Would you like to open a checking account, but you’re worried that your bad credit and past banking history might get in the way? With these issues, it can be difficult to open a new bank account.
20 Best Bank Accounts for Bad Credit
Regardless of your banking history, there are numerous banks and credit unions that offer bad credit checking accounts, all with unique features and benefits.
2. U.S. Bank
- $400 sign-up bonus
- Monthly service fee can be waived
- Over 40,000 fee-free ATMs
- $25 minimum opening deposit
- 4.50% APY on savings up to $5,000
- No minimum opening deposit
- Build credit with no annual fees
- Overdraft protection up to $200
- $100 bonus after 10 purchases in 60 days
- No credit check or ChexSystems
- Over 16,000 fee-free ATMs
- $4.95 monthly fee
- Earn 4.70% APY on unlimited savings
- No minimum balance to open
- Get paid up to two days early
- Free withdrawals at over 55,000 ATMs
- No credit check or ChexSystems
- No minimum deposit or maintenance fees
- Get paid up to two days faster
- Overdraft up to $200 without any overdraft fees
7. Walmart MoneyCard
- No monthly fee with direct deposits of $500 or more
- Earn up to 3% cash back on purchases
- Overdraft protection covering up to $200 with eligible direct deposits
- 2% APY on savings
- No monthly fee
- Earn up to 4.25% APY on savings
- Cash withdrawals at more than 55,000 ATMs
- Commission-free stock trading
9. TD Ameritrade
- No monthly fee
- Unlimited fee refunds for U.S. ATMs
- Free TD Bank debit card
- Free checks and unlimited check-writing capabilities
- No minimum balance
- Cash advances up to $250
- No maintenance fees
- Free ATMs at over 55,000 locations
With the SoFi Checking and Savings account, you won’t have to worry about being charged any overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, or monthly fees.
Plus, it offers free access to ATMs at over 55,000 locations within the Allpoint® Network. Similar to Chime and Current, you can get your paycheck up to two days sooner when you set up direct deposit.
You’ll also get a 1% APY on your checking and savings accounts and up to 15% cash back at local establishments with your SoFi debit card.
12. Navy Federal Credit Union
If you are an active-duty or retired member of the military, including the Armed Forces, National Guard, Coast Guard, or Department of Defense, you may be eligible for Navy Federal Credit Union membership.
NFCU doesn’t utilize ChexSystems or EWS. They also offer a free checking account alternative with no monthly service fees for those with qualifying direct deposits.
Additionally, NFCU offers its members convenient access to over 30,000 ATMs situated at both credit unions and retail locations across the United States and Canada through the CO-OP Network.
With the Aspiration Spend & Save account, you get an online checking account and savings account that has the potential to earn up to 5% APY.
Aspiration also offers unlimited cash withdrawals at over 55,000 ATMs. The minimum initial deposit is $10. Deposits are FDIC insured and you can get paid up to two days sooner.
The Aspiration debit card is made from recycled plastic. Deposits are 100% fossil fuel-free. And this online bank even gives you the option to plant a tree with every card swipe.
14. Southwest Financial Federal Credit Union
Southwest Financial presents a reliable banking option that prioritizes the financial wellbeing of its members. With no monthly service fees, it offers a cost-effective solution to managing your everyday finances.
Opening an account is easy and requires no minimum deposit. As a member of Southwest Financial Federal Credit Union, you enjoy the convenience of accessing your funds through a shared network of ATMs.
FSNB (formerly Fort Sill National Bank) offers a hassle-free Basic Checking account to its customers, with a $5 minimum deposit requirement.
With the Basic Checking account, you need to maintain a minimum daily balance of $75. Otherwise, you’ll be charged a monthly fee of $5.50.
This account comes with a host of convenient features, including a Visa CheckCard that allows you to make purchases and withdraw cash at ATMs worldwide. Additionally, FSNB offers free online banking services, giving you access to your account from the comfort of your home or office.
16. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo’s Clear Access Banking offers a practical, accessible checking account designed to suit various banking needs. While there is a $5 monthly service fee, this fee is waived for primary account owners aged 13 to 24.
With a minimal opening deposit of just $25, setting up Clear Access Banking is straightforward and affordable. As an account holder, you’ll have the convenience of accessing your funds through Wells Fargo’s extensive network of 13,000 ATMs and 5,300 branches across the country.
17. United Bank
United Bank has locations in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. You can open a bank account with a $50 minimum initial deposit. You do not have to maintain a minimum balance and they don’t charge monthly fees.
You can also upgrade to rewards checking, where you earn cashback rewards on debit card purchases. You also get discounts on movies, theme parks, and prescriptions. The monthly service charge is $10, but you can have it waived if you reach 15 purchase transactions monthly or have a minimum of $500 in regular deposits.
18. Huntington National Bank
Huntington has locations in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Huntington Bank uses ChexSystems, but you can still qualify for a checking account as long as you don’t owe the bank any money. However, applicants with an EWS record may not qualify.
For Huntington’s basic account, there is no minimum opening deposit and no minimum balance requirement.
Varo is an online-only bank that offers a hassle-free banking experience with no monthly fees. As a Varo customer, you’ll gain access to early direct deposit payments, which means that your funds will typically be available on the same day they’re received.
Varo Bank knows that just because you need second chance banking doesn’t mean you want sub-standard service. The checking account comes with a free Visa debit card, access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs, and free paper check mailing.
20. Regions Bank
You’ll need a minimum opening deposit of $50 to open a Simple Checking Account at Regions Bank. This account doesn’t come with too many bells and whistles. However, it’s a suitable option for anyone with bad credit who wants a basic checking account.
Regions Bank will lower your monthly maintenance fee from $8 to $5 if you sign up for online statements. And you’ll have the option to open a savings account through Regions Bank as well.
What is a bank account for bad credit?
A bank account for bad credit is a type of account designed for people with negative banking records. These people are usually turned away from traditional banks and credit unions because of past instances of bounced checks, overdrawn accounts, or unpaid non-sufficient fund fees.
Fortunately, some financial institutions provide bad credit bank accounts that offer basic banking services such as a debit card, online banking access, and check writing privileges. Direct deposit is also available with some of these bank accounts, which makes it easy to access your income sources.
Bad credit checking accounts are typically easy to open, with minimal fees and most importantly, no credit checks or ChexSystems reports.
How do banks evaluate new account applications?
Opening a bank account can be a straightforward process, but it’s not uncommon for applicants to be turned down or offered limited options. That’s because financial institutions have criteria they use to determine who qualifies for a bank account and what type of account they can offer.
One of the most important factors that banks consider when you apply for a new account is your banking history. To assess this, most banks will check your ChexSystems report, which is a database of your past banking transactions. This report includes information such as any unpaid fees or overdrafts, closed accounts due to fraudulent activity, and other negative marks.
If you have a negative history in ChexSystems, such as unpaid fees or a history of overdrafts, it can be more challenging to open a bank account. In some cases, the bank may decline your application altogether or offer you a limited account that doesn’t allow you to write checks or use a debit card.
Another factor that banks make consider is your credit history. Some banks may pull your credit report from the three major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, but most don’t.
Your credit report is typically accessed by credit card issuers and lenders to assess your creditworthiness when you apply for loans or credit cards. But for bank accounts, your ChexSystems record is generally more important.
What is ChexSystems?
ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency that collects user data from banks and credit unions. One of the things this data is used for is to create consumer reports that financial institutions can use to screen customers.
When attempting to open a new bank account, most financial institutions will pull your ChexSystems report. This report will show your past banking history including overdrafts, bad checks, check fraud, negative balances, or excessive withdrawals.
If you’ve had any of these issues in the past five years, it will likely be on your ChexSystems record. Fortunately, there are several reputable banks that don’t use ChexSystems or check credit to qualify customers. There are also numerous banks that offer second chance checking accounts for people with bad credit.
Can you open a bank account with no credit check?
Opening a no-credit-check bank account is easier than ever, with plenty of reliable banking services to choose from. There are two types of bank accounts for bad credit: banks that don’t use ChexSystems and second chance checking accounts.
Banks that Don’t Use ChexSystems
Some banks simply do not use ChexSystems to evaluate new accounts. These banks offer no-credit-check bank accounts for people with bad credit or a negative banking history.
The good news is that these accounts come with the same features as regular bank accounts offered to everyone else. You can expect to have access to online banking, direct deposit, and a debit card.
Second Chance Checking Account
With a second chance bank account, financial institutions may conduct a credit check or refer to ChexSystems, but they’re willing to give you a second chance regardless of your banking history. Second chance bank accounts usually come with a monthly maintenance fee.
The best second chance checking accounts still have some of the same features as ChexSystems banks and credit unions, such as overdraft protection, online banking, and bill pay. Additionally, it should be possible to upgrade to a standard checking account after demonstrating responsible banking habits.
What to Look for in a Bad Credit Checking Account
If you’re struggling with poor credit history, you might be wondering how to find a checking account that meets your needs while also helping you rebuild your financial reputation. Fortunately, there are several banks that offer checking accounts for bad credit. Here are some key factors to consider:
No Credit Checks
The first thing to look for is a bank or credit union that doesn’t look at your credit report or ChexSystems record when opening a checking account.
Many institutions also offer “second chance” or “fresh start” checking accounts designed specifically for individuals with poor credit or past banking issues. These checking accounts provide an opportunity to rebuild your financial standing, and often offer the option to upgrade to a traditional checking account after a certain period of time.
Low or No Minimum Balance Requirement
When you’re trying to rebuild your credit, every dollar counts. Look for a checking account that doesn’t require you to maintain a specified balance. This way, you won’t be charged fees for falling below a certain balance threshold. This will help you keep more money in your pocket and avoid unnecessary expenses.
Reasonable Account Fees
It’s important to be aware of the fees associated with checking accounts, especially if you have bad credit. Be sure to compare the monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, and any other charges associated with the account.
Many online banks offer checking accounts with no monthly fees or waive them if certain conditions are met, such as maintaining a minimum account balance or setting up direct deposit.
Online and Mobile Banking Features
In today’s digital age, having access to online and mobile banking is essential. Look for a checking account that offers a user-friendly mobile app and website, enabling you to manage your money on-the-go. These features should include the ability to check your balance, transfer money, pay bills, and deposit checks remotely.
Account Alerts and Notifications
Opt for a checking account that offers customizable account alerts and notifications. These can help you stay on top of your account activity, track your spending habits, and avoid a potential overdraft fee. You can typically set up alerts for low balance, large transactions, or unusual activity.
Overdraft fees can be a significant burden, especially for people with bad credit. Look for a checking account that offers overdraft protection, which can help you avoid costly overdraft fees. Some banks may offer linked accounts, lines of credit, or small-dollar loans to cover overdrafts.
FDIC or NCUA insurance
Ensure that your checking account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This insurance protects your cash deposits up to $250,000 per account holder in case the bank or credit union fails.
Opportunities for Financial Education
Finally, look for a financial institution that offers resources and tools to help you improve your financial literacy. This might include budgeting tools, educational articles, or workshops. The more you understand about managing your money, the better your chances of rebuilding your credit and maintaining a healthy financial future.
Having poor credit doesn’t mean you can’t get a bank account. But, it does mean that your selection will be somewhat limited. We also show you how to clear your name and remove yourself from ChexSystems so that you can get a bank account anywhere.
It may take some time to get your name removed. Meanwhile, some of the banks we’ve listed above are just as good, if not better, than any account on the market right now. So, it’s a good idea to start with one of those.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.
1. Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply with Chime except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.
2. Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment ﬁle from the payer. Chime generally make these funds available on the day the payment ﬁle is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
7. To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.