If you’ve ever applied for a savings or checking account at a new bank and been turned down, ChexSystems was likely to blame.
A ChexSystems report contains a record of your activity and account closures at various banks and credit unions. But despite the agency’s importance, many people have never heard of ChexSystems.
This article will explain what ChexSystems is, what the agency monitors, and how long it takes to get out of ChexSystems.
What is ChexSystems?
ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency that collects information about problems you’ve had with a bank or credit union. They provide services to financial institutions under regulations provided by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
ChexSystems tracks your account activities and closures at various banks and credit unions. If you have a history of misusing bank accounts, bouncing checks, and overdrawing your account, ChexSystems will include this information in your ChexSystems report.
And depending on the type of derogatory mark, this information can stay on your banking history for quite a while. When you apply for a new bank account, most banks use ChexSystems to approve or deny the request.
See also: 18 Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems
What information is included in your ChexSystems report?
Under the FCRA, ChexSystems can report negative transactions on your checking and savings account. Here are some of the types of information that will be included in your ChexSystems report:
- Account closures: Your report contains a record of every account closure. This can become problematic if you have repeated account closures due to bounced checks or suspected fraud.
- Third-party inquiries: Your report contains a record of every time your account is viewed by a third-party. This typically happens when you try to open a new checking account or credit card.
- Bounced checks: If you’ve ever written a check that bounced due to insufficient funds in your account, this will be included in your report. However, this only becomes a problem if you have a history of bouncing checks.
- Suspected fraud: If you’ve ever altered checks or provided incorrect information on a banking application, this will be noted in your report. This could also include depositing empty envelopes into a bank ATM.
- Public records: Certain negative public records like liens, bankruptcies, and evictions are also included. Bankruptcies are particularly damaging, and can stay on your report for up to 10 years.
- Overdrafts: If you’ve ever overdrawn your checking account, that information is included on your report. However, a couple of overdrafts are unlikely to hurt you. This becomes problematic if you have a history of overdrawing your account and then failing to get your account to good standing.
- Opening an excessive number of accounts: If you try to open multiple checking and savings accounts within a short period of time, you may be flagged for potential fraud by ChexSystems.
How long does it take to get out of ChexSystems?
According to ChexSystems, reported information typically stays on your ChexSystems report for up to five years. This is different from your credit reports issued by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion as most information stays on your credit report for up to seven years. But just like you have the right to dispute inaccurate information on your credit report, you can dispute inaccurate information on your ChexSystems report as well.
ChexSystems will then conduct an investigation which should be completed within 30 days of your request. The consumer reporting agency will notify you of the results by mail.
Your ChexSystems record consists of your banking information, and banks and credit unions use it to either approve or deny new account requests. So if you’ve ever applied for a bank account and were turned down, it’s likely because of negative items on your ChexSystems report.
The best way to maintain a good record and avoid any problems is by keeping all of your accounts in good standing. But mistakes do happen, and you have the right to request one free copy of your ChexSystems report every 12 months. From there, you can contact the agency to dispute any inaccurate items you find.