Some banks review banking histories with systems like ChexSystems to check for a history of issues such as overdrafts, or Early Warning Services for warning indicators such as fraud and forgery.
If you don’t have a clean banking history, it can be difficult to find a bank that is willing to work with you and get your finances back on track. The following banks do not use ChexSystems, or they offer second-chance banking, making them a great option for your financial strategy and plan.
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BBVA is a member of the FDIC that doesn’t use ChexSystems but does use EWS to screen their applicants. This means that if you have a poor credit history or history of overdrafts, you may still be likely to qualify for an account.
What we like: BBVA accounts typically come with:
- Free online banking and bill pay.
- Free mobile deposits.
- Free Visa debit card for your account.
- Unlimited check writing.
- No ATM fees at 64,000 BBVA USA participating locations.
- No monthly service charges.
- Cash-back rewards.
Location and use: BBVA has 649 branches spread across the Sun Belt in Texas, Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Colorado, and New Mexico. They do offer online and remote banking services in all states except for Alaska and Hawai’i.
Charges and cost: There is a $3 monthly Paper Statement Fee that can be avoided by switching to online statements. You must make a low $25 minimum opening deposit to your account.
Chime does not perform a credit check or use ChexSystems for applications, meaning that it is very likely and easy for applicants to qualify. Chime banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, and Chime is a member of the FDIC.
What we like: Chime bank offers:
- Quick access to your direct deposit funds, sometimes two days earlier than average.
- Fee-free overdraft up to $100 for eligible members of the Chime SpotMe program.
- No hidden fees, no fees to open an account, and no monthly maintenance fees.
- A 0.50% annual percentage yield savings account to grow your savings.
- You can also round up every purchase to the nearest dollar and automatically deposit the difference into your savings account.
- A credit builder option to help you build your credit with regular on-time payments.
Location and use: Chime is an online-only bank with access to ATMs for free at more than 38,000 locations. However, those experiencing issues with deposits may be required to go to a “green dot” location.
Charges and cost: There may be fees for out-of-network cash withdrawals.
Acorns Spend Checking Account
Acorns Spend accounts are hosted by Lincoln Savings Bank, a member of the FDIC. The Acorn Spend accounts is an online checking account that offers the opportunity for simple investing.
What we like: The Acorns Spend account offers benefits and tiered levels of services with a few unique and helpful features:
- The app associated with the account allows you to check your checking, investment, and retirement account.
- Acorn offers all-digital banking which includes direct deposit, mobile check deposits, and checks sending.
- The card offers fraud protection and an all-digital card lock if your card is stolen or lost.
- The card for the Spend checking account is made of tungsten metal with your signature custom engraved in it.
- The change rounded up from your purchases can be used for investment.
- You can also set the card to “Smart Deposit,” which will automatically set money aside after a deposit is made.
- There are unlimited ATM reimbursements.
- No overdraft fees.
- No minimum balance requirements.
- Automatic bill pay.
Location and use: Acorns accounts are completely digital.
Charges and cost: There is a $3 monthly fee for the Acorns Spend checking account.
Having a negative banking history can make finding financial freedom a difficult process. However, taking control of your finances and making smart decisions with a personal budget to rebuild your banking history and your credit can get you started on the right track.
Learn more about Acorns today.
Navy Federal Credit Union has over 10 million members and is focused on serving military members, veterans, and their families. Navy Federal Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA and does not use ChexSystems or EWS, so as long as you meet their military qualifications, you are likely to be eligible for their services.
What we like: Navy Federal Credit Union offers:
- Free checking accounts.
- No monthly fees with qualifying direct deposit.
- No minimum balance requirements.
Location and use:There are 343 physical Navy Federal Credit Union branches worldwide with over 30,000 ATMs that members can access for free. To become a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union you must be one of the following:
- Active-duty personnel or reserve military.
- A military veteran.
- A Department of Defense employee.
- A Department of Defense contractor.
- A family member of a qualifying individual.
Charges and cost: There is an overdraft fee of $29. However, if you link your savings account to your checking account and have enough funds in your savings to cover withdrawals, you can avoid the overdraft fee.
SunTrust Bank (Truist)
SunTrust Bank (now Truist) offers its Essential Checking Account that does not use ChexSystems though some of their offerings do use ChexSystems.
It is likely that someone with a poor banking history would qualify for the Essential Checking Account, and could pursue other accounts after regular use of their Essential Checking Account with no overdraws to their account. SunTrust is a member of the FDIC.
What we like: The SunTrust Essential Checking Account offers:
- Online banking and bill pay.
- No-fee mobile banking and direct deposit.
- No fees for SunTrust ATM use.
- A student waiver offers no monthly maintenance fees for students.
Location and use: You can use SunTrust’s online banking services anywhere at any time, but they only have physical branches in Alabama, Arkansas, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Charges and cost: There is a $7 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived if the user meets one of the following options:
- Makes 10 transactions per statement cycle.
- Makes at least $500 in total qualifying direct deposits per cycle.
- Keeps a $500 daily collected minimum balance.
- Uses the student waiver.
U.S. Bank does use ChexSystems but offers its Easy Checking account that is available for those who may not typically qualify under ChexSystems. The Easy Checking account comes with standard debit card benefits and also acts as an ATM card.
What we like: With the Easy Checking account from U.S. Bank you can:
- Utilize online and mobile banking.
- Use their bill-pay options.
- Make mobile check deposits.
- Rebuild your credit.
- Utilize their mobile banking app.
U.S. Bank offers no fees with the use of overdraft protection services that link your savings or secondary account to the Easy Checking account. There may be an overdraft protection transfer fee applied.
Location and use: U.S. bank is available to users nationwide.
Charges and cost: There is a $2 paper statement fee. The $2 statement fee can be waived if the account holder is 65 years or older. There is a $6.95 monthly maintenance fee, but the fee can be waived with one of the following:
- Your combined monthly deposits total $1,000 or more.
- You keep an average account balance of $1,500.
- You are 65 years or older.
First Convenience Bank
First Convenience Bank is a division of First National Bank Texas and does not use ChexSystem and does not run a credit check when you open an account.
There are a few checking accounts available with First Convenience Bank; Power Checking, Checking With Interest, President Select High Yield Checking, eAccount, and Power Stash.
What we like: First Convenience Bank offers a diversity of accounts that are available to those that may have a poor banking history. The highlights of each account are as follows:
- Power Checking: The Power Checking account is their most popular account and offers convenience and security measures that allow users to avoid monthly fees.
- Checking With Interest: The Checking With Interest account allows the convenience of everyday use but also allows users to earn interest on their balance.
- President Select High Yield Checking: The President Select High Yield Checking account offers higher competitive rates for those that maintain a higher balance.
- eAccount: The eAccount is designed for electronic transactions specifically and is not intended for check writing.
- You can sign up for balance alerts that help you to maintain and manage your account.
- There is a $7 monthly maintenance fee for the eAccount that can be reduced by enrolling in e-statements.
- Power Stash: This account is built primarily for electronic transactions and is linked to a primary checking account. To avoid the $5 monthly maintenance fee, users must have a separate consumer checking account and enroll in e-Statements.
Location and use: First Convenience Bank operates in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico with over 300 branches and 400 ATMs.
Charges and cost: Costs range per account and enrollment in e-statements.
Renasant Bank does not use ChexSystem or EWS, making it a great option for those that may have a poor banking history.
Renasant Bank offers a few checking account options that are available with no use of ChexSystem: Rewards Extra Checking, Rewards Checking, Student Checking, and Renasant checking. Each account offers its unique rewards and/or standard operation.
What we like: The diversity of Renasant accounts provides users with choices for what type of account works best for their financial plan. General features of their checking accounts include:
- Online banking with online bill pay.
- Mobile banking.
- A Mastercard debit card connected to their account.
- Unlimited check writing.
- Return of canceled check images for easy record-keeping.
- You can receive up to $25 for your old checking account checks.
Location and use: Renasant Bank services are available in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Charges and cost: There is a $6 monthly maintenance fee for the Rewards Extra Checking account. The other accounts have a $10 monthly fee if you do not meet the daily account balance assigned to that account. There is a $50 minimum deposit to open any Renasant checking account.
Fort Sill National Bank (FSNB)
Fort Sill National Bank (now referred to as FSNB) does not use ChexSystems and is available to both military and civilians.
What we like: The benefits of the FSNB basic checking account include:
- You can earn interest on the entire amount of your balance if your balance meets the minimum of $500.
- You can participate in a savings round-up program that rounds up your transactions and automatically places the round-up amount into a savings account.
- You have access to free basic online banking.
- There is no transaction fee if you use an FSNB ATM.
- Unlimited check writing from the account.
- The account comes with a free Visa CheckCard that has no monthly or annual fees.
Location and use: You do not need to be a member of the military to open an account and use the services of FSNB. FSNB branch locations are in the states of Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. If you are not in a state with a physical branch you can contact them at [email protected] and ask for an application.
Charges and cost: There is a $6 fee per statement if the balance of your account falls below $75. There is also a $3.50 fee for paper statements that can be avoided if you sign up for e-statements.
TCF Bank does use ChexSystems, but will still offer applicants who do not owe the bank money a checking account. TFC does also check EWS records and having an EWS record may disqualify you from their services. TCF bank is a member of the FDIC.
What we like: The benefits of a TFC Free Checking account include:
- Online bill pay.
- The account is free of monthly maintenance charges.
- The free checking account includes access to digital banking such as checking your account balance, depositing checks, and transferring money.
- You can link your mobile device to your account and make payments with mobile wallet services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
- The account comes with a fast and secure debit card that includes contactless payment.
- You can instantly lock your debit card if your card is stolen or lost.
- Free withdrawals at TCF ATMs.
- Checks are included with your account.
Location and use: TCF Bank offers its services in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Charges and cost: A TCF Free Checking account does require a $25 minimum deposit to open the account. The account also has a hefty $37 overdraft fee. There are no statement fees for online statements, but you will pay $3 for paper statements, and $4 for statements with check images.
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