Have you tried to open a checking account in Arkansas, but can’t get approved? It’s probably because you have a negative listing in ChexSystems. Most banks in Arkansas use ChexSystems to review your banking history.
Fortunately, you still have options. There are several banks that don’t use ChexSystems during the application process, and others that offer second chance checking.
Non-ChexSystems & Second Chance Banks in Arkansas
Take a look at this comprehensive list of banks and credit unions in Arkansas that either don’t use ChexSystems, or offer second chance checking accounts.
Aspiration’s Spend & Save Account is a hybrid checking and savings account that is entirely online. There’s a $10 minimum opening deposit to get started.
With an Aspiration debit card, you get unlimited fee-free withdrawals at over 55,000 ATMs and one out-of-network ATM reimbursement per month. You can also get paid up to two days early with direct deposit.
You can earn up to 5.00% APY when you spend $1,000/month and deposits are FDIC insured.
Bank OZK offers a second chance checking account called Pathway Checking. There’s a $50 minimum opening deposit, but no minimum balance requirement.
The monthly service fee is $10 and you won’t earn interest like some of Bank OZK’s other checking accounts.
Pathway Checking comes with a Visa debit card, plus unlimited check writing, online banking, and mobile banking. You also get bill pay, with 15 free payments a month and each one costing $0.50 after that.
BOK Financial uses ChexSystems for new accounts. However, they offer an Opportunity Banking account to help you get a second chance.
There’s a monthly fee with this option, which is $9.95 if you enroll in direct deposit, or $14.95 if you don’t. You get a debit card as well as online and mobile banking, and bill pay.
In addition to a large ATM network across the country, you can also request one overdraft fee refund each year.
The minimum opening deposit is $50. To save a monthly paper statement fee of $1.50, you can also switch to e-statements for free.
After you’ve managed your account well for a year, they could approve you for an upgraded checking account.
Cadence Bank offers several checking accounts that don’t use ChexSystems. Minimum opening deposits range from $25 to $1,000. However, for some checking accounts you can get the monthly fee waived by meeting certain requirements.
The accounts come with the basic features you’d expect, like a free debit card, online banking, and bill pay.
Diamond Bank’s second chance checking account is called Diamond Encore. The minimum opening deposit is at $100, but there is some flexibility with the monthly fee.
It starts at $10 but can be reduced to $8 per month when you enroll in direct deposit. Once you reach 12 months with no insufficient funds, you can switch to another checking account at Diamond Bank.
In addition to an instant-issue debit card, you get unlimited check writing and online and mobile banking services, including mobile deposit.
You can find Diamond Bank locations in Glenwood, Mount Ida, Hot Springs, Murfreesboro, Dierks, Nashville, Mineral Springs, Mena, Hope, DeQueen, Ashdown, Russellville, and Texarkana.
First Service Bank is a non-ChexSystems bank and they also don’t use a credit report to approve new accounts. There are multiple checking accounts available, including Earn Checking, Earn 50+ Checking, Reward Checking, and General Checking.
The most accessible account for most people is General Checking. You’ll need a $100 opening deposit, but you can easily get the $5 monthly fee waived by enrolling in e-statements.
You can find multiple First Service Bank branches across Arkansas, including Conway, Clinton, Dermott, Flippin, Greenbrier, Little Rock, Marshall, Mountain View, Shirley, and Yellville.
Fresh Start Checking is a second chance account available from Focus Bank designed to rebuild your financial history.
The monthly service fee is $7.95 but can be reduced to $5.95 by enrolling in e-statements. There’s no minimum balance with this account and it takes just a $50 deposit to get started.
You get a debit card with this account and can also purchase checks to use. Free benefits include online and mobile banking with check deposit. Focus Bank has Arkansas branches in Jonesboro, Marmaduke, and Paragould.
Hope Credit Union uses ChexSystems, but they aren’t as strict with negative entries as other financial institutions.
As long as the applicant has a credit score of at least 600, and doesn’t owe any money to Hope Community, HCCU is likely to open an account.
Hope CU offers five checking account options. Some of them have a $25 minimum balance requirement and as a $9.95 monthly fee. However, the fee is waived if the account has at least $200 in it.
Checking accounts come with unlimited paperless transactions, free online and mobile banking, free eStatements, and overdraft protection options.
Fresh Start Checking from Red River can get you back into banking even if you don’t qualify for a traditional checking account because of your ChexSystems history.
There’s a $10 monthly maintenance fee, but you’ll receive an instant-issue debit card and the usual online banking features you’d see with regular accounts.
To qualify for membership at Red River, you must live, work, worship, volunteer or attend school in one of the following Arkansas counties:
- Hot Spring
- Little River
Alternatively, you can join if you have a family member who is already part of RRCU.
You can qualify for River Valley Community Federal’s Fresh Start Checking account if you have a history in ChexSystems within the last five years.
There are some requirements you’ll need to meet, however. The record must be less than $300 and your charge-offs must be satisfied prior to opening the account.
Each month, you’ll pay a fee of $5 for Fresh Start checking. You’ll also need an opening deposit of $100, which will be placed on hold during the first 30 days. After 12 months of no instances of non-sufficient funds, you can upgrade to a traditional checking account.
To join River Valley Community FCU, you must live, work, or worship in one of the following Arkansas counties: Ouachita, Calhoun, Columbia, Union, or Dallas.
Southern Bancorp is a non-ChexSystems bank with multiple checking account options. The most basic version is the Freedom Checking account.
It requires a $100 opening deposit but the $2.95 monthly fee can be waived with e-statements. It’s a no-frills account to get you back into banking.
It’s easy to find a Southern Bancorp branch in Arkansas. In fact, there are over 20 branches throughout the state.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.
1. Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply with Chime except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.
2. Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment ﬁle from the payer. Chime generally make these funds available on the day the payment ﬁle is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
7. To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or beneﬁts payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, veriﬁcation or trial deposits from ﬁnancial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.
Non-ChexSystems Banks by State
Looking for more information and additional options available in your area? Select your state from the list below to find out all your options for banking.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington, DC
- West Virginia