20 Bank Accounts for Bad Credit for March 2024

Banking

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.

1. U.S. Bank

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  • Up to $800 bonus
  • Monthly service fee can be waived
  • Over 40,000 fee-free ATMs
  • $25 minimum deposit

U.S. Bank is currently welcoming new applicants in 26 U.S. states with a special online offering:

  • Earn up to $800 when you open a new U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account and a Standard Savings account and complete qualifying activities. Subject to certain terms and limitations. Offer valid through March 12, 2024. Member FDIC.
  • Offer may not be available if you live outside of the U.S. Bank footprint or are not an existing client of U.S. Bank or State Farm.

The account includes a free debit card that can be locked or unlocked if ever misplaced or stolen. There are no ATM transaction fees at U.S. Bank ATMs and no surcharge fees at over 40,000 MoneyPass® Network ATMs.

The checking account requires a $25 opening deposit and a $6.95 monthly fee. This fee can be waived for those 24 and under, 65 and over, or military members (must self-disclose).

Additionally, the fee can be waived with monthly deposits of $1,000+, an average balance of $1,500+, or holding an eligible U.S. Bank credit card. Qualifying for any Smart Rewards® tier (Primary, Plus, Premium, or Pinnacle) also waives the fee.

2. SoFi

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  • Up to $300 sign-up bonus with direct deposit
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • Earn up to 4.60% APY
  • Over 55,000 fee-free ATMs
  • Early pay with direct deposit

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.

For a limited time, customers can earn a bonus of up to $300 when they make qualifying direct deposits. This is in addition to the access SoFi provides to more than 55,000 Allpoint® Network ATMs.

You can also enjoy the convenience of receiving your paycheck up to 2 days in advance with SoFi’s early direct deposit feature.

SoFi stands out with its competitive annual percentage yield (APY) – a rewarding 4.60% on savings and 0.50% on checking balances, all with direct deposits. There’s no minimum direct deposit amount necessary to qualify for these rates.

The benefits continue with SoFi debit card users, who can avail up to 15% cash back at local venues. This bonus provides a further incentive to use SoFi’s diverse banking services.

3. Chime

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  • No minimum opening deposit or monthly service fee
  • Over 60,000 fee-free1 ATMs
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit2
  • No credit check or ChexSystems

With Chime®, a bad credit score is no longer a deal-breaker. They offer an award-winning financial app and debit card with no credit check.

You can open a Chime Checking Account online with no monthly fees. And by that, we mean no overdraft fees, no monthly maintenance fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no minimum balance fees—ever.

They offer access to over 60,000 MoneyPass® and Visa® Plus Alliance ATMs. Plus, you can get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier with direct deposit. You can also deposit cash for free at over 8,500 Walgreens.

Chime is definitely the best option on this list.

4. Current

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  • Build credit and earn points with every swipe
  • No credit check or ChexSystems
  • No minimum deposit or monthly fee
  • Get paid up to two days faster

Current is one of the fastest-growing mobile banking solutions in the U.S., with over one million members. However, Current is a financial technology company, not a bank. Most importantly, Current does not use ChexSystems or pull your credit.

With Current, you can build your credit seamlessly, just by using your debit card on everyday transactions. The best part is that there is no credit check or borrowing involved.

Some features of the Current mobile app and debit card include fee-free overdraft protection of up to $100, 40,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs, and no minimum balance or hidden fees.

You can also earn up to 4.00% APY on savings and get paid up to two days sooner with direct deposit. In addition, you can earn up to 15x points, and get cashback on debit card purchases.

5. GO2bank

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  • 4.50% APY on savings up to $5,000
  • No minimum deposit
  • Build credit with no annual fees
  • Overdraft protection up to $200

GO2bank is a neobank developed by Green Dot, is a neobank developed by Green Dot, a well-established fintech known for its prepaid debit cards and banking services.

The bank offers a checking account with savings subaccounts known as vaults, and the best part is that there is no minimum balance required to open an account online.

The savings account offers an attractive 4.50% APY on savings up to $5,000. Additionally, you can deposit cash at any of the 90,000 retail locations or withdraw funds from any of the 19,000 fee-free ATMs.

You can also use the mobile app’s check deposit feature to deposit checks directly into your checking account.

With direct deposit, you can even receive your pay up to 2 days early or your government benefits up to 4 days faster. Opt-in for overdraft protection and be eligible for up to $200 in coverage with eligible direct deposits.

Responsible use of the GO2bank Secured Visa Credit Card can also help you build your credit over time.

If you receive a payroll or government benefits direct deposit in the previous monthly statement period, your monthly fee is waived. Otherwise, it is only $5 per month.

6. Walmart MoneyCard

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  • 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

The Walmart MoneyCard is a prepaid debit card that offers a robust alternative to traditional checking accounts.

This card stands out with its cash back rewards program, offering up to 3% cash back when shopping at Walmart.com, 2% at Walmart fuel stations, and 1% at Walmart stores, up to a total of $75 each year.

Users can also enjoy the peace of mind offered by the overdraft protection feature, covering up to $200 for purchase transactions with opt-in and eligible direct deposits.

The ASAP Direct Deposit feature is another great perk, allowing users to receive their pay up to two days earlier and benefits up to four days earlier.

Additionally, with the Walmart MoneyCard, you can earn a 2% APY on savings and have chances to win cash prizes each month. The monthly fee of $5.94 can be waived with a direct deposit of $500 or more in the previous monthly period.

7. Chase

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  • $100 bonus after 10 purchases in 60 days
  • No credit check or ChexSystems
  • Over 16,000 fee-free ATMs
  • $4.95 monthly fee

Chase is one of the most popular banks in the U.S. And now, they offer an account called Chase Secure Banking that doesn’t require a credit check, doesn’t use ChexSystems, and doesn’t charge overdraft fees.

Account holders also get access to over 16,000 ATMs, free online bill pay, and free money orders and cashier’s checks.

With 4,700 locations across the country, this is an excellent option for anyone who prefers having access to physical branches.

Opening a Chase Secure Banking account comes with a $100 cash bonus when you use the card for 10 purchases within 60 days.

Account approval is immediate and you’ll receive your debit card within days. There is a small monthly service fee of $4.95; however, there is no minimum deposit to get started.

8. Dave

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  • Get up to $500 cash advance in 5 minutes or less
  • No minimum balance required
  • Earn 4.00% APY
  • Get paid up to two days early

Dave is a forward-thinking banking app designed especially for those with suboptimal credit scores. The monthly fee for full access to the Dave app is just $1.

Its flagship feature, the ExtraCash™ advance, empowers users to instantly access up to $500 after linking a bank account and transferring to a Dave Spending account, all without interest or late fees.

This offering has seen remarkable success, with over 5 million members availing 71 million advances and evading an impressive $2.5 billion in potential overdraft charges.

Furthermore, the Dave Spending account bestows users with comprehensive control over their financial activities, encompassing spending, budgeting, and depositing.

Users can maximize their returns with up to 15% cash back when transacting with the Dave Debit Mastercard® and harness the round-up feature to bolster their savings.

9. TD Bank

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  • $25 monthly fee can be waived
  • Free access to over 4,000 ATMs
  • Two overdraft fees reversed per year
  • Earn interest on your balance

The TD Beyond Checking account from TD Bank offers a number of appealing features. It provides a flexible approach to avoid the $25 monthly fee: maintain a minimum daily balance of $2,500, have $5,000 in monthly direct deposits, or a combined balance of $25,000 in eligible TD accounts.

Additionally, account holders benefit from free access to a vast network of over 4,000 ATMs, enhancing the convenience of managing cash transactions almost anywhere.

For those who occasionally face financial hiccups, TD Bank offers a safeguard by reversing up to two overdraft charges per year, mitigating the potential financial stress from account overdraws.

Furthermore, the account offers the opportunity to earn interest on the balance held. While the interest rate might not be as high as some other options, it provides a valuable way to grow your savings incrementally. Overall, the TD Beyond Checking account stands out for its mix of fee waivers, ATM accessibility, overdraft forgiveness, and the potential for earning interest.

10. Navy Federal Credit Union

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  • No monthly fee
  • Over 30,000 ATMs without fees
  • ATM fee rebates (up to $240 a year)
  • Get your paycheck a day early with direct deposit

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.

Navy Federal doesn’t utilize ChexSystems or EWS. They also offer a number of free checking accounts 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.

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What is a bank account for bad credit?

A bank account for bad credit is tailored for individuals with an unfavorable banking history, often denied by traditional banks due to issues like bounced checks, overdrafts, and unpaid negative balances.

Bad credit bank accounts, provided by some financial institutions, include essential services such as debit cards, online and mobile banking, and check-writing abilities. They also offer direct deposit, simplifying access to funds. Key advantages of these accounts are their ease of opening, low fees, and no credit checks or ChexSystems reports.

How Banks Evaluate New Account Applications

When applying for a bank account, banks have specific criteria to decide eligibility and the type of account offered. A crucial factor is your banking history, typically assessed through your ChexSystems report. This report contains details of past banking behaviors like unpaid balances, overdrafts, and any fraudulent activities associated with closed accounts.

A negative ChexSystems record can complicate account opening, leading to potential application rejection or restricted account types, limiting services like check writing or debit card usage. Additionally, while some banks may review your credit history from major bureaus like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, they primarily rely on ChexSystems for bank account applications, unlike credit card issuers and lenders who focus more on credit reports.

What is ChexSystems?

ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency used by banks to screen customers. It records your past banking activities, including overdrafts and negative balances. A negative record in ChexSystems can impact your ability to open a new bank account.

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 as part of the application process. These banks offer no-credit-check bank accounts for people with bad credit or a negative banking history.

The good news is that these checking and savings 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 Bank Account

Second chance bank accounts offer individuals with a problematic banking history an opportunity for financial rebuilding. While these accounts, also known as essential checking, opportunity checking, or fresh start checking accounts, may involve a credit check or ChexSystems review, the focus is on providing a fresh start.

They typically include a monthly maintenance fee. Features like overdraft protection, mobile check deposit, and online bill pay, similar to regular bank accounts, are often available. Responsible use of a second chance checking account can lead to an upgrade to a standard checking account.

What to Look for in a Bad Credit Checking Account

If you’re an individual or a small business owner struggling with poor credit history and seeking a checking account that aligns with your needs while aiding in rebuilding your financial reputation, here are some key factors to consider:

  • No credit checks: Look for banks or credit unions that don’t use your credit report or ChexSystems record when opening a checking account. Many also offer “second chance” or “fresh start” checking accounts tailored for individuals with poor credit or past banking issues, providing an opportunity to rebuild your financial standing and potentially upgrade to a traditional account later.
  • Low or no minimum balance requirement: Aim for accounts without minimum balance requirements to avoid fees and maintain more of your funds, a crucial aspect when rebuilding credit.
  • Reasonable account fees: Pay attention to the fees associated with checking accounts, especially relevant for those with bad credit. Compare monthly fees, overdraft fees, and other charges. Many online banks offer accounts with minimal or no monthly fees, sometimes contingent on maintaining a minimum balance or setting up direct deposit.
  • Online and mobile banking features: Ensure the account offers comprehensive online and mobile banking capabilities. This includes checking your balance, transferring funds, paying bills, and depositing checks remotely, essential for efficient financial management.
  • Account alerts and notifications: Opt for accounts with customizable alerts for low balance, large transactions, or unusual activities. This feature helps in tracking spending and avoiding potential overdraft fees.
  • Overdraft protection: Seek accounts with overdraft protection to minimize the impact of overdraft fees, a significant consideration for people with bad credit. Some banks may offer linked accounts, lines of credit, or small-dollar loans as overdraft protection.
  • FDIC or NCUA insurance: Confirm that the account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This insurance is crucial as it protects your deposits up to $250,000 per account holder in the event of bank or credit union failure.

Bottom Line

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.

Rebuilding your financial standing will take time. Meanwhile, some of the banks we’ve listed above offer bank accounts that are just as good, if not better, than anything currently available on the market. 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.

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