9 Checking Accounts that Offer Guaranteed Approval

Banking

Checking accounts are a vital part of personal finance. But not everyone has an easy time getting one, especially those with a less than stellar banking history. That’s where checking accounts with guaranteed approval come in. They offer financial relief for those who may struggle to open a traditional checking account due to past financial mistakes.

Why You Might Need a Guaranteed Approval Checking Account

For those with a troubled credit report or banking history, a guaranteed approval checking account can provide the necessary tools to rebuild financial credibility. It offers a stepping stone towards financial stability, allowing you to carry out essential tasks such as direct deposit, online bill pay, and debit card purchases.

These non-ChexSystems and second change checking accounts are provided by both banks and credit unions and are designed to give everyone a chance to manage their finances effectively. They don’t usually require a credit check and don’t rely on banking history databases like ChexSystems or Early Warning Services, making them accessible to those who’ve had trouble with bank accounts in the past.

9 Checking Accounts with Guaranteed Approval

Here’s our list of the 9 best checking accounts from major banks and credit unions that guarantee approval.

1. U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking

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  • Up to $700 bonus
  • $25 minimum opening deposit
  • Monthly service fee can be waived
  • Over 40,000 fee-free ATMs

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

  • Earn up to $700 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 June 27, 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. Chime Checking Account

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

Chime’s checking account is designed with a focus on ease and accessibility, removing many of the hurdles typically associated with traditional banking.

This is most evident in the fact that Chime doesn’t require a credit check or ChexSystems screening, opening up its services to a wider customer base.

The account doesn’t have any deposit requirements. It also doesn’t charge a monthly fee, which makes it a cost-effective banking solution.

Accessibility is also emphasized with a network of over 60,000 fee-free MoneyPass® and Visa® Plus Alliance ATMs. The ability to deposit cash at any Walgreens location adds an extra layer of convenience, making banking with Chime a user-friendly experience.

3. SoFi Checking & Savings

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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

SoFi Checking & Savings presents a comprehensive banking solution that caters to both everyday transactional needs and long-term savings goals.

One of its most attractive features is the high annual percentage yield (APY) it offers. You get an APY of up to 4.60% on your savings accounts, a rate that significantly surpasses many traditional banks.

The checking accounts also offer a competitive 0.50% APY. Furthermore, SoFi does not require a minimum balance, which affords users more flexibility in managing their funds.

The absence of monthly or overdraft fees reduces the cost of banking, making SoFi an economical choice. The bank also offers access to over 55,000 fee-free ATMs, enhancing cash accessibility.

A unique feature of SoFi is that it enables direct deposit users to receive their paycheck up to 2 days early, offering a financial edge for those who need immediate access to their income.

4. GO2bank

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

GO2bank, a financial service from Green Dot, offers a checking account that is designed for simplicity and convenience.

Unlike many traditional banks, this account requires no minimum balance, which allows greater flexibility for managing your finances.

One of the standout features is the high annual percentage yield (APY) of 4.50% on savings up to $5,000, which is a great incentive for those looking to grow their savings.

The account also grants access to an extensive network of 90,000 retail locations for cash deposits and 19,000 fee-free ATMs, making it easier for users to manage their cash.

With the added benefit of receiving pay and government benefits up to 2 days and 4 days early respectively via direct deposit, the GO2bank checking account caters to those who need immediate access to their funds.

5. Chase Secure Banking Account

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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 service fee

Chase Secure Banking is an account that offers a suite of benefits designed to make banking simpler and more accessible.

It doesn’t require a credit check or ChexSystems screening, making it an excellent choice for those with credit challenges. In addition, the account does not charge overdraft fees, which can provide a significant saving over time.

The account offers access to a network of over 16,000 fee-free ATMs, providing users with nationwide cash accessibility. It also includes free online bill pay, adding to its convenience for everyday banking tasks.

An additional incentive is a $100 cash bonus that account holders can receive by making 10 purchases within the first 60 days.

While there is a $4.95 monthly fee, the absence of a minimum deposit requirement makes it easy for anyone to open an account.

6. Current

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  • No minimum opening deposit or maintenance fees
  • Get paid up to 2 days faster
  • Overdraft up to $200 without any fees
  • No credit check or ChexSystems

Current is a financial technology company that offers a mobile banking account that prioritizes transparency and convenience.

One of its most attractive features is Credit Build. It allows you to seamlessly build your credit just by using your debit card for regular purchases; all without borrowing or facing credit checks.

The account also provides access to a network of 40,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs, which makes it easy to access cash. There is no minimum balance requirement for this account, and there are no hidden fees.

Current doesn’t use ChexSystems or pull your credit report, which makes it a more accessible choice for those who’ve had difficulties with traditional banking systems.

The account also offers early direct deposit, allowing users to receive their pay up to two days ahead of schedule, providing a financial boost when needed.

7. Walmart MoneyCard

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  • No monthly fee with direct deposit of $500 or more
  • Earn up to 3% cash back on purchases
  • Overdraft protection covering up to $200 with eligible direct deposits
  • 2.00% APY on savings

The Walmart MoneyCard is a versatile financial tool designed to reward regular shoppers. Its rewards program offers up to 3% cash back for purchases made on various Walmart platforms, making it a solid choice for frequent Walmart customers.

Additionally, its ASAP Direct Deposit feature enables users to receive their salaries and government benefits sooner – up to two days and four days earlier, respectively.

Besides the convenience and savings, the Walmart MoneyCard also offers a competitive 2.00% APY on your savings.

To sweeten the deal, there’s a chance to win cash prizes monthly, making it not just a banking tool, but also a fun way to possibly boost your income.

8. Albert

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  • No monthly fee
  • Cash advances up to $250
  • Withdraw cash for free at over 55,000 ATMs
  • Earn up to 20% cash back

Albert is a straightforward, user-friendly banking option that offers flexibility and savings. It does not require a minimum openign deposit, and it provides a free Mastercard debit card that comes with cashback rewards.

As an account holder, you can use over 55,000 ATMs for fee-free withdrawals, adding to the convenience of banking with Albert.

Additionally, users can enjoy early direct deposit benefits, meaning they can access their money ahead of the standard payday.

With no minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees, Albert’s Cash Account is an excellent option for those seeking a low-cost, high-reward banking experience.

9. Navy Federal Credit Union

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  • No monthly service fee
  • ATM fee rebates
  • 30,000+ ATMs throughout the U.S. and Canada
  • No minimum balance requirement

Navy Federal Credit Union caters to individuals who are actively serving or retired from military duty, offering two free checking account options: Free Easy Checking and Free Active Duty Checking.

Neither account uses ChexSystems or Early Warning Services (EWS), reducing barriers for those with less-than-perfect banking histories.

Both accounts have no monthly service fees, provided a qualifying direct deposit is set up.

This makes these checking accounts both accessible and affordable, reflecting Navy Federal Credit Union’s commitment to serving the financial needs of military personnel and their families.

What is ChexSystems?

ChexSystems is a national consumer reporting agency that maintains records of individuals’ banking histories. Banks and credit unions use ChexSystems reports to evaluate the risk of opening new accounts for customers. This system provides information about an individual’s past banking relationships, which might include any overdrawn accounts, unpaid fees, fraudulent activity, or any other negative banking behavior.

When you apply for a new checking or savings account, the financial institution may check your ChexSystems report. If the report shows a history of risky banking behavior, the institution may choose to deny your application. This is why individuals with negative banking histories often seek banks that don’t use ChexSystems when opening new accounts.

However, like other reporting agencies, ChexSystems must follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This means you have the right to see your report and dispute any inaccuracies. If you’ve had banking problems in the past and have been denied a new account, it could be useful to request your ChexSystems report and check it for errors.

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Key Features to Consider When Choosing a Bank Account for Bad Credit

Applying for a bank account with bad credit can be a challenge. However, there are many financial institutions that cater to individuals with less-than-perfect credit histories. When you’re in the process of choosing a checking account, it’s important to consider certain key features that can help you manage your finances effectively and potentially improve your credit over time.

  • No credit checks or ChexSystems: Some banks use ChexSystems or credit checks to assess your banking history and potential risk before approving a new account. If you have bad credit, you should look for banks that don’t look at your history or banks that offer second chance checking accounts designed for individuals rebuilding their credit.
  • Low fees: High bank fees can exacerbate financial difficulties. Look for a bank account with low or no monthly fees, and avoid those with high overdraft charges. Some accounts may waive monthly fees if you set up direct deposit or maintain a minimum balance.
  • Minimum deposit and balance requirements: Some accounts may require a substantial initial deposit or minimum balance, which could be burdensome if you’re working on improving your financial situation. Search for accounts with low or no minimum opening deposit and balance requirements.
  • Online and mobile access: Easy access to your bank account can make managing your finances much simpler. Look for banks that offer robust online and mobile banking tools, including bill pay, mobile deposit, and account alerts to keep track of your balance and avoid overdrafts.
  • ATM access and fees: Fee-free access to a wide network of ATMs is an important factor. Be mindful of both the availability and fees associated with ATM usage.
  • Reporting to credit bureaus: If your goal is to improve your credit, consider a bank that reports your account activity to the credit bureaus. Some banks offer credit builder loans or secured credit cards, which can help you establish a positive payment history and boost your credit score over time.
  • Overdraft protection: Overdraft and NSF fees can be costly. Some banks offer overdraft protection, which can prevent transactions that would overdraw your account, or cover the cost with funds from a linked savings account or credit card.
  • Annual percentage rate: While this may not be a primary concern for those with bad credit, it’s still beneficial if your account can earn interest. Even a small APY can contribute to your savings over time.
  • Cashback rewards: Some accounts offer cashback rewards on debit card purchases, providing an opportunity to earn while you spend.
  • Financial education resources: Many banks provide educational resources to help you better understand personal finance and credit management. These resources can be invaluable in helping you rebuild your credit and manage your money more effectively.

Remember, every individual’s financial situation is unique, and the best bank account for you depends on your personal needs and circumstances. Take the time to research and understand the features of different bank accounts before making a decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I open a checking account with bad credit?

Yes, it is absolutely possible to open a checking account even with bad credit. Many financial institutions understand that everyone can go through financial hardships and have therefore created products specifically designed for people with low credit scores.

These can include second chance checking accounts or accounts that do not use services like ChexSystems for approval. In our guide, we’ve highlighted such checking accounts that offer guaranteed approval, regardless of credit history.

What is a second-chance checking account?

A second-chance checking account is designed for individuals who have had banking problems in the past, such as a negative ChexSystems record or bad credit. These accounts give people an opportunity to re-establish a positive banking history, often with features tailored to help manage their finances effectively. Over time, successful management of a second-chance account can open up access to regular checking accounts and other banking services.

What is a non-ChexSystems checking account?

A non-ChexSystems checking account is a bank account that doesn’t require a ChexSystems report for approval. If you’ve had accounts closed, bounced checks, or unpaid fees, you might have a negative ChexSystems report, which can make it harder to open a new account. A non-ChexSystems account bypasses this check, making it easier for those with a negative banking history to gain access to banking services.

Can opening a new bank account improve my credit score?

Yes, responsibly managing a bank account can indirectly contribute to improving your credit score. Regular deposits, avoiding overdrafts, and maintaining a positive balance can indicate financial responsibility, which can be beneficial when you apply for credit products in the future.

Additionally, some banks may offer credit-builder loans or secured credit cards, which directly impact your credit score by reporting your payment history to credit bureaus.

Do all banks offer the same features for bad credit?

No, the features and benefits offered by banks for individuals with bad credit can vary widely. Some may offer accounts with low fees and minimum balance requirements, while others may provide comprehensive financial education resources or unique programs like cashback rewards. It’s important to research and compare different banks to find the best fit for your needs and circumstances.

Are online banks a good option for those with bad credit?

Online banks can be a great option for those with bad credit. They often offer competitive features such as low or no fees, high interest rates, and comprehensive mobile and online tools.

Furthermore, some online banks don’t use traditional credit checks or ChexSystems, making them more accessible for those with bad credit or a troubled banking history. However, it’s important to ensure that any online bank you choose is FDIC-insured.

How can I avoid overdraft fees?

There are several strategies to avoid overdraft fees. First, keep a close eye on your account balance through online or mobile banking and set up alerts for when your balance gets low.

Second, consider linking your checking account to a savings account or credit card for overdraft protection – if you overdraw your account, funds will be automatically transferred to cover the shortfall. Finally, some banks offer accounts with no overdraft fees or programs that allow you to overdraw your account slightly without incurring a fee.

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