If you’re someone who has had issues with your checking account in the past, then you know that it can be difficult to find a new bank to take you on as a customer.
From too many instances of insufficient funds to excessive over drafting, there are many reasons why you may have been blacklisted by ChexSystems.
Most financial institutions use ChexSystems to track the checking history of account applicants. So, it may be difficult to open a bank account.
In fact, most negative records in ChexSystems remain there for five years. That’s a long time to go without a bank account.
Luckily, there are still many reputable banks that don’t use ChexSystems to qualify customers.
OUR TOP PICK
Best Non-ChexSystems Bank of 2021
- No minimum opening deposit.
- No monthly service fee.
- Available in all 50 states.
- Over 60,000+ fee-free ATMs.
Why You Need a Non-ChexSystems Account
A non-ChexSystems checking account can be beneficial to have even if you already have another bank account.
Why? Banks and credit unions that use ChexSystems may conduct a sweep of all existing customers and freeze any bank accounts of individuals who have had a record created.
This can be extremely troublesome if you have all of your money in one place because you may not be able to access your account for as long as 30 days.
So, even if you have an existing account with a positive history, you run the risk of not having access to your own money with little to no warning at all.
Best Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems of 2021
There are plenty of banks and credit unions that don’t use ChexSystems to choose from, all of which offer different features and benefits regardless of your banking history.
With Chime, a bad credit score is no longer a deal-breaker. They offer an award-winning mobile bank account and debit card with no credit check.
You can open an account online with no hidden bank 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 over 60,000 fee-free MoneyPass® and Visa® Plus Alliance ATMs. Plus, you can get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier with direct deposit. Chime is definitely the best option on this list.
Acorns Spend Checking Account
The Acorns Spend Checking Account is the best of both worlds. It’s a flexible online checking account, and it also provides Acorns’ core investing functionality.
When you sign up for the account, you’ll receive an Acorns Visa debit card. And every time you swipe your card, Acorns rounds your transaction up to the nearest dollar. These funds are then invested in one of the preselected ETF funds you chose.
Plus, Acorns Spend comes with several other helpful features. For example, there are no ATM fees, and Acorns will reimburse you monthly for any third-party fees you accrue. And there are no overdraft fees or minimum balance requirements.
There is a $3 monthly fee for the Acorns Spend Checking Account, but the unlimited ATM reimbursements will more than compensate for this. Here is an overview of the account’s features:
- Unlimited ATM reimbursement
- No overdraft fees
- No minimum balance required
- FDIC-insured up to $250,000
- Comes with mobile banking
- Automated bill pay
- Mobile check deposit
- Direct deposit
Langley Federal Credit Union
Langley is another credit union that doesn’t use ChexSystems. They are located in Virginia, but membership is open to customers in all 50 states.
You must first open a share savings account with a minimum deposit of $5 before you can open a checking account. There are no minimum balance or monthly service charges. In addition, they offer free online and mobile banking, free online bill pay, and access to 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs Nationwide.
Account-holders can also get paid up to 3 days early with direct deposit.
Navy Federal Credit Union
To qualify for Navy Federal Credit Union membership, you must be an active-duty or retired member of the military, which includes the Armed Forces, National Guard, Coast Guard, and the Department of Defense.
If this sounds like you, then NFCU could be a great choice because they don’t use ChexSystems or EWS. Plus, there is a free checking account option with no minimum balance requirements and no monthly service fee with a qualifying direct deposit.
When it comes to banks that don’t use Chexsystems, different people have had different experiences with Suntrust. For example, the bank states that it does not use ChexSystems to screen applicants, but some consumers claim they do.
It may depend on the severity of your history, such as fraud. SunTrust has several checking options available, but your best bet may be to start with their Essential Checking account.
You can either pay a $7 monthly service charge or meet one of several conditions to have the fee waived. The options are to have at least 10 bank transactions each month, have at least $500 in monthly deposits, or maintain a $500 balance.
Fort Sill National Bank
FSNB doesn’t use ChexSystems, and you don’t have to be in the military to apply.
The Basic Checking account has a $5 minimum deposit, and you need a daily minimum of $75; otherwise, you’ll be charged a fee of $5.50. In addition, account-holders get a Visa CheckCard and free online banking services.
For people residing in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee, Renasant doesn’t look at your ChexSystems report, EWS, or Telecheck.
However, you won’t be eligible if you owe any money to the bank. Account-holders also get a Mastercard debit card. All of their checking accounts require a $50 minimum deposit, and you’ll be charged $7.50 each month unless you maintain a balance of $500 or more.
United Bank doesn’t use ChexSystems, but there are only locations in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. You can open an account with a $50 minimum deposit. There is no minimum balance requirement or monthly fees.
You can also upgrade to rewards checking, where you earn cashback rewards and discounts on movies, theme parks, and prescriptions. It’s only $10 a month, or you can have the fee waived if you reach 15 purchase transactions monthly or have a minimum of $500 in regular deposits.
TD Convenience Checking is a great option for anyone looking for an affordable checking account. If you maintain a $100 daily minimum balance, the bank will waive the $15 maintenance fee.
This non-ChexSystems bank account comes with a free debit card and 24/7 live customer support. Plus, if you have a home equity or personal loan through TD Bank, you’re eligible for a 0.25% rate discount.
1st Convenience Bank
1st Convenience Bank is a branch of 1st National Bank Texas, and it’s only available in Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Arizona. The bank doesn’t use ChexSystems to determine who can open an account.
You’ll need a minimum deposit of $20 to open a new checking account. And the bank does charge a monthly maintenance fee. However, you can avoid all monthly fees if certain conditions are met.
TCF Bank has locations in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
TCF bank does use 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 TCF’s basic account, you need a minimum opening deposit of $25 to get started. After that, there are no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees.
U.S. Bank’s Easy Checking Account is a great option for anyone trying to deal with the fallout of a negative ChexSystems report. When setting up the checking account, account holders will receive a free U.S. Bank Visa debit card and use of the mobile app.
If you have combined monthly direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more, U.S. Bank will waive the $6.95 monthly maintenance fee. U.S. Bank is accessible to banking customers across the U.S.
BancorpSouth offers several different checking accounts that don’t use ChexSystems, including My Way Checking. This account comes with the basic features you’d expect, like a free debit card, online banking, and bill pay.
You can open an account with a minimum deposit of $50. And you can get the monthly fee waived by meeting certain requirements.
Varo Bank is an online-only bank that doesn’t use ChexSystems. So you can open a new checking account without worrying about the bank running your ChexSystems report. Varo requires no minimum deposit and has no monthly fees. Account-holders also get early access to direct deposit payments. Direct deposits usually post 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. Your account comes with a free Visa debit card, access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs, and free paper check mailing.
GoBank is a good option for anyone looking for a basic checking account that doesn’t use ChexSystems. With this checking account, account holders can avoid its monthly fee of $8.95 with a $500 direct deposit.
Plus, GoBank offers free access to 42,000 ATMs. And the bank gives its customers access to a wide variety of budgeting and money management tools.
You’ll need a minimum 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 good option for anyone who wants a basic checking account from a bank that doesn’t use ChexSystems.
Regions Bank will lower your monthly maintenance fee from $8 to $5 per month if you sign up for online statements. And you’ll have the option to open a savings account through Regions Bank as well.
TD Ameritrade offers a brokerage account with a comprehensive cash management offering. As a client, you get unlimited check writing. Once you open the brokerage account, you can complete the checking account application online.
A Cash Management account also gives you access to free online bill pay, as well as a free debit card with nationwide rebates on all ATM fees. In addition, there are no monthly fees if you maintain a $100 minimum daily balance. However, it’s important to note that a TD Ameritrade checking account is not FDIC-insured or bank guaranteed.
What’s the difference between non-ChexSystems and second chance banking?
Banks and credit unions that don’t use ChexSystems and second chance checking accounts generally have quite a bit in common. The main difference is that second chance banks may still use ChexSystems, but they’re willing to give you a second chance anyway.
Similar to non-ChexSystems banks, second chance bank accounts usually have either a low balance requirement or none at all. However, with a second chance checking account, you’ll most likely have to pay a monthly maintenance fee.
The best second chance checking accounts still have some of the same features and benefits as ChexSystems banks and credit unions, such as overdraft protection, online banking, and bill pay. With both accounts, you should also be able to upgrade to a standard checking account once you have a positive banking history.
Other Alternatives to Banking Without ChexSystems
If you still can’t qualify for one of these accounts or prefer to explore other options, you do have some choices. Here are the top alternatives to banking without ChexSystems, along with the pros and cons of each choice.
Second Chance Checking – As we mentioned above, sometimes a bank or credit union will offer second chance checking accounts to consumers who have a bad banking history. These accounts are sometimes called “fresh start checking” or “opportunity checking.” There are even some big banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America that offer second chance banking.
Prepaid Debit Cards – A prepaid debit card acts very similarly to a regular debit card. The difference is you usually do have to pay a monthly fee of a few dollars. Each prepaid debit card has different ways to upload money, but usually, you can do it at a major retail store like Walmart or online. However, there may be additional fees when you load money.
Secured Credit Cards – A secured credit card can help you get a card to make purchases online and in-store, but it does come with some major drawbacks. You need to use your own cash as collateral against the account, plus you’ll still pay interest on any credit card balances you don’t pay in full. These cards are generally used to improve your credit score.
Online Services – Some reputable websites like PayPal offer e-wallet services to let you store your cash and pay online. You may even be able to qualify for a debit card. Unlike traditional banks, however, your funds may not be FDIC-insured, so do some research before making a decision.
Foreign Bank Accounts – Live near the Canadian or Mexican border? Consider opening a bank account in another country. It sounds extreme, but foreign banks may have different approval requirements you could benefit from.
While the above list is a great start, we also explain how to get out of ChexSystems so that you can clear your name from their database. Follow the simple steps provided on that page, and before you know it, you will be able to choose to do business with any bank you want.