Best Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems (2021 Reviews)

Best Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems (2021 Reviews)

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If you’ve had past financial mistakes come back to bite you and have been blacklisted by ChexSystems, you might also have been blocked from opening a bank account. You still have options, however, as not all banks utilize this consumer reporting agency.

Some banks choose to ignore a bad credit report and give customers a second chance at maintaining a checking account. Checking accounts for bad credit typically come with fees, but it’s the perfect way to get back in the game if you’ve had financial problems in the past. Banks with no credit check do exist; you just need to know where to find the best second-chance banking accounts.

GOBankingRates identified a list of banks with no credit check to open an account. Learn more about banks that don’t use ChexSystems and how they work.

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll find in this guide to banks that don’t use ChexSystems

What Is ChexSystems?

ChexSystems, Inc. is a reporting agency that collects data from banks and credit unions on consumers’ checking and savings account activity. The company uses this information to create tools — including consumer reports — that financial institutions can use to screen potential customers.

The agency helps banks and credit unions screen potentially risky applicants by issuing reports that detail previous financial issues like overdrawn and closed accounts and unpaid debt. Once you’ve been flagged by ChexSystems, you might have a difficult time obtaining a bank account.

How Does ChexSystems Work?

Like the credit bureaus, ChexSystems gathers information about your past financial activities. In ChexSystems’ case, however, the information centers around your banking records.

ChexSystems uses your information to prepare both a report and a risk score. This allows banks to determine if they want to do business with you.

Like a credit report, a ChexSystems report, which it calls a “consumer disclosure,” contains basic identifying information as well as details about any negative banking history. Common items in a ChexSystems report include unpaid fees, bounced checks, overdrafts, suspected fraudulent activity, unpaid negative balances, and public records related to your checking account.

ChexSystems reports negative items for five years. Under federal law, consumers are entitled to one free ChexSystems report every 12 months.

You can request your ChexSystems report online by submitting a request on the ChexSystems website. You can also get your report by contacting ChexSystems by phone at 800-428-9623 or mail at:

ChexSystems, Inc.Attn: Consumer Relations7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100Woodbury, MN 55125

24 Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems

If you have a few dings on your banking history, you’re in luck. Even though banks run credit checks on applicants, some banks don’t use ChexSystems. Plus, some banks will access the reports but not make their decisions based solely on the information.

1. BBVA

BBVA gets high marks for its online checking account, which is both affordable and flexible. There is no monthly service charge, and you don’t have to maintain a minimum balance to keep your account in good standing. They are also member FDIC.

The list of freebies with a BBVA checking account is worth checking out. Account holders get free online banking and bill pay, free mobile deposits, a free Visa debit card, and unlimited check writing.

While BBVA doesn’t use ChexSystems, it does use Early Warning Services (EWS) to screen applicants for things like check fraud, forgery, and check kiting. However, this is unlikely to stop someone with bad credit or a history of overdrafting to qualify for an account.

To open a checking account with BBVA, new account holders must deposit at least $25. You can’t do this entirely online, with most users reporting it taking under five minutes to apply and get approved.

2. Chime

Chime is an online-only bank, which is ideal for people who like the convenience of banking with their smartphone. There is no credit check to apply for an account, and Chime doesn’t use ChexSystems.

Even better, there are no fees when you open a Chime checking account. The app doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees or overdraft, and account holders can use ATMs for free at more than 38,000 locations.

There is no minimum deposit required to open a Chime account. On the downside, it can be tricky to deposit cash to your account, as you’ll have to visit a Green Dot location in person to make it happen.

3. SoFi

SoFi is another online bank that offers a checking account with no ChexSystems. While there are no physical branch locations, account holders can visit a network of over 55,000 ATMs nationwide for free.

Like many other online banks, SoFi’s checking account comes with zero fees. If you overdraft your account, SoFi simply cancels the transaction without charging you.

One thing that SoFi apart from its online bank competitors is physical checks. With SoFi, you can get physical checks for free if you need them.

4. Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union serves more than 8 million members, making it the biggest credit union in the country. To join, you must be active-duty or reserve military, a military veteran, a Department of Defense employee or contractor, or the family member of someone who meets membership criteria.

Members get free checking with no monthly fees, however, the overdraft fee is $29. There are no overdraft fees if you link your Navy Federal savings account to your checking and have enough funds in savings to cover any withdrawals.

Navy Federal has about 350 physical branch locations, and members can take advantage of over 30,000 ATMs without paying a fee.

5. First American Bank

First American Bank is a traditional bank with physical branches in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Florida. It also offers online banking to customers in all 50 states.

The Fresh Start Checking Account requires a $50 deposit to open, and account holders must pay a $9.95 monthly fee. However, there is no minimum balance required, digital statements are free, and account holders get unlimited check writing.

6. SunTrust Bank

SunTrust Bank offers an Essential Checking Account with no ChexSystems, so it’s a good fit for people with a rocky banking history. There is a $100 minimum deposit to get started, and a monthly $7 maintenance fee.

However, there are a few ways to get the monthly maintenance fee waived, including maintaining a daily collected balance of $500 or more, having direct deposits totaling at least $500 each month, or initiating a minimum of 10 transactions each month. You can also get the monthly fee waived if you open your account as a student.

7. Peoples Cash Solutions

Peoples Cash Solutions offers free online banking, along with free paper checks with its Second Chance Checking Account. There is a minimum $30 deposit required to open the account, along with a $4.95 monthly fee.

On the downside, Peoples Cash Solutions doesn’t offer a mobile app. However, you can view your account online and make payments over the web without paying a fee.

Peoples Cash Solutions also gives account holders a free Mastercard debit card and free monthly paper account statements.

8. Renasant Bank

Renasant Bank doesn’t use ChexSystems, EWS, or Telecheck, so it’s worth looking into if you’re worried about a negative banking history preventing you from opening a checking account.

Renasant offers both online banking and online bill pay. Account holders also receive a Mastercard debit card connected to their account, along with unlimited check writing

To open an account, you must deposit at least $50. There is also an $8 monthly maintenance fee unless you sign up for eStatements or keep a daily balance of at least $500. 

9. TD Bank

TD Bank offers several types of checking accounts, but its Simple Checking Account is probably best suited for people looking to rebuild after financial mistakes. The Simple Checking Account requires no minimum deposit and free online statements.

Account holders must pay a $5.99 monthly fee, but there is no minimum balance requirement to keep an account in good standing. Account holders also receive a 0.25% discount on personal loans and home equity loans.

10. First Convenience Bank

First Convenience Bank is a division of First National Bank Texas. First Convenience Bank doesn’t use ChexSystems for any of its five checking account offerings: Power Checking, Checking with Interest, President Select High Yield Checking, eAccount, or Power Stash. 

According to First Convenience, its Power Checking Account is its most popular. Account holders must deposit $20 to open an account online, but there is no minimum deposit required if you open an account in person at a branch location. 

There is a $12 monthly maintenance fee for the Power Checking Account, but the fee is waived for account holders age 55 and older. The bank will also waive the maintenance fee if you keep a minimum daily balance of $100, use your debit card at least eight times per month, or set up at least $100 in monthly direct deposits. 

11. TCF Bank

TCF Bank serves customers in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Its Free Checking Account has no monthly fee and requires a minimum $25 to open. 

On the downside, TCF charges high fees, including a $37 overdraft fee. It’s also tough to find detailed information about account terms and conditions on the TCF website. 

12. Fort Sill National Bank

Fort Sill National Bank (which now goes by FSNB) serves both civilians and members of the military. Its Basic Checking Account requires a minimum $5 deposit. 

There is a $6 monthly fee, but you can get it waived if you keep your balance above $75. Paper statements are $3.50 per cycle, but there is no cost for electronic statements.

13. Southwest Financial Federal Credit Union

Southwest Financial Federal Credit Union offers a Checkless Checking Account it describes as “great for those with previous trouble qualifying for a checking account.”

The account comes with online banking and a mobile app, along with MoBi Anytime Deposit that lets you deposit checks with your smartphone.

Originally founded to serve employees of Kroger grocery stores, Southwest Financial Federal Credit Union has extended membership to other select employee groups over the years. The credit union doesn’t publish a list of which groups are eligible to join, however, so you might have to check with your employer to see if membership is available.  

14. US Bank

US Bank has over 3,000 branches, which is a bonus if you prefer doing your banking in person. If your banking history is less than perfect, the Easy Checking account might help you rebuild. 

The monthly maintenance fee is $6.95, but you can get it waived by maintaining a minimum average balance of $1,500 or setting up direct deposits totaling at least $1,000. US Bank also waives monthly fees for account holders age 65 and older.

15. United Bank

United Bank offers a Free Checking Account with no minimum balance and no monthly fees. Account holders receive free online banking, a Visa debit card, and mobile check deposits. 

However, the bank has a limited service area, with branches in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.

16. Axiom Bank

Everyone deserves a second chance. That’s why Axiom makes the list of banks that don’t check credit. The financial institution offers second-chance banking and might overlook your report to provide you with a checking account. Headquartered in Central Florida, this community bank offers its Opportunity Checking account to those who have made previous financial mistakes.

The account features: 

  • Monthly Fees: $12.95
  • Minimum Deposit: $25.00
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • What Else You Need To Know: No-fee mobile banking and mobile deposit

17. Woodforest National Bank

Woodforest National Bank, a regional financial institution, offers its Second Chance Checking account to customers with a history of banking problems. Here are the details: 

  • Monthly Fees: $9.95 with direct deposit, $11.95 otherwise; $3 for paper statements (or choose e-statements for free)
  • Minimum Deposit: $25
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • What Else You Need To Know: $9 setup fee required

18. Green Dot

Although it’s not a bank, Green Dot is an option if you’re looking for a checking account for bad credit. Green Dot’s reloadable, prepaid debit card does not use ChexSystems, and no credit check is required.

Prepaid debit card details include: 

  • Monthly Fees:  $9.95, unless you load $1,000 or more on the card during the previous monthly cycle 
  • Minimum Deposit: None
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • What Else You Need To Know: No-fee, pay-as-you-go program with $1 for every purchase; cash reload fee of $5.95 per transaction. 

19. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers its Opportunity Checking to customers with negative ChexSystems reports. You’ll have to open the no-credit-check bank account at a local branch, but it includes everything you expect from a basic checking account, including online banking for easy bill pay. Other features include: 

  • Monthly Fees: $10 (unless you make 10 debit card purchases, maintain a $1,500 daily balance or post a total of $500 in direct deposits per statement cycle)
  • Minimum Deposit: $25
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • What Else You Need To Know: Comes with a Platinum debit card

20. Capital One 360

If you’re worried about what Capital One 360 will uncover when they run a ChexSystems report, you’ll be happy to know that the bank performs a soft pull on your credit instead and looks at other risk factors before approving you. Chances are, if you have a good credit score — or at least some history — you’ll be golden. Here’s what your account will come with: 

  • Monthly Fees: None
  • Minimum Deposit: None
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • What Else You Need To Know: No fees and chance to earn 0.20% interest on your balance

21. Varo Bank

Varo Bank is a no-fee online bank willing to work with customers with bad credit. The bank doesn’t look at ChexSystems reports to determine whether you’re credit-worthy or not, which ensures you’re in the clear to open a checking account. Here are the details:

  • Monthly Fees: None
  • Minimum Deposit: None
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • What Else You Need To Know: Receive paycheck by direct deposit; get paid up to two days earlier

22. San Diego County Credit Union

According to SDCCU, you may not be excluded from opening an account, even if you have a history of bounced checks or bad credit. You’ll need to live or work in San Diego, Riverside or Orange counties to qualify. Three checking accounts are available: 

  • Monthly Fees: None, $5 or $15, which can be waived with a minimum account balance or by receiving direct deposits
  • Minimum Deposit: $25 to $5,000, depending on the account
  • Minimum Balance: None, unless you’d like to avoid monthly fee
  • What Else You Need To Know: Cash-back rewards when you pay with included debit card

23. Credit Union ONE

Based in Michigan, Credit Union ONE allows you to open a no-credit-check bank account. The Basic Checking account is designed to help customers get back on their feet. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Monthly Fees: $15, or $10 when you receive direct deposits
  • Minimum Deposit: $25
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • What Else You Need To Know: Platinum debit card included; one point for every $3 spent, redeemable for travel, cash, gift cards and merchandise 

24. Acorns Spend Account

The Acorns Spend Account is the first checking account with a debit card that saves, invests, and earns for you. Since the COVID-19 crisis, more Americans are committed to saving and investing for emergencies. Acorns is designed to get you saving on an automatic basis.

With the Acorns Spend Account customers enjoy no monthly or overdraft fees, a debit card, and free ATM access nationwide. Acorn customers benefit from the automatic savings and investing feature where purchases made using your debit card are rounded up to the nearest dollar with the excess change being invested. Plus, the debit card is made with an impressive heavy metal, just like premium credit cards.

Acorns Spend Account Features

  • No minimum balance fees. You don’t have to fund an Acorns Spend account to open it
  • No overdraft fees
  • Unlimited free or fee-reimbursed ATM withdrawals nationwide
  • Rounds up your purchases and invests the spare change for you
  • Digital direct deposit and mobile check deposit and check sending
  • Free bank-to-bank transfers
  • Automated bill pay
  • FDIC-protected checking account up to $250,000 plus fraud protection

What Are the ChexSystems Scores?

ChexSystems assigns consumers a risk score ranging between 100 and 899. The lower your score, the greater risk you pose as a potential banking customer, so you want as high of a score as possible.

Unlike a credit score, however, there is no definitive range of scores for ranking good, bad, or in the middle. This is because ChexSystems doesn’t release its internal metrics for calculating risk scores to the public.

7 Benefits of Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems

Banks that don’t use ChexSystems give people an opportunity to re-establish a banking relationship. A negative banking history can follow you up to 5 years, making it difficult to get through life conducting daily financial transactions.

There are real benefits to having a traditional checking and savings account that banking alternatives like prepaid debit cards or check-cashing services just can’t offer. 

Here are just a few benefits of banks that don’t use ChexSystems:

  • Save on check-cashing fees. Save money over time by not having to use check-cashing services. For example, Walmart charges $4 for cashing checks of up to $1,000.
  • Avoid prepaid debit card fees. Avoid the myriad of fees that often come with prepaid debit cards. For example, Netspend’s monthly fee is $9.95 without Pay-Go, the reload fee is up to $3.95, and the ATM withdrawal fee is $2.50. As you can see, there is no way to avoid some kind of fee with prepaid debit cards.
  • Keep your money safe. Enjoy a safe and convenient place to stash your cash. It may sound strange, but not everyone saves money in a bank, which could prove dangerous. There have been several stories where people have lost money saved at home during a fire, even when the money was kept in a safe. If you only have a savings account for bad credit that would be better than a mattress or an at-home safe.
  • Your money is insured. Have the confidence in knowing your money in banks is FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
  • Built-in fraud protection. Purchases made with bank debit cards offer zero liability for fraud.
  • Become BFFs with your bank. Establish a relationship with your banker. When you engage in relationship banking your banker may approach you with better offerings on loan rates, insurance, investments, and certificates of deposit.
  • Get a mortgage loan. Mortgage lenders require you to provide recent bank statements when applying for a mortgage loan. Prepaid debit cards are not the same as having traditional bank statements.

CHEXSYSTEMS SCORES

Everyone is familiar with the FICO score that credit bureaus use. ChexSystems uses a similar consumer score called the QualiFile consumer score. The range for this scoring system is from 100 to 899. Much like credit scores, the higher the number, the better. ChexSystems isn’t utilized solely for loans and credit cards; some banks use it as a deciding factor for checking and savings accounts. Typically, smaller banks and credit unions may utilize ChexSystems to decide on one’s credit.

Non-ChexSystems vs. Second Chance Banking: What’s the Difference?

In some cases, banks are willing to extend something of an olive branch to people who have a negative banking history. These banks offer “second chance” bank accounts that give consumers an opportunity to rehabilitate their banking record. 

Second chance bank accounts are pretty much what they sound like: a chance to make a fresh start despite past mistakes. Banks that offer these types of accounts might still use ChexSystems, but they’re willing to overlook a problematic risk score or a bad report. 

On the downside, second chance bank accounts tend to come with fees, such as monthly maintenance fees. They might also lack some of the rewards and features you can expect with a standard checking account. 

However, many banks that offer second chance checking accounts give customers the option of converting to a regular account after a period of responsible banking behavior.  

How to Fund Your Checking Account and Verify Small Deposits

Once you’ve been approved for a checking account, your next step is to fund it. This is good practice, as it allows you to verify that your deposit when through and your account is working properly.

If your bank has a physical branch, you can fund your account by making a deposit in person. If your bank is online, however, you have a couple of options for funding your account. 

One method for funding a digital checking account is to transfer money from an online account you already own. You can do this by linking your accounts together.

If you don’t maintain any other digital bank accounts, you might be able to fund your new checking account by mailing in a money order. You can purchase money orders from a variety of places, including grocery stores, the post office, and retail chains like Walmart. 

Once you have made a deposit, you should check your account to make sure it appears. One strategy is to make a couple small deposits to verify that the funds are making it into your account with no problem. 

Can You Dispute ChexSystems?

If you believe an item on your ChexSystems report is inaccurate, you have a right to dispute it with both ChexSystems and the bank that reported it. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), both the bank and ChexSystems are required to investigate any disputes and remove any inaccurate items. 

How to Remove items from ChexSystems

In the event you find yourself declined for an account, it is a good idea to request a copy of your ChexSystems report.  You can obtain a copy once every 12 months.  In the event you were declined and find out there is incorrect information on your report, you may be able to remove it.  You can do so in several ways, and can start the process by obtaining a copy of the report.

  • Call ChexSystems at 1-800-428-9623
  • Visit their website at ChexSystems.com and fill out this form.
  • You can also print that form and mail it to:
    • ChexSystems Inc.
    • Attn:  Consumer Relations
    • 7805 Hudson Rd, Suite 100
    • Woodbury, MN  55125

Next, you need to look for any errors on the report that you believe are inaccurate.  Gather any documents, receipts, bank statements, or other documentation that indicate the correct information.  Options to submit your dispute include:

  • Online by going to their Dispute Area
  • By mail via the same address listed above for obtaining the report
  • On the phone by calling 1-800-513-7125

If everything is accurate on your ChexSystems report, then much like working with creditors with a credit report, you could talk to any banking institution or collection agency to remove marks or “clear” them from your report.  They would agree to this in exchange for paying any debts owed.

The only other option if there are no errors and nothing more to pay would be to wait the typical time required for these various infractions to leave your report.  In the meantime, you can look into alternative options with other banks.  Let’s explore that next.

Alternatives to Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems

If you’ve been turned away by banks due to past banking mistakes, it’s worth exploring some alternatives to traditional checking accounts. 

1. Second Chance Checking Accounts 

In some cases, banks offer so-called second chance checking accounts geared specifically toward customers with a less than perfect banking record. These accounts are typical checking accounts, but they might have higher fees and fewer perks than a standard checking account. 

Second chance checking accounts can be a great way to rebuild your banking history. Here are four second chance accounts to consider. 

1. Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking

The Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking Account is only available to consumers who are unable to open a regular checking account because of bad credit or a negative banking history.

The account requires a minimum $25 deposit, but there is no minimum balance required. You can avoid the $10 monthly fee by maintaining a $1,500 minimum daily balance, setting up direct deposits totaling at least $500, or posting 10 or more debit card transactions each cycle.  

2. US Bank Safe Debit Account

If you’re okay foregoing paper checks, the US Bank Safe Debit Account is a good choice for second chance checking. The account has a $4.95 monthly fee that can’t be waived, but there are no overdraft charges. 

With the Safe Debit Account, you get online banking and mobile check deposits. You also get a Visa debit card attached to your account. 

3. United Bank Gateway Checking

If you start with a United Bank Gateway Checking Account, you can upgrade to one of United Bank’s standard checking accounts after six months of responsible use.

On the downside, this account doesn’t come with a debit card, but online banking and bill pay is available for $4.95 per month. There is also a $10 monthly maintenance fee. 

4. BancorpSouth Second Chance Checking 

The BancorpSouth Second Chance Checking Account lets you transition to a standard Bancorp checking account after one year of responsible use. Account holders also receive a Mastercard debit card with their checking account. 

There is a minimum $50 deposit required to open an account. BancorpSouth also charges a $10 monthly maintenance fee for this account with no option to waive it. 

2. Prepaid Debit Cards

Prepaid debit cards are another alternative to checking accounts that use ChexSystems. With a prepaid debit card, you load money onto your card in advance and then use it to make purchases on the go. 

However, prepaid cards tend to come with fees. For example, you’ll typically pay a fee just to add money to your card, and some prepaid card issuers charge a transaction fee every time you make a purchase.

Another downside is that prepaid cards don’t get reported to the three major credit bureaus. This means your payment history won’t appear on your credit report, so you can’t use a prepaid card to build a positive payment history or improve your credit score.

Pros and Cons of Banks that Don’t Use Chexsystems

Pro: Plenty of them Exist if You Know Where to Look. It could be argued that 100% of banks should be using Chexsystems. It’s a liability to take on a customer with blemishes in their banking history, right? But only 80% of banks are using them. That leaves plenty of opportunities for you to get your finances on track and build trust with a new bank that is taking a chance on you. At least you’ve got options.    

Con: The Accounts Often Come with Fees. If this is your first time applying for a checking account with a Chexsystems record or poor score in the system, you will want to be aware of this. You will encounter fees associated with maintaining your new checking account. These banks counter the liability of taking you on as a customer with the fact that they charge fees.

Final Words

If you’ve been turned away by a bank due to a negative ChexSystems report, it’s worth exploring banks that either don’t use ChexSystems or offer second chance checking accounts. Fortunately, there are a number of solid banks and credit unions willing to give consumers a fresh start.

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