Why Should You Use Real Pay Stubs Over Fake Paychecks?

Why Should You Use Real Pay Stubs Over Fake Paychecks?

If you are in need of a loan or if you are seeking to move to a new apartment, it is crucial to understand why you must use pay stubs over fake paychecks to prove your income.

Pay stubs reflect how much you make from your job on a regular basis. As such, by presenting authentic pay records, you are affirming to banks and landlords that you are a trustworthy individual earning money from reputable and lawful sources.

This article serves as your essential guide to understanding the importance of using real pay stubs for all transactions and why fake pay records simply aren’t worth your time and effort.

Let’s start!

Key Takeaways

  • A pay stub is a document attached to a paycheck. It contains all the information about a worker’s earnings, including their pay rates, withheld taxes, and voluntary and involuntary contributions.
  • A paycheck contains the net amount earned by an employee in a given pay period. The said amount is deposited by employers into the employee’s bank accounts.
  • It is highly advisable to use pay stubs over fake paychecks to avoid paying fines, having your loan or rent application rejected, getting blacklisted by other lenders and landlords, or facing imprisonment.
  • Using a pay stub generator is a practical and easy way to create genuine pay stubs. It takes less than a minute to generate one, and it is also 100% safe and legal.

What is a Pay Stub?

A pay stub, payslip, or paycheck stub is a document containing a worker’s gross income, withheld taxes, year-to-date, insurance and retirement contributions, and net earnings. Payslips can be printed on paper or sent electronically.

Employers issue pay stubs to their employees after a pay period is completed. The pay period may be weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. Employers also follow a recurring schedule or pay date when releasing employee pay stubs.

In turn, employees use their pay stubs to check how much they earned and confirm whether their employer withholds a percentage from their salary or wage to pay their taxes, as well as voluntary and involuntary contributions.

Pay stubs also come in handy when applying for loans and credit cards or renting an apartment. Employees can present their pay stubs as proof of income, so lenders and landlords can verify their employment.

What is a Paycheck?

A paycheck is an actual paper check given by employers to their employees as compensation for their work.

A paycheck contains the amount employees earned, spelled out in words and declared in numbers as well. The paycheck also contains the check number, pay date, name and address of the employer and employee, and the employer’s signature.

Paychecks are traditionally paper-based, but employees can request to have their paychecks sent directly into their accounts. Employers issue paychecks along with pay stubs, with the latter providing much more details about an employee’s earnings for the completed pay period.

Generally, most states require employers to follow either a weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly cycle in issuing paychecks to their employees. However, there are specific exceptions depending on the location, industry, and nature of the work.

Why Do People Create and Use Fake Paychecks?

Some people resort to creating and using fake paychecks and other income-related documents due to financial constraints and the need to qualify for loans and leases despite their insufficient income or struggle to land a stable job.

Not to mention, paychecks are relatively easy to replicate since they contain fewer details compared to a pay stub. In fact, they can use Excel, Word, and even Photoshop to try and forge paychecks.

But why don’t people use pay stubs over fake paychecks and risk their safety

Below are some of the most common reasons:

  • Apply for loans or credit cards. People fabricate multiple paychecks to try and prove that they have a stable income that qualifies them for the minimum loan or credit card requirement.
  • Rent an apartment. Since paychecks show the regular income that an individual earns regularly, landlords use them to screen the financial capacity of both existing tenants and applicants seeking to rent a space on their property.
  • Demand a higher salary. Some individuals will try to negotiate for a higher salary during a job application and go as far as to present fake pay stubs as a pretense that they earned a higher salary than their actual rate in their previous employment.
  • Evade taxes. Shady businesses conceal their illegal operations and escape their tax obligations by issuing false paychecks to their staff. They falsely declare that they withhold portions of employee salaries to pay taxes, even though they simply pocket these percentages with their taxes left unpaid.

What Are The Consequences of Using Fake Paychecks?

Once a lender, landlord, or company figures out that the paycheck submitted by an applicant is fake, the latter is subject to any of the following consequences:

Rejected Loan or Rent Application

Why use pay stubs over fake paychecks? The answer is simple—in addition to avoiding potentially catastrophic legal repercussions, real pay stubs dramatically increase your chances of getting your loan and rent applications approved.

A fake paycheck, when discovered, automatically means a rejected application.

If you are unemployed, you can consult with the Unemployment Insurance Office in your state and check your eligibility for unemployment benefits. Better yet, try to contact your previous employer to request copies of your last pay stubs.

Let them know that you need the documents for a loan or rent.

Paying Fines

Fake pay stub fraud is subject to a minimum fine of $1,000 to $5,000. However, more serious violations of using fake paychecks, particularly those that involve bank fraud, may cost the violator as much as $1,000,000 in fines.

It is also possible to face additional penalties, depending on the severity of the violation and the number of charges faced by the person who used fake paychecks.

For instance, an employer who is caught issuing false paychecks may face multiple complaints from their employees, thereby predisposing themselves to a mountain of penalties and debts.


Possible imprisonment from 1 year to as much as 30 years is one of the key reasons why one should use pay stubs over fake paychecks.

A person who notoriously uses falsified paychecks and other legal documents to try to secure money or lodging is bound to face jail time.

Endorsement to Other Lenders and Landlords

The endorsement in the context of an exposed fake paycheck is not a good thing. This means that banks, lenders, and landlords will inform business partners and other companies offering similar services of the applicant’s fraudulent activity.

They will also submit the applicant’s name and contact information to alert fellow property owners and lenders in advance. In doing so, the applicant is automatically blacklisted and prevented from lending or renting to a different bank or property.

How to Create a Real Pay Stub

Using fake pay stubs is illegal. Regardless of how desperately you might need financial aid, remember that there are legal and safer ways to secure monetary assistance.

You can try to request copies of your authentic pay stubs from your previous employer. You can also consult with local authorities or seek help from non-profit organizations that may assist you in securing your basic needs.

Here’s another reason why using paystubs over fake paychecks is a smart and ideal decision. There are time-saving and practical alternatives, like an online pay stub generator that is safe and easy to use.

Specifically, with our paystub generator, you can create multiple pay stubs in minutes and even take advantage of our generator’s built-in calculator.

Here are the steps and tips on how to create a genuine pay stub using our generator:

  1. Open the pay stub generator.
  2. Choose a template and fill in the blank fields with the necessary information.
  3. Review your pay stub and download a copy.

Final Thoughts

Use pay stubs over fake paychecks if you want to increase your chances of qualifying for a loan or rent without getting into conflict with the law.

After all, an easy solution does not always mean guaranteed money and success, especially if it means manipulating information about your employment and income.

Make sure you’re on the right side of the law to avoid fines and possible imprisonment, and use the real pay stubs to your advantage.

Why Use Real Pay Stubs Over Fake Paychecks FAQ

#1. How to tell the difference between a real and a fake pay stub?

A real pay stub contains decimals, consistent formatting, and all essential information about a worker’s earnings. In contrast, fake pay stubs appear sloppy, have estimated values, and lack information such as FICA taxes, pay periods, and voluntary deductions.

#2. What to look for in a fake pay stub?

Pay attention to mixed-up letters and numbers like O and 0, inconsistent use of fonts, rounded numbers, missing pay stub information, and the lack of any watermarks or security features.

#3. How do I make a real pay stub?

If you want to make a real pay stub, it is best to employ a payroll officer and an accountant because their expertise guarantees accuracy in calculating your employees’ wages, taxes, and other deductions.

You can also maximize your use of an online pay stub generator. Pay stub generators come with templates that you fill out in less than a minute, making it easy and quick to generate multiple pay stubs in no time.

#4. Why do people use fake pay stubs?

Some people ignore the long-term benefits of using paystubs over fake paychecks in search of a quicker solution to their financial predicaments.

They use fake pay stubs to try to qualify for loans and leases when they are unemployed or do not have a stable source of income. They alter the information on their pay stubs to make it seem like they are employed and earning enough to qualify for the loan or rent requirements.


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