Banks that don’t use ChexSystems offer viable bank account solutions for people with ChexSystems records. The best non-ChexSystems banks and credit unions will help you rebuild your banking history to get you back on track with an instant bank account.
15 Instant Banks that don’t use ChexSystems
There’s a real cost when you’re prevented from opening a bank account. People without checking accounts spend more money on fees to conduct day-to-day expenses.
If bad credit is an issue, no credit check banks offer an opportunity for people with past financial issues to re-enter the banking industry and improve their overall credit profile.
1. BBVA Online Checking – Bad credit okay!
The BBVA Online Checking Account is most recommended for anyone looking for banks that don’t use ChexSystems. BBVA utilizes EWS to screen customers. The BBVA Online Checking account is available in ALL STATES (except Alaska & Hawaii). Customers enjoy free checking, mobile deposits, online banking, bill pay, check writing, and a Visa debit card.
The fact that BBVA offers a second chance checking account sets them apart from other big banks.
BBVA Online Checking Account Features
- Open with $25.
- No Monthly Service Fees.
- No ATM fees nationwide at 64,000 BBVA USA and participating non-bank ATMs.
- Automatic rebate of ATM fee charged by other banks.
- Deposit cash and checks at Allpoint® Network ATMs.
- Complimentary Online Banking and Mobile Banking, plus Mobile Deposit® and Bill Pay.
- Easily keep track of your purchases and get instant transaction alerts on the go with BBVA Mobile Banking App.
- Earn cash back for everyday debit card purchases.
2. Chime Spending Account
The Chime spending account is a free checking account with no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, and no minimum balance requirements. Chime is one of the few no credit check banks that offer an instant checking account online with an immediate account number.
Customers with a history of overdrafts will benefit from Chime’s SpotMe feature that allows overdrafts up to $100 with no fees.
Here are some of the perks of the Chime spending account:
- Visa debit card
- No monthly or overdraft fees
- No minimum balance requirements
- Daily balance updates
- Automatic Savings
- Get paid up to two days early with direct deposit ²
3. Acorns Spend Account
The Acorns Spend Account is the first checking account with a debit card that saves, invests, and earns for you. Since the COVID-19 crisis, more Americans are committed to saving and investing for emergencies. Acorns is designed to get you saving on an automatic basis.
With the Acorns Spend Account customers enjoy no monthly or overdraft fees, a debit card, and free ATM access nationwide. Acorn customers benefit from the automatic savings and investing feature where purchases made using your debit card are rounded up to the nearest dollar with the excess change being invested. Plus, the debit card is made with an impressive heavy metal, just like premium credit cards.
Acorns Spend Account Features
- No minimum balance fees. You don’t have to fund an Acorns Spend account to open it
- No overdraft fees
- Unlimited free or fee-reimbursed ATM withdrawals nationwide
- Rounds up your purchases and invests the spare change for you
- Digital direct deposit and mobile check deposit and check sending
- Free bank-to-bank transfers
- Automated bill pay
- FDIC-protected checking account up to $250,000 plus fraud protection
4. SoFi Money
With the SoFi Money Cash Management Account, you can make deposits, write checks, utilize electronic bill pay, and transfer money. There are no monthly fees or overdraft fees.
Earn a $50 cash bonus if you sign up for SoFi Money® and make a deposit of at least $500.
SoFi Cash Management Account Features
- No account fees
- Unlimited reimbursed ATM fees
- High-yield interest rate
- Access to SoFi member benefits like career coaching and financial advising
- Automated bill pay
- Easy P2P payments at no cost
- Freeze debit card on-the-go
- FDIC-insured deposits up to $1.5MM through the SoFi Money sweep program with partner banks.
5. Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union does not use ChexSystems to open a new account but there are strict requirements to become a member. Membership is open to: Armed Forces, DoD, Coast Guard, or National Guard. This includes Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard regular Active Duty and reservists, and Army and Air National Guard personnel. Active duty, Veterans and Retired military are eligible too. DoD civilian employees and contractors assigned to U.S. Government Installations may be eligible.
NFCU offers several different checking accounts:
- Free Active Duty Checking
- Free EveryDay Checking
- Campus Checking for full-time students ages 14-24
- Flagship Checking
6. First American Bank
First American Bank offers a Fresh Start Checking account if you’ve had trouble opening an account in the past. First American is an Illinois-chartered, privately held, full-service bank with 53 locations in Illinois, Florida, and Wisconsin, and $4.9 billion in assets.
Here are a few account features:
- $50 opening deposit
- Mastercard® Debit Card
- Free mobile and online banking
- $9.95 monthly fee
Peoples Cash Solutions has a checking account for consumers who have been reported to ChexSystems or TeleCheck. Fraud activity cannot be indicated in your ChexSystems report. If you are wondering what is Telecheck, it’s a consumer reporting agency too but it maintains consumer information related to check writing transactions. Bad credit and even bankruptcy are okay.
Here are a few of the account features:
- Debit MasterCard
- Personal Checkbook
- Online Bill Pay
- Online Banking
8. Suntrust Bank
Suntrust Bank offers several checking accounts, all of which include online banking, mobile banking, overdraft services, direct deposit, bill pay and a SunTrust MasterCard® Check Card. An opening deposit of $100 is required.
You can open an account online, and mobile banking is included with each account:
- Advantage Checking
- Essential Checking
- Balanced Banking
This bank is not available in all states. TCFBank has 436 branches in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin, Indiana, Arizona and South Dakota. This bank offers several checking accounts to choose from and a business checking account. They will open an account for consumers in Chexsystems but you must not owe any money to TCFBank. Consumers with an EWS record may be denied.
Here are the various accounts they offer:
- TCF® Premier CheckingSM
- TCF Free Student Checking®
- TCF Premier 62+® Checking
- TCF® Teen Checking
10. Fort Sill National Bank
When it comes to banks that don’t use ChexSystems Fort Sill National Bank is open to anyone – you don’t have to be in the military. If you’re interested in direct deposit, this may be a good account for you because FSNB may not be located in your state. In order to open an account from any location call their new accounts department at (800) 749-4583 and an application will be mailed to you.
Here are the various accounts they offer:
- TCF® Premier CheckingSM
- TCF Free Student Checking®
- TCF Premier 62+® Checking
- TCF® Teen Checking
11. 1st Convenience Bank
1st Convenience Bank is only located in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. They do not run Chexsystems, Telecheck, or EWS. Several checking account options are available but there is a $12 monthly maintenance fee if certain conditions are not met such as maintaining a minimum daily balance. All checking account options only require $1.00 to open.
Here are the various accounts they offer:
- Power Checking
- Checking Interest
- President Select High Yield Checking
12. Renasant Bank
Renasant Bank is only located in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia. You can have a Chexsystems, Telecheck or EWS record but there must not be any money owed to Renasant Bank. Checking accounts offer free online bill pay along with mobile banking. You can apply online.
Here are the various accounts they offer:
- Rewards Extra
- Rewards Checking
- Student Checking
- Renasant Checking
13. Southwest Financial Federal Credit Union
Southwest Financial Federal Credit Union does not use ChexSystems to open new accounts. They offer a “Checkless Checking” account for people with previous trouble qualifying for a checking account. The account operates completely without any paper checks and has no monthly charge.
Here are some of the checking account features:
- Mobile App and Online Banking
- Deposit checks using your smartphone
- Bill Pay
- No monthly service fees
- Overdraft Protection
14. TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade is a brokerage account that comes with a cash management checking account. TD Ameritrade doesn’t use ChexSystems to screen applicants but you’ll need to open a brokerage account before you can apply for a cash management checking account.
Here are some of the perks of the cash management checking account:
- No monthly fees
- Free debit card
- Ability to pay bills online
15. US Bank
US Bank offers people in ChexSystems a chance to bank again with the Easy Checking Account. The account is a basic checking account that comes with standard benefits like a debit card that doubles as an ATM card.
Here are some of the perks of the account:
- Online and Mobile Banking
- Bill pay
- Visa debit card
- Mobile check deposit
Why You Need a Bank Account
It’s important to have a checking account as banks and credit unions provide safe places to keep money. Plus, once you become established with a checking account, it’s likely to grow into more advanced accounts like high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, credit products, mortgage, business, and car loans.
Unbanked people that qualified for the stimulus check due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) had to wait months for a mailed check. People with bank accounts received the stimulus check via direct deposit much sooner.
Banks that don’t use ChexSystems offer a better choice than prepaid debit cards. There are lots of limitations and fees with prepaid debit cards compared with bank accounts. One major limitation is the lack of standard bank services, such as a way to withdraw or deposit cash for free.
Another good reason to have a bank account is that bank account holders tend to save more, keep more of their earnings, and are better prepared for financial emergencies. Without access to savings accounts, CDs, and retirement accounts, it can be difficult to build wealth and maintain an emergency fund. The lack of an emergency fund that earns high-interest is often what leads to the need to fix your credit.
Fund your new checking account or verify small deposits
Most banks that don’t use ChexSystem require an instant deposit once your account is approved. If you’re opening an account online but don’t have a way to fund it instantly with another bank account or credit card, it’s likely online accounts can be funded with a prepaid debit card. Or, use PayPal® to add money to your new bank account. It’s fairly simple and with PayPal®, your account can be funded in 2-3 days.
Safe check ordering
Consumers who have been reported to ChexSystems, whether the item is paid or unpaid, should proceed with caution when ordering checks. Ordering checks from well-known companies such as Deluxe, Designer Checks, Checks Unlimited and Current Checks may not be safe. These companies share your personal information with ChexSystems. ChexSystems will then report your ChexSystems record to your new bank.
Order checks from companies that don’t share your personal information with ChexSystems such as Costco Check Printing, Checkworks or Harland Clarke. Ordering checks from companies that share your information with Chexsystems may end up getting your new account closed. It doesn’t matter if your checking account is in good standing.
7 Benefits of banks that don’t use ChexSystems
Banks that don’t use ChexSystems give people an opportunity to re-establish a banking relationship. A negative banking history can follow you up to 5 years, making it difficult to get through life conducting daily financial transactions.
There are real benefits to having a traditional checking and savings account that banking alternatives like prepaid debit cards or check-cashing services just can’t offer.
Here are just a few benefits of banks that don’t use ChexSystems:
- Save on check-cashing fees. Save money over time by not having to use check-cashing services. For example, Walmart charges $4 for cashing checks of up to $1,000.
- Avoid prepaid debit card fees. Avoid the myriad of fees that often come with prepaid debit cards. For example, Netspend’s monthly fee is $9.95 without Pay-Go, the reload fee is up to $3.95, and the ATM withdrawal fee is $2.50. As you can see, there is no way to avoid some kind of fee with prepaid debit cards.
- Keep your money safe. Enjoy a safe and convenient place to stash your cash. It may sound strange, but not everyone saves money in a bank, which could prove dangerous. There have been several stories where people have lost money saved at home during a fire, even when the money was kept in a safe. If you only have a savings account for bad credit that would be better than a mattress or an at-home safe.
- Your money is insured. Have the confidence in knowing your money in banks is FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
- Built-in fraud protection. Purchases made with bank debit cards offer zero liability for fraud.
- Become BFFs with your bank. Establish a relationship with your banker. When you engage in relationship banking your banker may approach you with better offerings on loan rates, insurance, investments, and certificates of deposit.
- Get a mortgage loan. Mortgage lenders require you to provide recent bank statements when applying for a mortgage loan. Prepaid debit cards are not the same as having traditional bank statements.
Watch out for Bank Sweeps
Banks will sometimes conduct ChexSystems sweeps on existing customers and account holders that have prior ChexSystems records. Bank sweeps can close accounts without warning, even if your account is in good standing.
It’s dangerous to have all of your money in one place. With account freezes, you can lose access to your money for up to 30 days.
For that reason alone it’s important to maintain more than one banking relationship – 30 days is a long time to have your money tied up.
Never have all your money in one bank. With current negatives on your ChexSystems report, keep a backup account. Second chance banking offers many options for backup checking accounts. But keep in mind, second chance banks might pull a ChexSystems report to open new accounts.
Banks that use ChexSystems may also conduct bank sweeps. If an account freeze happens to you, request management or someone in the security department with decision making power to release your money immediately. There’s really no reason to hold a customer’s funds for 30 days once an account is frozen.
If you have direct deposit you may want to split it between two accounts. That way if your primary account is frozen you still have access to a portion of your paycheck with your backup account.
Non-ChexSystems vs. Second Chance Banking: What’s the Difference?
Non-ChexSystems banks simply don’t use ChexSystems to verify new accounts – but they may use other consumer reporting agencies. For instance, Early Warning Services offers new account screening. While not as well known as ChexSystems, EWS can prevent you from opening a new account. EWS is co-owned by several banks: Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo. These banks formed EWS to primarily combat customer fraud. Non-ChexSystems banks may also use a credit report to screen customers.
Second chance bank accounts may use ChexSystems to screen new customers but offer fresh start checking accounts. These banks offer “second chance” checking accounts that give consumers an opportunity to rebuild their banking history. When a bank or credit union offers a second chance checking account, they’re willing to overlook a problematic ChexSystems record.
You can expect to pay a monthly checking fee with second chance checking accounts but most give customers an opportunity to upgrade to a regular checking after 12 months of responsible account management.
What is ChexSystems and how does it work
ChexSystems gathers banking records on all consumers that have a bank account currently or in the past. There is no refuting that banks must have a screening process for new customers, but the problem with ChexSystems is that it only reports negative information; unlike credit reports that can contain negative as well as positive information.
A one-time banking mistake could land you in ChexSystems with no positive reporting information to offset it. That one-time mishap can stay on your ChexSystems record for five years and prevent you from opening a checking account.
Because ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency the information they contain must be accurate. Just like the credit bureaus, they are governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Agency.
Even though ChexSystems is a specialty consumer reporting agency, it is required to respond to consumer disputes in the same manner as credit bureaus. Check out our step-by-step process to dispute ChexSystems.
Even if you’re successful in finding banks that don’t use ChexSystems, over 80 percent of banks and credit unions screen new customers using some type of consumer reporting agency. Checking account reporting companies are difficult to avoid whether you want to open a bank account online or in-person. It’s a good practice to order your ChexSystems report, free of charge, and make it a habit of monitoring what banks are reporting about your checking habits.
ChexSystems generates a ChexSystems Scores
ChexSystems generates a risk score for consumers ranging between 100 and 899. The lower your score, the greater risk you pose as a potential banking customer. There’s not a lot of information known about ChexSystems scores because ChexSystems doesn’t release its internal metrics for calculating risk scores to the public. But it’s pretty safe to assume the higher a ChexSystems score, the better. Order your ChexSystems score, free of charge, and get it in about 15 days.
It’s also possible that some consumers may not have a ChexSystems score. Consumers that have a good banking history likely don’t have any negative information reported to ChexSystems. Since ChexSystems only has negative data about banking habits, there may be no negative data on file that could be used to generate a score.
You can submit a ChexSystems Dispute
You have a right to dispute both ChexSystems and the bank that reported the account if you believe an item on your ChexSystems report is inaccurate. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires ChexSystems and the bank to adhere to investigation requirements for any disputed item. Inaccurate items must be removed.
How to Remove ChexSystems Records
Take steps to get removed from ChexSystems if you discover errors. ChexSystems disputes are just like credit disputes in that you must take the same steps to remove negative records.
Here is a quick look at how to dispute ChexSystems. Check out more detailed ChexSystems removal steps if “suspected fraud” has been indicated.
1. Request your ChexSystems report. Get your ChexSystems report instantly online.
2. Review your report. Identify any inaccurate information to dispute.
3. Take action to remove ChexSystems errors. ChexSystems Disputes can be submitted online, by fax, or mail. If you dispute by fax or by mail. ChexSystems has a Request for Investigation form on their website. Once you’ve completed the dispute form, mail or fax it along with any supporting documents, to Chex Systems Inc., Attn: Consumer Relations, 7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100, Woodbury, MN, 55125 or fax it to 602-659-2197.
ChexSystems has 30 days to investigate your dispute. If they determine that an item is inaccurate, they’re required to delete the debt from your report. Or, if the bank fails to respond, ChexSystems must delete the debt.
4. Pay for delete reported debts. Consider paying the bank that reported the debt in exchange for deletion from your ChexSystems report. You may be able to negotiate a lesser amount and settle for pennies on the dollar if the debt is older. If you are unable to get the bank to agree to a complete deletion, make sure ChexSystems updates your record to paid.
Plus, remember that negative information only stays on your account for five years, so be sure to check if a negative item is ready to drop off your report. Consumer reporting agencies don’t always automatically remove outdated information from your credit reports.
Alternatives to Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems
In the situation where banks without ChexSystems decline you, there are several alternatives to traditional checking accounts. Some alternatives to non ChexSystems banks may have limited checking features, for instance, no check-writing but it’s still worth exploring. Here are several alternatives:
Second Chance Checking Accounts
Banks that offer second chance checking accounts know there may be customers with a less than perfect banking record. They are ready to help their customers work on getting back on track. However, most second chance checking accounts will have a monthly fee, some may require direct deposit and have fewer perks than a standard checking account.
Here are a few nationwide banks that offer second chance checking accounts but if you prefer banks in your state we have compiled an extensive list of second chance banks near you.
Wells Fargo Clear Access Checking. The Wells Fargo Clear Access Checking Account is only offered if you are unable to open one of their regular checking accounts. There is a required $25 minimum deposit. The $10 monthly fee can be avoided by maintaining a $1,500 minimum daily balance, setting up direct deposits totaling at least $500, or posting 10 or more debit card transactions each cycle.
US Bank Safe Debit Account. The US Bank Safe Debit Account has a $4.95 monthly fee. It features online banking and mobile check deposits and a Visa debit card. However, you will not get access to paper checks with this account.
United Bank Gateway Checking. The United Bank Gateway Checking account requires a $10 monthly maintenance fee but you can upgrade to one of United Bank’s standard checking accounts after six months of responsible account management. Online banking and bill pay is available for $4.95 per month but you don’t get a debit card with this account.
BancorpSouth Second Chance Checking. BancorpSouth’s second chance checking account charges a $10 monthly fee but you can upgrade to a standard Bancorp checking account after one year of good account management. There is a minimum $50 deposit required to open an account and it comes with a Mastercard debit card.
GoBank Checking Account. GoBank’s checking account is accessible online and easy to open. Avoid the monthly service fee with a $500 direct deposit. GoBank has a large free ATM Network but cash deposits can cost up to $4.95.
Prepaid Debit Cards
Prepaid debit cards offer a less attractive alternative to traditional checking accounts. The biggest issue with prepaid debit cards is fees. It’s hard to avoid paying some type of ongoing fee, for instance, you’ll typically pay a fee to add cash to your card, and some prepaid card issuers charge a transaction fee every time you make a purchase.
Prepaid cards can help you manage money with account alerts, mobile check deposits, and the ability to deposit cash at over 90,000 locations across the country. Card.com currently offers a $50 bonus when you sign up for early direct deposit. This prepaid debit card account is good for people that have bad credit and are in ChexSystems because they don’t use any type of checking account reporting company.
Best practices for people in ChexSystems
- Have more than one banking option — Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- If you have direct deposit, split it between two checking accounts. That way you’ll have access to some funds if one of the accounts is frozen.
- Stay away from supplemental services like Billpay until your ChexSystems record is clear.
- Immediately report any fraudulent activity you may discover on your accounts. Fraud and account abuse seems to be the go-to reasons banks report customers to ChexSystems and Early Warning Services – even when no such activity occurred.
- If you close your account, continue to monitor it for several months to ensure there are no unpaid charges, fees, or overdrafts.
Get tips to deal with ChexSystems and improve your ChexSystems score.
Tips to manage your new account
It’s difficult to find banks that don’t use ChexSystems, so when you do open a new checking account, carefully manage it in order to keep it open. When you manage your account, you can avoid unnecessary fees, being reported to ChexSystems or Early Warning Services.
Here are actions to take for good checking account management:
- Keep track of your balance and any outstanding payments.
- Open and review all bank statements and correspondence.
- Avoid spending more than you have in your account.
- Monitor your account online or on your phone before you withdraw cash at an ATM.
- Check your balance by phone or online before you write a big check or make a big payment.
- Sign up for transaction alerts and low-balance warnings via e-mail or text.
- Don’t assume that the money you deposited is available immediately.
- Find out when the money you deposit will be available for your use.
- If there is a “hold” on a deposit, make sure you know when it will be lifted.
- Avoid making a payment using your checking account unless you know for sure the money is in your account.
While managing your new account does not directly impact your credit scores, having a checking account in good standing can be a prerequisite to obtaining a second chance loan. Second chance loans can help improve credit scores as long as payments are timely made and reported to the credit bureaus. If you need an installment loan for bad credit, a second chance loan may fit your financial needs.
Banks that don’t use ChexSystems offer the same features as banks using ChexSystems — you’ll have a variety of options to fit your banking needs regardless of your banking history. Since 2010 we have maintained an updated, comprehensive list of Banks that don’t use ChexSystems, Bank Accounts for Bad Credit and Second Chance Banking Options.
No credit check banks offer an opportunity for people with past financial issues to re-enter the banking industry and improve their overall credit profile. There are some financial transactions where checking accounts are required, for instance, there’s no way you can apply for a mortgage loan without showing a banking history. Checking accounts for bad credit opens the door to a better financial future.