Banks that don’t use ChexSystems and Second Chance Banking are excellent options for people with ChexSystems or EWS records. Find a new bank to get a fresh start.
If a bank or credit union denied your application for a checking account, it’s time to consider opening an account at banks that don’t use ChexSystems and second chance banking options.
There’s a real impact to not having a traditional bank account. People without checking accounts spend more time transacting financial matters and also spend more money in fees to conduct basic day-to-day expenses.
Money spent in fees and purchasing money orders can’t be refunded. Time spent waiting in lines at check cashing stores and loading prepaid cards can’t be restored — second chance banking will save you money and time.
Banks that don’t use Chexsystems come with many conveniences like online and mobile banking, automatic bill payment and free money-transfer services free of charge. Prepaid cards may come with these services, but they usually aren’t free.
There are full-service online banks that don’t use ChexSystems as improved technology tools make people more comfortable swapping face-to-face services for Online, Mobile and ATM banking.
Why You Need a Bank Account
It’s important to have a checking account as banks and credit unions provide safe places to keep your money. Plus, once you become established with a checking account, it’s likely to grow into more advanced accounts like high-yield savings accounts, CDs, credit products, mortgage and car loans.
Bank account holders tend to save more, keep more of their earnings and are better prepared for financial emergencies. Without access to savings accounts and CDs, it can be difficult to build and maintain an emergency fund.
Studies show that unbanked people spend 5% of their net income on unnecessary fees. Get banked and save up to $40,000 over your lifetime.
Benefits of banks that don’t use ChexSystems
Banks that run a credit report can deny you if your credit is imperfect. Banks that don’t use ChexSystems gives people an opportunity re-establish a banking relationship regardless of bad credit. Here are just a few benefits of banks that don’t use ChexSystems that you can enjoy:
- Save money over time by not having to use check cashing services
- Avoid the myriad of fees that often come with prepaid debit cards
- Enjoy a safe and convenient place to stash your cash
- Have the confidence in knowing money in banks is FDIC-insured up to $250,000 (prepaid card protection is optional)
- Purchases made with bank debit cards offer zero liability for fraud (prepaid card liability is at the discretion of the issuer)
- Establish a relationship with your banker to establish trust just in case you want to apply for future financial products.
Banks that don’t use ChexSystems
Featured Bank: BBVA Compass
The ClearConnect checking account is most recommended for anyone with ChexSystems records or less than perfect credit. This instant checking account is available in ALL STATES (except Alaska & Hawaii). Enjoy free checking, mobile deposits, online banking, bill pay, check writing, cash back reward checking, Visa debit card. The fact that BBVA Compass offers second chance banking sets them apart from other big banks. BBVA Compass is willing to work with people who have a less than perfect banking history.
More Features and Benefits
- Open with $25
- No Monthly Service Fees
- Free ATMs at 55,000 Allpoint® and BBVA Compass ATMs
- Deposit cash and checks at Allpoint® Network ATMs
- Complimentary Online Banking and Mobile Banking, plus Mobile Deposit® and Bill Pay
- Popmoney® lets you send money to virtually anyone, within minutes, using an email address or mobile number
- 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
There are great features with the ClearChoice Money Market Account like mobile check deposits, direct deposit and free bill payment. The account requires a deposit of $25. A money market account is like your basic savings account except the annual percentage rate is typically higher. Currently BBVA is offering an APY of 2.35%. You earn tiered interest rates to grow your money faster. That means the higher your balances, the greater your interest-earning possibilities. Open Now.
U2 EChecking available in all states. There are branches in CA, FL and MA. Minimum opening deposit is $100. Free Online and Mobile Banking. Monthly maintenance fee for internet accounts waived for waived for the first month of service only. Deposit checks through mobile app. Obtain cash at 25,000 ATMs free of charge.
Navy Federal does not use ChexSystems or EWS to open a bank account but there are strict requirements to become a member. Membership is open if you are affiliated with the 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. DoD civilian employees and contractors assigned to U.S. Government Installations may be eligible.
GTE Financial is a full-service credit union available online in all states. They offer second chance banking with the Go Further checking account. The Go Further account has a $9.95 monthly fee, comes with a debit card, check writing, online banking, direct deposit and mobile check deposit. You can join GTE Financial through their non-profit educational financial club called CUSavers. There is a one-time $10 membership fee that qualifies you for credit union membership.
First American Bank offers a Fresh Start Checking account if you’ve had trouble opening an account in the past. Some of the account features inlcude a Mastercard® Debit Card, Free mobile and online banking, check writing and free eStatements. First American Bank requires a $50 opening deposit and comes with a $9.95 monthly service fee.
Peoples Cash Solutions offers second chance banking for consumers who have been reported to ChexSystems or TeleCheck. There must be no fraud activity reported in ChexSystems. Bad credit and even bankruptcy are okay.
This is a traditional checking account with a visa debit card and checks; however, it comes with some restrictions. This account will definitely help you stay within your budget. Deposits cannot be made through the ATM and you may not be able to get cash back immediately upon depositing a check. Once you remain in good standing for some time, Wells Fargo may offer you an upgrade to a regular checking account, with less restrictions.
Axiom Bank offers a fresh start with their Opportunity Checking Account in Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando & Central Florida. You’ll get access to online and mobile banking tools to help manage your account. Account features: Unlimited Check Writing; No minimum balance requirement; Debit card opportunity, subject to approval; $10 monthly service fee; and $25 minimum opening deposit.
Fort Sill National Bank (FSNB) is open to anyone — you do not have to be in the military. FSNB does not use ChexSystems. If you are 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.
This 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.
Memory Builder Checking Account is a second chance checking account that gives you the opportunity to rebuild your banking privileges, available in all states. Minimum opening deposit is $50. Monthly fee is $8.95 that can be reduced to $6.95 per month if you get your statements online. Customers have access to funds with over 85,000 surcharge-free ATMs.
PNC offers second chance banking to customers with a ChexSystems report. You’ll have to open an account in person after taking the Foundations of Money Management Course online. There is a minimum $25 opening deposit, Visa debit card, unlimited check writing and a $7 monthly service fee. Eligibility to graduate to a regular account after meeting requirements. This account is not advertised, but available in AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, VA, WI, WV.
This 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.
Suntrust Bank offers several types of checking accounts, all of which include online banking, mobile banking, overdraft services, direct deposit, online bill pay and a SunTrust MasterCard® Check Card. While Suntrust maintains they do not use ChexSystems, some consumers have reported otherwise. It may be best to apply over the telephone or through their online chat service; and, complete the process in full through the mail.
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.
This bank is not available in all states. Branch locations are located in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C. They do not run Chexsystems. Several checking account options are available but there is a $50 minimum deposit required for all checking account options.
USAA primarily serves military families, including retired service members, spouses, and children. Members of the National Guard are also eligible. You’ll need a $25 deposit to start, but you’re not required to hold a minimum balance. Additionally, there is no monthly service fee and you can take advantage of free ATMs, mobile check deposits, and overdraft protection. Note that USAA does use EWS, though it doesn’t use ChexSystems.
The Rewards Card Checking requires direct deposit of payroll or government benefit. There is a monthly maintenance fee of $9.95. They do run ChexSystems but have less stringent requirements. Fraud should not be indicated. Customers enjoy no overdraft fees, a checkbook, Mastercard® debit card and free nationwide ATM access through the Allpoint® 55,000 ATMs Network.
This bank is not available in all states; however, they do have an account called “Second Chance Checking. It comes with unlimited check writing and a debit mastercard. You must go inside a branch in order to open this account. $25 minimum to open, a monthly maintenance fee of $9.95 with direct deposit or $11.95 without monthly direct deposit. Plus a $9.00 one-time account set up fee. Branches are located in Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Georgia and Florida.
ChexSystems is a Consumer Reporting Agency
People denied from opening a checking account may not be aware a bank has reported them to ChexSystems until they attempt to open a new account. If you’ve had a check bounce, multiple overdrafts or closed an account before paying bank fees, you may be listed in ChexSystems.
As a consumer reporting agency, ChexSystems maintains negative checking account history on consumers for 5 years; unless you are successful in disputing ChexSystems records. There’s no refuting banks must have a screening process for new customers, but the problem with ChexSystems is that it only reports negative information; unlike a credit report that reports good and bad information.
Credit reports can contain negative as well as positive information while a ChexSystems report only contains negative information. A one-time 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 80 percent of banks and credit unions screen new customers using ChexSystems, it’s a good practice to order your ChexSystems report, free of charge, once a year. Get in the habit of monitoring your ChexSystems reports.
Fortunately, banking options exist for online checking accounts for bad credit, 2nd chance checking accounts and banks that don’t use ChexSystems to qualify new customers.
Banks will sometimes conduct ChexSystems Sweeps on existing customers and account holders that have a prior ChexSystems record and 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 in ChexSystems, keep a No-ChexSystems account as a backup.
Banks that use ChexSystems may conduct a sweep and freeze any account holders that have a prior ChexSystems record. It’s dangerous to have all of your money in one place. If an account freeze happens to you, always request management or someone in the security department with decision making power to release your money earlier. There’s really no reason to hold a customer’s funds for 30 days.
If you have direct deposit you may want to split it. That way if your primary account is frozen or closed you still have access to a portion of your paycheck.
Best practices for people with a ChexSystems record
- Have more than one second chance banking option — Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- If you have direct deposit, split it between your 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.
- If you close your account, continue to monitor it for several months to ensure there are no unpaid charges, fees or overdrafts.
How to fund your new checking account or verify small deposits
If you are opening an account online but do not have a way to fund it instantly with another account or credit card, most online accounts can be funded with a prepaid card. Or, use PayPal® to add money to your 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 be careful 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 current bank.
Order checks from companies that do not 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 current bank account closed, even if your checking account is in good standing.
Practice good habits with second chance banking
Once second chance banking allows you to open a new checking account, you need to manage it in order to keep it. When you manage your account, you can avoid unnecessary fees, a ChexSystems or EWS record. 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 to borrow money with bad credit, a second chance loan may fit your financial needs.
Debit Card Safety Tips
Here are some security tips for debit and ATM cards safely:
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately to the bank.
- Sign your card on the signature panel as soon as you receive it.
- Protect your cards as if they were cash — never let them out of your possession or control.
- Do not include your card number in an email.
- Do not give out your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call.
- Don’t leave your debit card in your car’s glove compartment.
- Don’t lend your debit card to anyone. You are responsible for their use.
- Choose a PIN that is difficult for others to guess. Don’t use any numbers or words that appear in your or a family member’s name, birth date, phone number.
- Never tell anyone your PIN. No one from a financial institution, the police, or a merchant should ask for your PIN. You are the only person who needs to know it.
- Never write down or carry your personal identification number (PIN) with you — memorize it.
- When typing in your pin, cover the keypad so others can’t see.
- When using an ATM always be aware of your surroundings. When you’re by yourself, avoid using an ATM in out-of-the-way or deserted areas. Use ATMs located inside banks or supermarkets where other people are around.
- If it looks like someone has tampered with the ATM equipment, don’t use it.
- Put your money and ATM card away before you leave the ATM and take your receipt with you.
- Always check your account statement to make sure the debit card purchase and withdrawal amounts are correct. Contact your bank immediately if you see a charge you don’t recognize.
- Shred or destroy your ATM receipts before you throw them away.
- Keep your cards away from magnets; these can erase the information stored on your card.
- If you receive a replacement debit card, destroy your old debit card.
- Shop with merchants you know and trust. Make sure internet purchases are secured with encryption to protect your account information. Look for “secure transaction” symbols.
Types of Bank Accounts
Banks that don’t use ChexSystems typically only involves opening a new checking account but there are several types of bank accounts that may also serve your financial needs. Depending on your goals, putting money in the best account will help you to maximize the return on your money, minimize fees, and manage your personal finances. The importance of a bank account goes for beyond convenience but it starts with deciding the types of bank accounts best fit your needs.
You will find the below types of bank accounts at most banks and credit unions:
Checking accounts are designed for daily transactions like check deposits, withdrawals and bill payment. That’s why checking accounts are considered transactional accounts. The basic theory behind a checking account is that money is deposited with the intention to spending it rather than saving money. A checking account will come with paper checks and a debit card for a more convenient way to spend. Unlike other accounts, checking accounts don’t usually pay interest.
A savings account is designed to save your money. They are the safest place to stash emergency cash. Money you put into a savings account will earn interest and grow over time. That’s why it’s more beneficial to keep your unneeded funds in a savings account rather than a checking account. The current national savings interest rate is around 0.08 percent — that’s a miniscule amount.
The best place stash your cash is in a high-yield savings account that pays compound interest. Savings accounts that pay compound interest will grow your money faster. Money earns compound interest when the interest earned is added to the original deposit each time it is calculated. Online savings accounts pay the most interest and charge the lowest fees like the CIT Savings Builder Account that earns 2.45 percent compound interest.
Money Market Account
Money market accounts are a type of mix between a checking and savings account. Money market accounts typically require a minimum balance ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 be maintained to earn interest and avoid monthly fees.
Money market accounts earn more interest than either a basic savings or checking account but combines features of both. Most money market accounts come with checks and a debit card but may limit you to a certain amount of withdrawals each month without a fee. BBVA Compass Money Market Account currently earns 1.80 percent interest and only requires a $25 opening deposit.
Certificate of Deposit (CD)
A CD account allows you to save money at a set interest rate, for a specific amount of time although it’s different than a savings account. With a CD account you don’t have access to the money you’re saving period which may actually work better for some savers.
CDs pay higher often earn higher interest than savings account because you can’t touch it without forfeiting the CD and incurring fees and penalties unless you open a No-Penalty CD. The life of the certificate can last a few months to several years.
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
IRAs, or individual retirement accounts come in two types: a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. Retirement accounts can make it easier save for your future. The Roth IRA is popular because the funds can be withdrawn tax-free in many situations. Others prefer traditional IRAs because these contributions are tax-deductible. Even if you have a retirement plan at work, like a 401(k), you can manage an IRA independently of where you work.
There are a lot of ways you can put your money in the bank. The right type of bank account for you will depend on what you need to do with your money.
A Final Word on banks that don’t use ChexSystems
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, second chance banking along with a list of State-by-State Second Chance Banks (see below).
Second chance banking by state
Looking for more information and additional options available in your area? Select your State from the list below to find second chance banking options.