacks, particularly if your company does not have an efficient security system to back up your files and prevent breaches in your network. Errors and breaches in your employee portal put your privacy at risk and may even cause you to lose copies of your pay stubs.

When you resign, you will also have to surrender the credentials to your employee portal, making you unable to access or retrieve copies of your pay stubs.

As such, it is safer to download electronic copies of your pay stubs every payroll while you can—regardless if you receive them via email or through your HR portal.

After downloading your pay stubs, store them in a secure folder on your laptop or computer. Create a duplicate folder and save it in cloud storage so you can print your pay stubs whenever needed.

Generate Your Own Pay Stub

Paystub example

Freelancers and independent contractors have the option to generate their own pay stubs since they do not have an employer to produce one for them.

It typically takes a few steps to use a pay stub generator:

  1. Open the pay stub generator.
  2. Input all the key details in the blank template. Make sure you provide complete and error-free information.
  3. Preview the pay stub and download it.

With the help of an online paystub generator, you can create your own pay stub for every project you complete. Compared to having an employer issue your pay stub, using a paystub generator yields the following advantages:

  • Saves time and energy. Forget waiting for your last employer or bank to email your earnings statement. Create pay stubs in real-time to ensure you don’t miss any payouts from your clients.
  • Quick and easy to use. Paystub generators let you create as many paycheck stubs as you need. You don’t need to download or install any apps, which means you can generate and reproduce copies of your earnings statements without any hassle.
  • Secure and flexible. Online generators are safe to use and suit different work setups. In fact, even startups can benefit from a paystub generator.

Pay Stub Alternatives

If, for any reason, your employer is unable to provide your earnings statement, use the documents below instead:

  • Form 1040. Also called the federal tax return form, your Form 1040 displays how much you earned within a given tax year. This IRS document is excellent if you are a freelancer taking on multiple projects or jobs at the same time.
  • Form W-2. Employers are required to prepare Form W-2 at the end of each year to help employees file their tax returns. You can have multiple W-2 Forms, especially if you have more than one employer.
  • Bank statements. Your bank statements provide records of money that’s regularly deposited into your account. If your employer directly deposits your salary into your bank account every pay cycle, then your bank statements are solid proof that you are making a steady income.
  • Worker’s compensation. Worker’s compensation is for employees or workers who were injured or had an accident that required rehabilitation, missed work days, and lost earnings. It informs the loan officer or landlord of the applicant’s or tenant’s current situation regarding their income.
  • Severance package or severance statement. For recently unemployed workers, present the severance statement or package issued by your last employer. However, don’t just rely on your severance statement. Express your plans to find a job as soon as possible if you truly want to increase the chances of your loan or rental application getting approved.

Final Thoughts

Pay stubs represent all the hard work and hours that you have invested in exchange for earning money to help you pay your bills and afford basic needs.

At the same time, your pay stubs could prove useful, especially if you need financial assistance, extra cash, or a decent apartment to live in. Whether you depend on your employer to generate paystubs or produce your own as a freelancer, it is highly advisable to review all the possible methods described in this article on how to get a pay stub.

Check all the different options that apply to your employment status and setup, and finally, make it a habit to secure copies of all your paycheck stubs.

How to Get a Pay Stub FAQ

#1. Can I find my pay stubs online?

Yes, you can if your employer issues your pay stub using an employee portal. If you have a stable internet connection, you can log in to the portal and view your paycheck.

#2. Why do I need a pay stub?

Your pay stub is useful for filing your tax returns and providing proof of income. It underscores the fact that you have a stable income source and that you are capable of paying your taxes, loans, rent, lease, or mortgage.

For unemployed individuals, pay stubs are evidence that your money comes from legitimate sources.

#3. What can I use as proof of income instead of a pay stub?

If you are unable to secure copies of your pay stubs, you can use your federal tax return form, Form “-2, bank statements, severance statements, or worker’s compensation.

#4. How do I make a pay stub?

Use an online pay stub generator to create your own pay stub. Pay stub generators provide templates where all you have to do is input the required details, preview, and download your paycheck stub.

#5. How do I get my pay stub if I have direct deposit?

To answer the question of how to get a pay stub through direct deposit, direct deposit pay stubs are accessible online. Your employer typically sends your paycheck through your employee portal.

#6. How to get a pay stub from ADP?

ADP (Automatic Data Processing) is a cloud-based solution for human capital management. One example of how ADP works involves retaining and submitting paychecks, thereby enabling employers to get the check and compensate their employees.


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