Are you trying 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.
With Chime®, bad banking history is not an issue. They offer an award-winning financial app, a debit card, and a credit-builder Visa credit card, all with no credit check.
The Chime Checking Account is 100% free and has no monthly fees:
- no overdraft fees
- no monthly maintenance fees
- no foreign transaction fees
- no minimum balance fees
They’ll even spot you up to $200 on debit card purchases with no overdraft fees.
You can also start building your credit with the Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card. It’s a secured credit card with no annual fees, no credit checks, and no interest charges.
Chime has over 60,000 fee-free MoneyPass® and Visa® Plus Alliance ATMs. Plus, you can get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier with direct deposit. You can also deposit cash for free at over 8,500 Walgreens.
You can see why Chime is our #1 choice.
Aspiration’s Spend & Save Account 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.
Current is a financial technology company, not a bank. The company does not use ChexSystems or pull your credit report, and they have a lot to offer.
A Current mobile bank account includes fee-free overdraft protection of up to $200. Account holders also get access to over 40,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs with your Current debit card, and there is no minimum balance or hidden fees.
You can also get paid up to two days early with direct deposit with a Current Premium account. Plus, Current offers up to 4.00% APY with Current Savings Pods.
You can apply for Second Chance Checking at BancorpSouth, but you’ll have to do it in person at a branch rather than online. They’ll review your check writing history to determine whether you qualify.
If you do, the account comes with a debit card, free online banking, and unlimited check writing. Other perks include a mobile app, mobile wallet, and direct deposit. You can also use BudgetWi$e, BancorpSouth’s free budgeting tool.
Second Chance Checking comes with a $10 monthly fee regardless of your account balance. You’ll also need at least a $50 opening deposit. You can apply at one of the BancorpSouth’s Arkansas branches, which include Little Rock, Calico Rock, Jonesboro, Brinkley, Carlisle, Hot Springs, and more.
You’ll find the Pathway Checking account at Bank OZK, available to those with a less than perfect banking history. It comes with a $10 monthly fee and a $50 minimum opening deposit, but you can access some nice perks with this account, including a debit card, mobile wallet, and overdraft protection. Plus, there’s no minimum balance you need to maintain each month.
You can apply to open a Pathway Checking account online or visit a branch in Arkansas. Headquartered in Little Rock, Bank OZK has a large footprint throughout the state, as well as across the rest of the southeast United States.
Consider Opportunity Banking from BOK Financial, which is a second chance checking account designed to give you a fresh start. The monthly fee starts at $14.95, but that can be reduced to $9.95 if you sign up for qualifying direct deposits. The opening deposit must be at least $50.
You can request a refund on one overdraft fee each year, giving you a built-in buffer as you start to establish a better checking history. Other benefits include a free debit card, online banking, and bill pay. For in-person service, visit a BOK branch throughout the state.
Designed for people seeking to re-establish their banking history, Centennial Bank offers the Opportunity 100 Checking account. You’ll need $100 to deposit into your account from the start, and you’ll also pay a monthly fee. With direct deposit, it’ll cost you $9.95 each month; without it, you’ll pay $12.95 each month.
This is also a great account if you’re looking for quick access because you get an instant-issue debit card when you apply in a branch. Other perks include mobile banking, bill pay, and free coin machine transactions. You’ll find Centennial Bank locations across the state of Arkansas.
Diamond Bank’s second chance checking account is called Diamond Encore. The minimum opening deposit is relatively high 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.
FSNB reportedly doesn’t use ChexSystems or Telecheck, so you could potentially be approved for an account. The easiest account to qualify for is Basic Checking.
There’s no direct deposit requirement and you need just $5 to open the account. If your balance falls below $75, you’ll be charged $5.50 each statement cycle. On the other hand, a balance above $500 starts to earn you interest.
Basic Checking comes with a free Visa CheckCard, basic online banking, unlimited check writing, and Savings Round Up. FSNB has branches located in Walmarts. In Arkansas, you can find them in Russellville, Conway, and Benton.
You could still qualify for an Easy Checking account with Hope Community even if you have a ChexSystems record. You can also qualify with a low credit score.
The account comes with a $9.95 monthly fee, but that can be waived if you maintain a balance of $200 or more. Even with the monthly fee, you’ll need to keep at least $25 in your account.
You won’t get checks with this account, but you will get an ATM/check card. Direct deposit and overdraft protection are also available, in addition to online banking with bill pay and mobile banking. Hope Community has branch locations in College Station, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, and West Memphis.
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.