Stimulus check 3 going out this weekend — how to make sure you get yours

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According to the mobile banking service Current and reported by CNBC, some taxpayers saw their stimulus money just one day after President Biden signed the American Rescue plan into law. And more payments will be arriving throughout the weekend. 

Current received its first payments shortly before noon on Friday, a spokesperson told CNBC, and passed the funds on to account holders immediately without waiting for the payments to clear. As of yesterday's report, Current had processed about a quarter of the payments it had received from the Treasury Department. 

"This is, of course, just the first wave," said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday, adding that payments "will continue throughout the course of the next several weeks." The IRS Get My Payment tracker is being updated, so it's worth checking back to see when it's ready.

Where is my stimulus check? Here's what to expect

Disbursing over $340 billion is a pretty big undertaking, but if you have direct deposit, you should be seeing your payment within the next few days. So long as you have your bank information on file with the IRS (and you filed taxes for 2019 or 2020), there is nothing more you need to do. (The IRS portal doesn’t currently provide a way to sign up for direct deposit just for stimulus, but if you chose it for your tax refund, you’re set.)

If you filed for 2019 or 2020 but the IRS doesn't have your bank info, you’ll be receiving a paper check. The Treasury Department is likely to begin mailing checks next week. (If you'd like to get on board the direct-deposit train now, just in case there's a next time, the IRS will help you out.) 

If you don’t file a tax return, you’re going to need to provide some information if you want to get the payment. The IRS is urging people with little or no income to ensure they receive their payments using the IRS Free File program.

If you don’t have a bank account, you’re still eligible to receive a payment. EIP cards are Treasury-sponsored, VISA-branded prepaid debit cards; the Treasury issued these cards for the first two stimulus payments, and they’re likely to be part of the process for this round as well.

The payments are arriving as one lump sum, including the money for taxpayer and claimed dependents. As President Biden said in his National address on Thursday, a four-person family with two dependent children will be receiving $5,600, assuming they qualify for the full amount.

And most Americans will qualify. While the median income for an American household set a record in 2019, at $68,703, according to the Census Bureau, that figure is still is well within the income caps. It's $75,000 per individual, $112,500 for a head of household, and $150,000 in combined income for to taxpayers filing jointly, to receive the full payment for the taxpayer and his or her dependents.

If you're not sure how much you'll be getting, this stimulus check calculator will help you figure it out quickly. 

Margot Page

Margot Page is an editor and writer covering personal finance based in Seattle, Washington. She led the product management team for both Microsoft Money and MSN Money.