Mistakes happen. Financial mistakes happen, as unintended as they may be. Bounced checks, unpaid overdraft fees, excessive NSF charges are a few banking mishaps that can end up sticking to you like glue.
2nd Chance Checking Accounts online are needed because most banks and credit unions report your banking history to a checking account reporting company.
A negative banking history can play a major role in preventing you from opening a checking account.
There are several checking account reporting companies you may have never heard of until you get denied for a checking account. ChexSystems and Early Warning Services (EWS) are the two biggest checking account reporting companies, but banks and credit unions may also use Telecheck and even pull a credit report to open checking accounts.
According to the National Consumer Law Center, more than 80% of banks and credit unions use consumer reports from agencies such as ChexSystems or Early Warning Services to help them decide whether to approve bank account applicants.
Benefits of Second Chance Checking Accounts Online
If you are conducting financial transactions without a bank account, you can rebuild your banking history with a second chance checking account online to get back on track. Having a bank account can be taken for granted, until you don’t have one.
The hassle of a check cashing store, loading money onto a prepaid card, the fees; not to mention the lack of financial products like personal, mortgage or auto loans can impede you from making major purchases.
Save time and money with a traditional checking account
The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) conducted a one-day simulation as to what unbanked people may encounter when trying to conduct basic financial transactions like cash a check, pay rent and utilities. The group included entrepreneurs, nonprofit employees, and banking executives.
They found that a huge chunk of time was utilized waiting in lines at check cashing stores to cash checks, load prepaid cards, purchase money orders and complete money transfers.
In one encounter, the group “ended up waiting for nearly half an hour while the check cashing store decided it couldn’t cash one of the checks.” In addition to the time consumed the group found that conducting financial transactions at check cashing stores and Western Union is costly. A $30 money transfer at Western Union cost them $5.
Rebuild your banking history
You deserve a second chance at banking.
The banking industry varies when it comes to second chance checking accounts online. These type of checking accounts may come with more limitations than standard checking accounts. Second chance checking accounts are specifically designed for people who have struggled with a checking account in the past but want to get back into banking.
Some banks and credit unions offer 2nd chance checking accounts with limited or no check writing privileges while other financial institutions allow most features of a regular checking account; but, tack on a monthly fee.
Another option for people who have been denied a checking account is to find non ChexSystems banks that don’t use ChexSystems to open checking accounts.
List of 2nd Chance Checking Accounts
Rebuild your banking history and get back into traditional banking. Below is a list of second chance checking accounts online and at bank branches nationwide.
ClearConnect Free Checking available online in all states except Alaska and Hawaii. This account is designed for customers on the go. Manage your account, make transfers, pay bills and deposit checks, view balances, and more — all directly from your smartphone, computer or tablet. Plus, as a perk with this account you have access to a team of remote bankers you can contact via text, email, or phone. Open Now!
ClearConnect Checking Features
- Apply with only $25 opening deposit
- No monthly Service Charge
- Complimentary Online Banking and Mobile Banking, Bill Pay and Online Statements
- No ATM withdrawal fees at any BBVA Compass or Allpoint® ATM
- Compass Bank, Member FDIC
Essential Checking available online in all states. Minimum opening deposit is $10.00. Monthly service charge is $9.00. Online and mobile banking with direct deposit, free bill payment and customized alerts.
Opportunity Checking available in 39 states and Washington, D.C. Minimum opening deposit is $25. Monthly service fee of $10.00. There are three ways you can avoid the monthly fee: (1) Make 10 or more debit card purchases/payments, (2) Have direct deposits totaling $500 or more, or (3) Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance.
The Safe Balance Account at Bank of America is a type of second chance checking account where customers are not allowed to write checks. The account comes with a debit card that can be used to make purchases, withdraw cash, pay bills or pay individuals. $25 is required to open the account and the monthly maintenance fee is $4.95.
Fresh Start Checking available in KY, TN, VA. Minimum opening deposit is $20. Monthly service fee of $10.
Pathyway Checking available in AL, AR, CA, FL, GA, NC, NY, SC, TX. Minimum opening balance is $50. Monthly service fee of $10. The checking account is a non-interest bearing account.
Opportunity 100 Checking available in AL, AR, FL, NY. Minimum opening balance is $100.00. Monthly service fee with direct deposit $9.95 and $12.95 with no direct deposit.
Bounce Back Checking available in KY, OH, VA, WV. No minimum balance. Monthly service fee of $6.99 with direct deposit and $8.99 without direct deposit. First two non-sufficient funds fees waived.
Second Chance Checking available in DC, MD, VA. Must be opened in a branch office.
Fresh Start Checking available in AZ, CA, CT, GA, IL, KS, NC, OH, PA, TX, VA. Keep a minimum balance of $100 in your Regular Share Account. Monthly service fee of $10.
Clean Start Checking available in IN, MI, OH. Ideal account for rebuilding or establishing credit. Minimum opening balance is $50.00. Monthly service fee of $7.95 with direct deposit and $9.95 without direct deposit.
Express Banking available in FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MI, NC, OH, TN, WV. No credit score requirement. Discounted fees of up to 50% on select services based on account usage. No check writing or check deposits at ATMs.
Clean Start Checking available in IL, IN, OH. Must have 3 or fewer records with ChexSystem. Plus no outstanding items less than 1 year old. Outstanding balance total of less than $500.
Bank on Checking account available in AZ, CA, HI, ID, OR, UT, WA. Minimum opening deposit is $50. This is a free account with no minimum account balance required, no monthly service charges and no per check charges.
Easy checking account available in AR, LA, MS, TN. Minimum opening deposit is $25. The monthly service fee of $9.95 can be waived with $200 minimum balance.
Fresh Start Checking is available in MI, NV, TN, TX, VA. Membership must be established with a $5 deposit into a savings account. Minimum opening deposit for checking account is $50 deposit.
Rebound Banking available in MO, OK, TX. Monthly service fee of $9.99. If you keep your checking account in good standing for a full year after opening, you’re eligible to switch to another checking account.
Fresh Start Checking available in IL, IN, KY, OH. Monthly service fee of $10.
U2 Checking available in CA, FL, MA. Minimum opening deposit is $100. No monthly maintenance service fee for any month you have direct deposit and conduct 10 Visa debit card point-of-sale withdrawals.
Fresh Start Checking available in IN, KY. No minimum balance. Monthly service fee of $12 and a required direct deposit.
Foundation Checking is not publically advertised but available in AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, VA, WI, WV.
Start Fresh Checking is available in DC, MD, VA, WV. Minimum opening balance is $50.00. Monthly service fee of $7.95 with direct deposit and $9.95 without direct deposit. After 18 months, customers in good standing may qualify for a more favorable checking account at Premier Bank.
Checking Builder is available in FL, IN, KY, OH, TN. Minimum opening balance is $50. Monthly service fee of $12.95 will be reduced to $7.95 with direct deposit or, at least 20 monthly point-of-sale debit card transactions.
Renew Checking is available in IL, IN, TN. Minimum opening balance is $50. Monthly maintenance fee of $7.00.
Right Start Checking is available in AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, IN, KY, MI, MS, NJ, NV, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV. Open with a $25 deposit and no minimum balance requirement. No monthly fees plus overdraft protection up to $250.
Opportunity Checking is available in CT, NY, RI. Minimum opening balance is $50.00. Monthly service fee of $11.95 with direct deposit and $16.95 without direct deposit.
Second Chance Checking is available in AL, FL, GA, KY, IL, IN, LA, MD, MS, NC, NY, OH, PA, SC, TX, VA, WV. Minimum opening balance is $25.00. Monthly service fee of $9.95 with direct deposit and $11.95 without direct deposit. One-time account set up fee of $9.95.
Avoid negative banking habits
Once your new account is open, avoid habits that contribute to a negative banking history. With online banking tools, you can always pay attention to checking account balances, keep track of all transactions to avoid overdrafts, and monitor your bank accounts.
Participation in a financial management workshop, often online for 60-90 minutes, may be required by some banks and credit unions prior to opening a second chance account. There are good tips on managing a checking account and avoiding actions that can get you in trouble.
Run from second and third-party checks
NEVER, EVER deposit a third-party personal check via ATM or mobile deposit. A 3rd-party check is when a friend or family member endorses a check over to you to cash or deposit. Banks typically don’t like 3rd party checks because of the risk associated. If a bank accepts 3rd party checks, they may require both you and the original payee to sign the check in the presence of a teller.
You may even want to be wary of a 2nd-party check from a friend or family member. A 2nd-party check is one written directly to you. Many consumers have innocently deposited a personal check from a friend or family member that ended up as a bounced check. Banks often see these type of transactions as fraud. And for a bank, fraud is similar to bank robbery. Being reported by a bank for fraud is one of the WORST notations on ChexSystems and Early Warning Services, even if it was unintended.