Have you tried to open a new bank account recently only to be denied? The reality is that almost 15% of applicants at banks get rejected for a new checking account every single day.
There are many reasons that this can occur, but the most common is because a company called ChexSystems has flagged them as a risk to the bank. However, there are banks that don’t use ChexSystems that might be a better fit for those in this situation.
Once you are listed on ChexSystems, you stay on it for five years. It can make it challenging and frustrating to try to open even a traditional checking account.
Since a lot of banks use ChexSystems, going into a random bank and trying to open an account doesn’t always end well. We’re surveyed over 1,500 banks and credit unions to find those financial institutions that don’t use ChexSystems.
These bank and/or credit union accounts come with many of the features and benefits you need with surprisingly high acceptance rates. Best of all, you can open an account today!
Our Top Recommendations For The Best No ChexSystems Banks
BBVA Online Checking is our favorite no ChexSystems bank account. They have the strongest offering of any of our recommendations. It’s easy to get approved and takes about 3 minutes. Plus, their smartphone app and online tools are the best we’ve reviewed. While BBVA does not use ChexSystems for account approval, they do use Early Warning Services. BBVA USA is a member of FDIC.
- NO monthly service charge
- NO monthly account balance minimums
- NO fees at over 64,000 Allpoint® and BBVA ATMs worldwide
- FREE online banking, bill pay, and mobile deposits
- FREE unlimited check writing
- Open with as little as $25
Chime Bank is a fast-growing internet-only bank. Unlike big banks, Chime was created during the smartphone era and, therefore, features an app that is more than just a way for customers to review their bank accounts.
And, best of all, Chime Bank accepts all customers who apply. Even if you have bad or poor credit or have been blacklisted by ChexSystems or credit bureaus. It’s one of the only guaranteed checking accounts we’ve ever reviewed and is available in all 50 states.
- FREE Visa® debit card
- NO monthly fees or service charges
- NO monthly minimums
- FREE online banking and mobile banking/deposits
- NO fees at over 38,000 MoneyPass® and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs worldwide
- SAVINGS: You can round up every purchase to the nearest dollar and automatically deposit that difference into your savings account.
The Peoples Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking Account might be the answer for you. Peoples Bank will open an FDIC insured no ChexSystems bank account for you even if you have bad credit or have been reported to ChexSystems or TeleCheck in the past (except where fraudulent activity has been reported). Available in all 50 states.
- Debit MasterCard®
- Personal checkbook
- Online bill pay
- Online banking
- Online money transfers
- Monthly maintenance fee of $4.95
- $30.00 minimum deposit
The Radius Bank Essential Checking account is a FDIC-insured checking account designed to help you manage your money with powerful technology and limited fees. Available to residents in all 50 states.
- Free MasterCard® debit card
- Free mobile banking with check deposit
- Free online banking with bill pay
- $10 minimum deposit to open account
- Monthly service charge of $9.00
- No minimum balance
- Ability to upgrade account after 12 months of responsible banking
Wells Fargo recently changed the Opportunity Checking account to Clear Access Banking. And we like one change, in particular. Wells Fargo has done away with overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees. Clear Access Banking is a debit card-only account (no paper checks available) and if you attempt to purchase something without sufficient funds, the transaction will be denied. That’s a lot better than having the transaction approved and then discovering you’ve been hit with a $35 overdraft fee.
There is a $5 monthly fee, but that is be waived for account holders 24 years old and younger. This account is available to residents in all 50 states.
- The largest number of branches in the U.S.
- Minimum deposit of $25 to open an account
- Online bill pay and smartphone app
- Mobile check deposit
- Includes a Visa debit card
- Send and receive money through Zelle
- Additional features include account alerts, 24/7 fraud monitoring, and zero liability protection for your debit card
What Is ChexSystems?
Never heard of ChexSystems before today? Don’t worry. You’re far from alone in that. In fact, most people have no idea that the company exists unless they try to open a bank account and find out they’ve been blacklisted by ChexSystems.
Briefly, ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency (CRA) that tracks your checking and savings account activity.
Essentially, ChexSystems gathers data from almost 90% of banks and credit unions. This data includes personal information such as name and social security on over 300 million checking and savings accounts in the United States.
ChexSystems is in the same category as the large Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) such as Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax and their handling of all this highly sensitive data falls under government oversight and regulation.
If your bank reports that you bounced too many checks, not paid your monthly or transaction fees, or even committed fraud, your ChexSystems profile may spell trouble.
Not only may your current bank no longer want to do business, but now every bank and credit union that subscribes to the ChexSystems database will probably deny you an account.
ChexSystems is not responsible for the decision made by banks to deny you a bank account; however, the information reported by banks and credit unions and stored by ChexSystems can result in a denial of a bank account.
The following information may be stored in your ChexSystems report:
- Any type of fraud
- Unpaid or paid insufficient fund items
- Uncollected overdrafts, automatic payments the bank paid, or ATM transactions
- Violations of any banking regulations or rules
- Abuse of a savings account, debit card, or ATM card
- Opening an account using incorrect information
Some No-ChexSystems banks do access other types of record-keeping companies such as Early Warning Services and Telecheck. So if you have negative marks with these companies, you might be rejected for a checking account. However, it’s been our experience that most people in ChexSystems are not in EWS or Telecheck.
Why You Need A Checking Account
It has been shown that having a checking account is an essential part of managing your money on a regular basis. Some studies show that people who do not have a checking account will spend up to nearly 5% of their net income on the fees that payday loan providers, prepaid card companies, and check-cashing companies require from their customers. Simply having a typical checking account may help you save thousands of dollars over your life.
Having a checking account is a fundamental way to improve your financial life. It gives you the opportunity to pay for services and goods and provides access to the latest financial technology, such as Venmo, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, and PopMoney. When you put all these things together, you can see that acquiring a checking account makes life easier while also saving you money.
A checking account allows you to protect your money since it’s a secure and safe method of paying for items and services. It also makes it much easier to pay expenses and bills without additional fees. A checking account often has technology that makes it simple to track your spending and make adjustments to your financial habits. On top of that, you can use direct deposit with your checking account to get quick and easy access to your paycheck as soon as it is provided by your employer.
If you are listed on ChexSystems, getting a new checking account isn’t as simple as walking into any bank on the street and filling out a few papers. Many banks simply do not do business with anyone with a negative ChexSystems file.
>> More: Reasons To Have A Checking Account
The Solution: A Bank or Credit Union That Doesn’t Use ChexSystems
We’ve done all the hard work for you. We’ve already located 5 national banks that want your business. And none of them use ChexSystems to approve your checking account application. All of them have the basic benefits you need, including:
- No minimum balance required
- Low or no monthly fee
- Ability to write checks
- Online and mobile banking
- Debit card access
- FDIC insured accounts up to $250,000
- Access to a large (and most times free) ATM network
- Purchases with your bank card carry a zero liability for fraudulent transactions
While there are many banks and credit unions that don’t utilize ChexSystems, they aren’t all the same. There’s no reason to choose an account with a bank that has high fees and a wide range of restrictions. This can make having the checking account a hassle. Many people choose these accounts because they have no idea that other options are available. There are options and you can choose a bank account with all the perks that you want.
When you apply for a no-ChexSystems bank account, you can expect to provide the same information as you would for any other checking account. This includes your social security number or tax ID number. Sometimes the bank will also ask a series of questions to verify you are who you claim to be. Once satisfied, the approval rate on these accounts is enormous. It can be as high as 95%, which lets you have the freedom of enjoying all the perks that a checking account will offer you.
Differences Between Second Chance Bank Accounts and No-ChexSystems Bank Accounts
A lot of people are under the impression that banks that don’t use ChexSystems are the exact same as banks that offer second chance checking accounts. These two terms are often used to describe the same thing, but there are differences between the two that you should be aware of.
If you are listed with ChexSystems and do not have the time or ability to dispute the negative information, it’s important to select a bank that does not use ChexSystems to make decisions during the screening process for getting a checking account.
In addition, some banks will check your credit score when you apply. They may also use EWS to be sure you haven’t engaged in fraudulent activity in the past. Finding a bank that offers everything you want can be hard, but it’s possible. Our top pick for this group of banks is BBVA.
When you choose a bank with second chance checking accounts, they typically do look at ChexSystems before you are approved. Some of them will also use TeleCheck and EWS. This doesn’t mean you need to be discouraged or avoid opening an account with them, though. In most cases, the bank will open a checking account for you as long as you don’t owe them any money.
Both No-ChexSystems banks and second chance checking banks typically have higher than normal approval rates. On top of that, the best-of-breed of these financial institutions provide you with the same options you would get from a traditional savings or checking account.
When you are looking for the right bank for your new checking account, there are a few things you want to see to make sure the choice you make is convenient for your lifestyle. Some of these things include access to a debit card, a low or no monthly fee, a lack of a required balance, the option to write checks, and both mobile and online banking options.
Choosing Between Prepaid Cards and Payday Loans or a No-ChexSystems Bank Account
If you care about convenience and you want to save your money for the things that matter, the best choice you can make is opening the right No-ChexSystems bank account. When you choose to visit a check-cashing business, use a prepaid debit card, or visit a payday loan location, the fees are going to be higher and the process is going to be more complicated and time-consuming.
As an example, a payday lender is going to have a variety of fees that you have to pay. Even those who make all of their payments on time will have to deal with these. Those who get behind will stack fees and can end up wasting even more money. Experts agree that these kinds of services are negative for customers and should be avoided whenever possible.
When you look at the advantages and disadvantages of the options, it’s pretty clear which solution comes out on top. Choosing to set up a No-ChexSystems bank account with an included debit card is the best choice for nearly all consumers. This option gives you consumer protections with your cards, lets you move money into your account without expensive fees, and lets you spend your money however you feel fit.
The Best Second Chance Banks by State
Most major banks don’t offer No-ChexSystems or second chance checking, but many community banks and credit unions have them under various names, such as Opportunity Checking and Fresh Start Checking.
Our editorial staff regularly updates the list of banks offering no ChexSystems second chance checking in every state. Here’s an overview of these accounts and where you can find them at branches in your area.