Believe it or not, Arizona leads the nation in the number of people who are unbanked. But even if you think you can’t currently qualify for a checking account, it’s worth taking another look at your options. This is especially true if you have negative records in ChexSystems. If you do, there are plenty of second chance banks in Arizona who are either non-ChexSystems or use alternative criteria to approve checking applicants.
Check out this comprehensive list of Arizona banks and credit unions that don’t use ChexSystems or offer second chances.
For an online checking account in Arizona that’s completely NonChexSystems, check out the Free Checking account. Instead of ChexSystems, BBVA uses EWS to screen applicants.
You can open an account with just $25 and there is no monthly service charge. You can get a debit card for free and even start earning rewards with the Simple Cash Back program.
Both paper and e-statements are free, as is unlimited check writing. You can also add on custom features, like an unlimited supply of standard checks or cashier’s checks each of which costs just a couple dollars a month.
No matter what part of Arizona you call home, Chime makes it simple to get started with a comprehensive, fee-free e-checking account. And although the bank is all digital, it’s easy to access and control your funds, thanks to its easy-to-use mobile banking tools and widespread ATM network.
When Chime says “fee-free,” they mean it; their checking accounts carry no minimum opening deposit, no minimum account balance, and no withdrawal fees, overdraft fees, or foreign transaction fees, either.
You’ll get access to your direct deposit funds up to two days earlier than you would with other banks. You can even take advantage of automatic savings to help catalyze your emergency fund and keep track of transactions with their instant notifications.
The eAccount from 1st Convenience Bank is a second chance account with a low monthly maintenance fee of either $5 (with e-statements) or $7 (with paper statements).
You won’t be able to qualify for check writing services or overdraft protection with this account. You can, however, purchase money orders and use online banking and bill pay. Additionally, enjoy free ATM withdrawals at Gold Key ATMs.
Alhambra ‘s Basic Checking Account is designed for members who have a record in ChexSystems. You could qualify for an account if your history is a result of an unpaid closure or non-sufficient funds activity.
The cost is $10 per month, but you do get access to features like bill pay and free usage of Alhambra ATMs. You also get four free withdrawals each month at non-Alhambra ATMs. After that, you’ll pay just $2.25 each time.
Rather than using ChexSystems to determine eligibility, America First uses your Experian credit report. There’s no monthly fee for the Go Checking account, nor is there a minimum balance requirement. Plus, you’ll get free e-statements, online banking, and bill pay.
You can use over 80,000 ATMs for free across the country, with a daily withdrawal limit of $500. Your Go Checking debit card limit is $3,000 for purchases and $1,000 for POS purchases when you use your PIN.
Banner Federal is for employees of Banner Health System employees. Primarily in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, Banner FCU offers a second chance checking option.
The Opportunity Checking account is designed for individuals who want to establish a positive checking history. You get all the benefits as a typical checking account but your activity will be monitored more closely.
If they sense your finances are in trouble, they’ll reach out to you. After a year, you can apply to upgrade to a normal checking account from Banner FCU.
With BOK Financial, you can qualify for the Opportunity Checking account as long as your past accounts listed in ChexSystems are paid in full and you don’t have any history of fraud.
The monthly service fee is $14.95, but you can get that reduced to $9.95 a month if you set up regular direct deposits of at least $300. You’ll also need $50 to open your bank account.
Once you’ve managed your account responsibly for a year, you can apply to upgrade to one of their other checking options. With 1 location in Mesa and 2 in Phoenix, they offer an excellent checking account regardless of your ChexSystems history.
Copper State offers a comprehensive second chance account called Try Again Checking. You can qualify if you have a ChexSystems record involving an unpaid closure or non-sufficient funds. Before you can open your account, you’ll need to complete an online personal finance course called CheckRight.
Once that’s done, you’ll pay a $10 monthly fee. If you keep on top of your account for 12 consecutive months, Copper State automatically converts it to the CashBack Checking Account.
Members of Corporate Family America FCU can apply for the Fresh Start checking account regardless of your past banking history. There’s a $10 monthly fee and you’re required to have a $100 minimum balance in your Regular Share Account.
If you’d like, you can enroll in a free online study course called “Get in Balance” to help you learn how to better manage your checking account. This is a great chance to not only get a checking account, but also get better at handling your finances — for free.
Rather than using ChexSystems to screen new checking account applicants, Cochise pulls a credit report. So if your credit history is better than your banking history, this could be a good option for you.
Start with an opening deposit of just $25. There’s no minimum balance required with this account but if you keep at least $50 in there, you’ll earn 0.05% APY on your balance.
You also get access to other checking benefits, including a Visa debit card, online banking, and bill pay. Membership eligibility is based on either your Arizona zip code or your local employer, so check to see if you can qualify.
Coconino FCU offers more relaxed eligibility criteria for both of their checking accounts. You can qualify if you have just one paid ChexSystems record. Consider the Adventure Checking, which offers minimum criteria for opening the account. The monthly fee is $6, but there’s no minimum deposit or required balance.
Plus, you get normal checking benefits like mobile banking and deposit, bill pay, and no per check charge. Coconino FCU offers branch locations in Flagstaff and Page, Arizona.
The Second Chance Checking account offers a way to get your banking history back on track while also taking advantage of services like mobile banking. Your opening deposit must be $50 or more, but from there you don’t need to maintain a minimum balance. The monthly fee is $10.
With this account, you can use your account for 50 transactions each month for free. After that, you’ll pay $0.20 for each transaction. Once you’ve successfully maintained your Second Chance Checking account for 12 months, you can switch to another checking option from First American Community CU.
For a bank that doesn’t require a credit check in Arizona, consider Fort Sill National Bank. Plus, their Basic Checking account doesn’t require direct deposit as many banks do. You’ll need $5 to open an account.
The monthly fee is $5.50 but you can get this waived if you keep your account balance above $75. If you’re able to maintain a balance of $500 or more, you’ll start earning interest.
Great Western Bank actually uses Chexsystems, but they are a little more lenient than other banks that use it. If you only have one infraction on your Chexsystems report, and it’s been over a year since the incident was resolved, they’ll still allow you to open a bank account. If this sounds similar to your situation, you should consider GWB as a contender.
Build a strong history with them and you’ll strengthen your Chexsystems file, making it easier for you to hop around banks as needed in the future. Plus, GWB has all the perks you need, including remote deposit, mobile banking, and numerous savings accounts options.
Pima Federal offers a Fresh Start Checking account. It’s designed to help people get back into checking who have had some mishaps in the past. There is a low monthly fee of $10 a month, but an account with PFCU gets you all of the following:
- Unlimited check writing
- Access to 50,000 and counting surcharge-free ATMs across the nation
- Debit Card
- Mobile Access
- Remote Deposit
- Alerts and Notifications
If you’ve been denied access to other banks because of past credit challenges, Pima Federal’s Fresh Start was literally made to accommodate people like you.
You can avoid a ChexSystems review with OneAZ (formerly known as Arizona State Credit Union) if you apply in person, in which case they’ll use EWS.
There are branch locations throughout the state, in and around Flagstaff, Prescott, Phoenix, and Safford. Check out the Arizona Checking Account, giving you access to both online banking and text alerts.
There’s a $7 monthly fee, but you can get it waived with one of the following: one direct deposit each month of at least $100; at least 10 purchases with your debit card each month; or a $2,000 aggregate average daily balance of loans and deposits through OneAZ.
SunWest Federal is a ChexSystems bank, but if you become a member you can open a savings account with them. After one year has elapsed, you’ll be able to open a checking account, too, if the savings account remains in good standing. It’s a bank worth getting your foot in the door to because a checking account with SunWest comes with a lot of perks.
For starters, SunWest doesn’t require a monthly service fee, nor is there a minimum balance. Furthermore, they offer multiple overdraft protection options, free unlimited checking, and free mobile banking. If you eventually get a Premier checking account and maintain a daily balance of $1,000 or more, you can get paid dividends each month.
To get a checking account with TCF, you’ll need a $500 minimum opening deposit. There’s also a $15 monthly service fee if your balance is under $2,500. Though this is a high opening deposit, a TCF account comes with a host of benefits, including:
- Free online banking
- Free mobile banking
- Free withdrawals and deposits at TCF ATMs
- Free online bill payment
- 4 free money orders a day
- Free checks
If you need to use a non-TCF ATM, they’ll waive two fees per statement cycle. If you don’t want to carry around a debit card, you can also link your TCF account with wither Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay.
Tucson Federal offers a second chance checking account for people who have had past incidents with other banks. To qualify you need to meet the following criteria:
- Over 18 years old
- Don’t have a current balance because of TFCU charge-off
- Don’t have a current delinquency with TFCU
- Don’t have a history of fraudulent activity on your ChexSystems account
- Don’t have any balances owed on your ChexSystems account
A TFCU account offers many of the same perks that come with a regular checking account. Remain in good standing with TFCU, and you’ll automatically get upgraded to a standard checking account after one year has elapsed. Plus, if you’re interested, you may also qualify for a credit card at this time.
If you need to start rebuilding your financial history, Tucson Old Pueblo CU offers a checking account called Mission Checking. Mission Checking requires a $20 opening deposit, as well as a $20 monthly fee.
With this account, you get free online banking and bill pay, free access to in-network ATMs for both withdrawals and deposits, as well as a free debit card with direct deposit.
After a year has elapsed, account holders are encouraged to contact Tucson Old Pueblo and inquire about getting access to one of their standard checking accounts. Once you’ve strengthened your financial history, you’ll likely be able to jump over to either their Nickel-Back or classic checking accounts (neither of which has a monthly fee).
Instead of referring to ChexSystems, Western State Bank uses your credit report for screening. If you have had some past mishaps with banks in the past, but have maintained a decent credit score, you may qualify for an account with WSB.
WSB offers four types of checking accounts, all of which come with unique benefits. They offer Free Checking, Future Checking, VIP Checking, and VIP Plus Checking. However, no matter which checking account you choose, you’ll get:
- Free bill pay
- Free direct deposit
- Free identity theft protection
- Free online and mobile banking
- Free Telebank