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.

checking account

From too many instances of insufficient funds to excessive overdrafting, there are many reasons why you may have been banned from your financial institution.

Because many banks use ChexSystems to track the checking history of account applicants, it may be difficult to find a new place to use for deposits and savings.

Luckily, there are still many reputable banks that don’t use ChexSystems to qualify customers. Additionally, some banks may run your ChexSystems record but still let you open a second chance bank account.

You have several options for online banks that don’t use ChexSystems or offer second chance banking. Each one offers different perks. Read on to find out how they differ, plus which bank account is the best for you. We’ll also show you some alternatives to getting a checking account.

OUR TOP PICKS

Best Non-ChexSystems Bank of 2018

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BBVA Compass ClearConnect Free Checking
  • NO credit check
  • Bad credit OK
  • NO monthly/annual fees
  • Available in 48 states
Apply Now

Best Second Chance Bank of 2018

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BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking
  • NO credit check
  • Bad credit OK
  • NO monthly/annual fees
  • Available in 7 states
Apply Now

Why You Need a Non-ChexSystems or Second Chance Account

A non-ChexSystems or second change bank account can be helpful to have even if you already have another bank account. Why?

Banks participating in ChexSystems may conduct a sweep of all existing customers and freeze any 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 much 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.

What’s the Difference Between Non-ChexSystems and Second Chance Bank Accounts?

Non-Chex Systems accounts and second chance banks generally have quite a bit in common when it comes to the daily maintenance of your account. Both accounts usually have either a low balance requirement or none at all, but you’ll probably have to pay a monthly maintenance fee.

There still may be some perks available, such as overdraft protection, online banking, and billpay. With both accounts, you should also be able to upgrade to a regular banking account once you have a positive history.

So where does the difference come in?

Non-Chex Systems banks don’t review your checking history at all, but second chance banks do still run that record search. Depending on the bank, you may be required to take a personal finance class to help improve your financial habits before you can start using your checking account.

Either type of bank can help you rebuild your banking history while still gaining access to helpful products like debit cards and checks.

Best Non-ChexSystems Banks of 2018

There are plenty of non-ChexSystems banks you can choose from, all of which offer different services regardless of your financial past.

Check out this comprehensive list of 2nd chance checking and savings accounts that you can qualify for even if you have a history in ChexSystems.

BBVA Compass ClearConnect Free Checking

BBBA Compass ClearConnect

BBVA Compass offers another online checking account with no ChexSystems review and is available in all states except Alaska and Hawaii.

It’s a fee-free account that makes it easy to manage your money on the go. You can access your account for free through a computer or smartphone, with paper statements available for just $3 per month.

You’ll automatically be enrolled in paper billing, so be sure to deactivate that feature if you want to avoid the charges — and the extra clutter.

Another great perk with this second chance bank account is that you not only get to access BBVA Compass ATMs for free, you also get free access to the AllPoint ATM network, which includes more than 43,000 ATMs throughout the country.

What else can you expect from this checking account?

  • FREE Visa® debit card with personalized photo
  • NO credit check; Bad credit OK
  • NO monthly or annual fees
  • NO ATM fees at over 43,000 ATMs nationwide
  • FREE online banking and mobile banking/deposits
  • FREE mobile and online bill pay
  • FREE customizable alerts via text message
  • FREE online and paper statements
  • Opening balance minimum just $25
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Access to the BBVA Wallet app for your smartphone
  • NO ChexSystems; anyone can open an account
  • 24/7 customer support

Apply for BBVA Compass ClearConnect Free Checking

BBVA ClearConnect Free Checking

Suntrust Bank

Different people have had different experiences with Suntrust and their use of ChexSystems. The bank states that it does not use it 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 accounts available but your best bet may be to start off with their Essential Checking Account.

You can either pay a $7 monthly fee 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 direct deposits, or maintain a $500 minimum daily 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 is free, but it requires a $5 opening deposit and you need a daily minimum of $75, otherwise, you’ll be charged a fee of $5.50. You do, however, get a free Visa CheckCard and basic online banking services.

Navy Federal Credit Union

To qualify for NFCU, you must be an active duty or retired member of the military, which includes Armed Forces, National Guard, Coast Guard, and the Department of Defense.

If this sounds like you, then this could be a great choice because NFCU doesn’t use ChexSystems or EWS. Plus, there is a free checking account option that doesn’t require a minimum balance.

Renasant Bank

For people residing in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia, this free checking account does not do ChexSystems, EWS, or Telecheck.

However, you won’t be eligible if you owe any money to the bank. 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

United doesn’t run ChexSystems at all but there are only locations in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. You can open any checking account with a $50 deposit. The free checking account has no monthly fee or minimum balance required.

You can also upgrade to a rewards checking account 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 direct deposits.

Best Second Chance Banks of 2018

Second chance banks can also offer attractive terms and conditions for a checking account. Here are our top picks.

BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking

BBVA Compass ClearChoice

BBVA is one of the friendliest banks to deal with and applying for an account on their website is easy. This option from BBVA is only for residents in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas. If you do not live in one of these states, but still want a BBVA checking account, check out BBVA ClearConnet Free Checking that we mentioned above that is available in 48 states.

If you do live in one of these states, you can open an account and receive online and mobile banking, automated bill pay, a Visa® debit card, and unlimited check writing.

You can also add-on custom features for a small monthly fee, such as using other ATMs for free and getting unlimited cashier’s checks.

If you have an EWS record, try the Second Chance Checking Account. You’ll pay a monthly fee of $13.95 but you may be able to upgrade to a free account after 12 months of use.

Here are some more key features of the BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking account that you can take advantage of when you open an account.

  • FREE Visa® debit card with personalized photo
  • NO credit check; Bad credit OK
  • NO monthly or annual fees
  • NO ATM fees at over 43,000 ATMs nationwide
  • FREE online banking and mobile banking/deposits
  • FREE mobile and online bill pay
  • FREE customizable alerts via text message
  • FREE online and paper statements
  • Opening balance minimum just $25
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Access to the BBVA Wallet app for your smartphone
  • NO ChexSystems; anyone can open an account
  • 24/7 customer support

Apply for BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking

Capital One 360

This bank does actually look at your ChexSystems history, but if you have good credit, you still could qualify for a Capital One 360 account. There is no fee or account minimum, and you actually accrue interest on your deposits, with rates starting at 0.2%.

You can also do mobile check deposits. There’s no guarantee you’ll get approved if you have a record in ChexSystems, but it’s worth a shot for such a highly rated account.

Peoples Cash Solutions

Peoples Cash Solutions offers a Second Chance Checking Account for individuals with a ChexSystems or TeleCheck record, as long as you have no history of fraud.

This is also an option for anyone with bad credit or bankruptcy in their past. The monthly fee is $4.95 and you’ll receive a MasterCard debit card and checks.

TCF Bank

TCF Bank is for residents of Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

You can be in ChexSystems and qualify for an 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 just need a $25 deposit to open an account. After that, there is no minimum daily balance and no monthly fee.

USAA Free Checking

USAA primarily serves military families, including retired service members, spouses, and children. Members of the National Guard are also eligible. You’ll need a $25 deposit to start, but you’re not required to hold a minimum balance.

Additionally, there is no monthly service fee and you can take advantage of free ATMs, mobile check deposits, and overdraft protection. Note that USAA does use EWS, though it doesn’t use ChexSystems.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers Opportunity Checking, and while it comes with many restrictions, it can help keep your finances on track if you need some help. The opening deposit is $50 and you have a $10 monthly fee unless you meet certain requirements.

The requirements include 10 debit purchases each month, a daily balance minimum of $1500, or $500 in direct deposits each statement period. The account also comes with features like My Spending Watch Report with Budget Watch to help you track your money.

Woodforest Bank

For consumers in Texas, this regional bank offers second chance checking accounts if you go into a branch and apply.

The minimum initial deposit is $25 and you’ll also need to pay a one-time setup fee of $9. If you have direct deposit, your monthly fee is just $9.95, or $11.95 without direct deposit.

1st Convenience Bank

This bank offers checking accounts to residents of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The account comes with a $12 monthly fee unless you maintain a daily balance of at least $100 or have a recurring direct deposit of at least $100 a month. You just need $1 to open the account and the bank doesn’t use ChexSystems, EWS, or Telecheck.

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.

Prepaid Cards – A prepaid debit card acts very similarly to a debit card linked to a checking account. The difference is you usually do have to pay a monthly fee of a few dollars. Each prepaid card has different ways to upload money but usually, you can do it at a major retail store like Walmart or online. 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 balances you don’t pay on time.

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.

Bottom Line

While the above list is a great start, we also explain how to get out of CheckSystems 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.