Most people don’t know about ChexSystems until they are denied for a bank account. ChexSystems is a national database used by banks to determine if an applicant is a risk, much like a credit report. ChexSystems maintains a list of consumers who have in some way mishandled the use of a savings or checking account, such as failing to pay bank fees or bouncing checks.About 80% of banks screen applicants through ChexSystems before a new account can be opened. If you are in the ChexSystems database, you will have trouble getting a new bank account for 5 years until the information is deleted.
Anyone who has ever had a U.S. bank account has a ChexSystems record. Banks report many types of information to ChexSystems, including lost checks or debit cards, your check-ordering history, the number of accounts you have applied for in the last 90 days, and your Social Security number or driver’s license number. The information that can make it impossible to get a regular bank account includes:
If your account is negative or you are otherwise going to trigger a report to ChexSystems, the best thing to do is contact your bank. most banks will work with you if you can show a real effort toward bringing your account in good standing. Contacting someone at your bank branch can also stop the overdraft cycle.
The following tips can also help you maintain a positive bank record to avoid a ChexSystems record or help you become eligible for a regular bank account.
You have the right to request your report from ChexSystems if you have been denied a bank account in the last 60 days. You are also entitled to a free copy of your consumer report once every 12 months under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act. You can visit the ChexSystems website to make your request by phone, mail, fax, or online to receive your report within 5 business days.
After receiving the report, your next step is clearing up fees you owe to any banks on your report. When you pay the fees, make a request that they send in an updated report that the account has been paid. You also have the right to dispute incorrect information directly with ChexSystems.
What is a Second Chance Bank Account?
Second chance bank accounts are different from regular bank accounts. You will be better off with a regular bank account, but a second chance account may be your only option until negative information about you is removed from ChexSystems. On the list of second chance banks, you will find that most charge a monthly fee of $10-15 or more and you may be required to maintain a minimum balance. (http://www.thesimpledollar.com/second-chance-checking/)
The good news is getting a checking account while on ChexSystems isn’t impossible. Our list of non ChexSystems banks makes it easier to find banks that offer second chance banking until you’re able to qualify for a regular bank account.
You may even be surprised to learn that you don’t need to settle for a small local bank or credit union for a second chance bank account. There are a few major banks that offer full checking accounts despite being blacklisted on ChexSystems. This includes Wells Fargo and PNC Bank. One of the best options is BBVA Compass, which has over 680 branches. You can apply for the BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking account online. If you are denied for a regular account, BBVA Compass will automatically offer their Easy Checking account, which is their second chance bank account solution.
The following is a list of banks that don’t use Chexsystems. This list is made as accurate as possible, but some of these banks may have updated their policies to use ChexSystems. It’s a good idea to ask the bank about their policy before you try to open an account. If you find a bank on our non ChexSystems banks list that isn’t accurate, please let us know! Use the map below to find a second chance bank in your state.
Luciano enjoys writing about finance and banking products. he considers himself a banking expert and credit score guru!