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 overdrafting, there are many reasons why you may have been banned from your financial institution. And 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. In fact, you actually have several options with each one offering different perks available. Read on to find out which one is the best for you.
Why You Need a No-ChexSystems Account
A no-ChexSystems bank 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.
No ChexSystems Banks of 2017
BBVA Compass NBA Free Checking
Not only does this checking account offer full-service features, it also lets you pick your favorite basketball team to be displayed on your debit card. There is no monthly service charge and you can use any Allpoint ATM in the country for free. The bank will email you when you’re close to a zero balance so that you can avoid overdraft fees. You can also take advantage of online and mobile banking. BBVA may close your account if you have an EWS record, but you can get the same benefits through the Second Chance Checking Account for a $13.95 monthly fee.
BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking
Another option from BBVA, this one is for residents in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas. If you 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.
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.
Discover Online Savings Account
Discover provides a great high-interest option for someone looking for a place to store deposits and access their account online. You’ll need an initial deposit of $500, but unlike many other savings accounts, you don’t have to maintain that minimum. The annual percent yield amounts to 0.95%, a significantly higher amount than many competitors. Plus, the account is completely free, with no fee to open or maintain the account. You can also do direct deposit or deposit checks through your smartphone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This 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.
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.
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.
Washington Savings Bank
This one does actually use ChexSystems but with much less stringent guidelines. You can qualify for the Rewards Card Checking Account as long as you have no fraud or criminal history, and your former account charge-offs are less than $2,000. You’ll pay a monthly fee of $9.95 and need a recurring direct deposit from an employer or government source. If you meet these qualifications, you’ll get a MasterCard debit card, checks, and free use of Allpoint ATMs. Once you have a year of solid account history, you can apply for another account with lower fees.
This national bank 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, like 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.
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.
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.