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10 Banks That Don’t Use — or May Overlook — ChexSystems


Written by Kim Porter | Edited by Ali Cybulski | Published on 6/4/2024

 

If you’ve ever had trouble opening a bank account, ChexSystems may be the reason. ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency that collects information about bank accounts and issues consumer reports to banks and credit unions.

A financial institution may pull your credit report to determine whether to approve your application for a checking or savings account.

But some credit unions and banks either don’t use ChexSystems or may review your report and ignore a flawed banking history. Many of these institutions offer checking accounts with no fees, low minimum balance requirements and easy application processes.

Here are 10 institutions to check out.

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10 financial institutions that don’t use or may disregard ChexSystems

In the table below, the first six banks and credit unions say they don’t pull ChexSystems reports when screening applicants. The next five institutions may review your ChexSystems report but still approve your application and offer you a second-chance checking account.

Institutions that may offer a second chance at banking
Institution Account name Account details
Capital One 360 Checking APY: 0.10%
Minimum deposit: $0
Minimum balance: $0
Monthly maintenance fee: $0
Chime Second Chance Banking APY: 0%
Minimum deposit: $0
Minimum balance: $0
Monthly maintenance fee: $0
GO2Bank Mobile Bank Account APY: 0%
Minimum deposit: $0
Minimum balance: $0
Monthly maintenance fee: $5
Navy Federal Credit Union Free EveryDay Checking Account APY: 0.01%
Minimum deposit: $0
Minimum balance: $0
Monthly maintenance fee: $0
SoFi SoFi Checking and Savings APY: 0.50% on checking balances; 4.60% on savings with direct deposit
Minimum deposit: $0
Minimum balance: $0
Monthly maintenance fee: $0
Varo Bank Online Bank Account APY: 0%
Minimum deposit: $0
Minimum balance: $0
Monthly maintenance fee: $0
Mph.bank Fresh Account APY: 0%
Minimum deposit requirement: $25
Minimum balance: $0
Monthly maintenance fee: $9
PNC Bank Foundation Checking APY: 0%
Minimum deposit: $0
Minimum balance: $0
Monthly maintenance fee: $5
U.S. Bank Bank Smartly Checking APY: 0%
Minimum deposit: $25
Minimum balance: average account balance of $1,500 or greater to avoid monthly maintenance fee
Monthly maintenance fee: $6.95
Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking APY: 0%
Minimum deposit: $25
Minimum balance: $0
Monthly maintenance fee: $5

Summary: 10 financial institutions that don’t use or may ignore ChexSystems

Here’s a closer look at what each institution offers:

Capital One

Capital One stopped using ChexSystems to screen applicants about a decade ago, so you’re in the clear if you have a spotty banking history.

Capital One 360 Checking is an online account with no monthly fees, no minimum balances and no overdraft charges. You can visit any Capital One location to deposit money into your account, making the account a good fit if you live near a branch. The account also pays interest, though it’s relatively low at 0.10% annual percentage yield (APY).

Pros:

  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No monthly fees
  • No overdraft charges

Cons:

  • Limited branch network
  • Low APY
  • No ATM fee reimbursement

Chime

Chime is a financial technology company that offers second-chance banking through its partner banks, The Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank. Chime doesn’t use ChexSystems reports in the screening process, making it easier to open an account after being denied one. The second-chance account doesn’t charge monthly service fees or set requirements for minimum balance or opening deposit.

Pros:

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance or initial deposit requirements
  • No overdraft charges

Cons:

  • No access to physical locations for service
  • Cash deposit fees
  • No paper checks, plus limits on mobile check deposits

GO2Bank

GO2bank is the flagship mobile bank account from Green Dot Bank that offers a low-cost checking account.

There are no minimum balance or opening deposit requirements, but you’ll pay a $5 monthly fee unless you have direct deposit. A service fee also applies if you deposit cash into the account.

Pros:

  • No minimum balance
  • No opening deposit
  • Overdraft protection available with eligible direct deposit

Cons:

  • $5 monthly fee unless you opt for direct deposit
  • Cash deposit fee
  • No branch access

Navy Federal Credit Union

The largest credit union in the U.S. doesn’t use ChexSystems to screen applicants. Its Free EveryDay Checking Account has no monthly fee, no minimum balance requirement and no minimum deposit. Plus, the account earns an APY of 0.01%.

You’ll need to become a member before opening an account, but it’s a simple process. Only current service members, veterans, Department of Defense employees and military family members are qualified to join.

Pros:

  • No monthly service fee
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • High customer service rating

Cons:

  • Must qualify for membership
  • Low APY
  • No overdraft protection available

SoFi

SoFi’s hybrid bank account separates your checking and savings balances. Because several benefits are tied to direct deposit, SoFi's Checking and Savings account is best for people who plan to set up this method of payment.

With direct deposit, you can earn 0.50% APY on your checking balance and 4.60% APY on your savings balance, plus a $300 welcome bonus. You can also get your direct deposit up to two days early.

Pros:

  • No account fees
  • No overdraft fees
  • Competitive savings account rate

Cons:

  • No branch access
  • Fee for cash deposits
  • Must open checking and savings together

Varo Bank

Varo’s Online Bank Account doesn’t require a ChexSystems review and doesn’t have monthly maintenance fees, overdraft charges or minimum balance requirements. If you set up direct deposit, you can get your paychecks up to two days early. You can use your debit card to deposit cash to your account during checkout at participating Green Dot retailers; fees may apply.

Pros:

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Access to more than 55,000 surcharge-free Allpoint network ATMs

Cons:

  • Fees may apply to cash deposit
  • No access to branches for customer service
  • Joint accounts not available

Mph.bank

Mph.bank — which stands for “makes people happy” — is a subsidiary of Liberty Savings Bank. While Mph.bank will pull your banking history when you apply for the Fresh checking account, you may still be approved if your ChexSystems report contains no more than three charge-offs with a combined balance of $1,000 or less. A charge-off means that a creditor has given up on collecting an unpaid balance and has written off the debt as a loss.

You’ll need to make an opening deposit of at least $25 and pay a $9 monthly maintenance fee. The account comes with a contactless debit card, access to the Zelle payments system for sending and receiving money, and an option to set up direct deposit to receive your paycheck up to two days early.

Pros:

  • Early payday with direct deposit
  • Access to more than 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs in the Allpoint network
  • Mobile deposit

Cons:

  • $25 opening deposit
  • $9 monthly fee
  • $10 overdraft fee

PNC Bank

While PNC will pull your ChexSystems report when you apply for a Foundation Checking account, the bank will work with you even if your banking past is imperfect. You won’t need to pay a minimum opening deposit or overdraft fees with this account, and the bank waives the $5 monthly service fee for the first year.

You can access Zelle to send and receive funds, as well as nearly 60,000 surcharge-free ATMs to get cash when you need it. The account also has digital tools to help you manage your money.

Pros:

  • Monthly service fee waived for the first 12 months
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No overdraft fees

Cons:

  • Product might not be available in all locations
  • Must visit a branch to open account
  • $5 monthly service fee applies after the first year

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank reviews your ChexSystems report when you apply for a Bank Smartly account but is willing to look past some blemishes on your banking record.

Bank Smartly requires an initial deposit of $25 and allows you to apply online. The account comes with overdraft protection and a few ways to waive the $6.95 monthly maintenance fee. You can use the bank’s mobile app to pay bills, set notifications or access customer support.

Pros:

  • Earns interest on checking
  • Provides access to about 2,300 branches
  • Delivers a variety of money management tools, such as automated bill pay and account alerts and reminders

Cons:

  • Charges a monthly fee (waiver possible)
  • Requires a $25 minimum opening deposit
  • Account available in only 26 states where bank operates

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo’s Clear Access Banking is designed for young account holders or those with a negative banking history. The account has no minimum balance requirement, but you’ll need to make an opening deposit of $25 and pay a $5 monthly maintenance fee, which can be waived in some cases. You won’t get checks with this account, but you can use Wells Fargo’s mobile app, online banking and a contactless debit card.

Pros:

  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Access to about 4,300 branches
  • No overdraft fees

Cons:

  • No check-writing capability
  • $5 monthly fee unless you qualify for waiver
  • $25 opening deposit

What is ChexSystems?

ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency that collects and reports information on closed checking and savings accounts. The agency’s reports may include data on your checking account applications, openings and closures, as well as your check-writing history.

Banks and credit unions can use a ChexSystems report to determine whether to approve a checking or savings account application. If your report causes an institution to view you as a risky customer, it may deny you a bank account.

Some of the details that may appear in a ChexSystems report include:

  • Bank account closures
  • Bounced checks and overdrafts
  • Unpaid negative balances
  • Account abuses
  • Number of accounts you've applied for recently
  • Check orders
  • Incidents of suspected fraud or identity theft

The company will provide one free report every 12 months if you request it.

What to do if you’re listed in ChexSystems

You might not know you have a ChexSystems report until a bank or credit union denies your account application. The rejection could mean another institution has reported negative information about you to ChexSystems. If this has happened to you, consider taking these steps:

  1. Request your report. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you can request a free ChexSystems report annually. You can also get a free copy of your report if a financial institution has denied your checking or savings account application in the last 60 days. Call ChexSystems at 800-428-9623 or visit the website to request your copy.
  2. Read your report. Go through the details in your ChexSystems report and check whether the information is accurate. If you find errors, you can dispute them with ChexSystems.
  3. Submit a dispute if necessary. Visit the Dispute Information section on the ChexSystems website and file a dispute online, by mail or phone. Include supporting documents, such as police reports, account statements and payment records.
  4. Receive your response. ChexSystems will look into your dispute and respond within 30 days, or 21 days for Maine residents. If the agency confirms that any information is wrong or incomplete, it must correct and update your report.
  5. Wait it out. Legitimate information can stay on your ChexSystems report for up to five years. You have two options if you can’t clean up your report because the information is accurate. You may apply for an account at a bank that doesn’t pull your banking history or use a second-chance checking account. You may be able to upgrade to a traditional account with responsible use for a certain number of months.

Banks and credit unions may use other companies, such as Early Warning Services and TeleCheck, for similar reports. You may request a report from these agencies once every 12 months.

Frequently asked questions

What is a second-chance bank account?

A second-chance bank account is a checking account designed for people with a blemished banking history, including unpaid bank fees or frequent overdrafts. Financial institutions that offer second-chance checking are willing to look past these missteps and provide access to checking and savings accounts. Shop around for the best second-chance accounts because some come with mandatory fees, minimum balances and certain restrictions.

Do credit unions use ChexSystems?

Yes, credit unions as well as banks may use ChexSystems.

Can you open a bank account if you’re on ChexSystems?

Yes, it’s still possible to open a bank account if you're in the ChexSystems database. After reviewing your ChexSystems report, a bank or credit union might not view you as a risky customer and could approve your application. You could be offered a second-chance checking account with restrictions, or your application for an account may be declined based on information in your report.

The financial institution, product, and APY (Annual Percentage Yield) data displayed on this website is gathered from various sources and may not reflect all of the offers available in your region. Although we strive to provide the most accurate data possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The content displayed is for general information purposes only; always verify account details and availability with the financial institution before opening an account. Contact [email protected] to report inaccurate info or to request offers be included in this website. We are not affiliated with the financial institutions included in this website.