Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems in Arkansas

Struggling to open a checking account in Arkansas due to a negative ChexSystems listing?

While most banks use ChexSystems to review your banking history, there are some that don’t. Additionally, some banks offer second checking accounts.

Non-ChexSystems & Second Chance Banks in Arkansas

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of Arkansas banks and credit unions that allow anyone to open a checking account, regardless of their banking history.

Upgrade

Our Top Pick

Features & Benefits

  • Up to 5.21% APY on savings
  • Up to 2% cash back
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly fees or overdraft fees

Upgrade doesn’t pull your ChexSystems report, but they do look at your credit report.

The Upgrade Rewards Checking account has no monthly fees and no ATM fees. You’ll also get a free Visa debit card, and up to 2% cash back on everyday debit card purchases.

The Upgrade Premier Savings account delivers an impressive 5.21% APY, giving you a remarkable opportunity to grow your savings faster.

Upgrade is partnered with Cross River Bank, Member FDIC, and your funds are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. With an Upgrade checking account, you can also get up to 20% lower rates on Upgrade loans and credit cards.

First Tech Federal Credit Union

Our Second Pick

Features & Benefits

  • Up to $300 sign-up bonus with direct deposit
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Earn up to 5.00% APY
  • Over 30,000 fee-free ATMs

First Tech Federal Credit Union offers an attractive banking solution that goes beyond traditional constraints, providing members with a combination of high-yield interest and multiple financial incentives across its platforms.

With the First Tech Rewards Checking & Savings accounts, there are no minimum balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fees. Members can take advantage of a $300 bonus simply by establishing a qualifying payroll direct deposit of $1,000 or more per month for three consecutive months.

These accounts offer competitive interest rates, with the potential to earn up to 5.00% APY on both checking and savings accounts, depending on the balance—significantly higher than many conventional banks.

Additionally, First Tech offers extensive accessibility with over 30,000 CO-OP network ATMs nationwide for fee-free withdrawals.

The credit union also ensures enhanced financial security and flexibility with features like real-time fraud monitoring and free overdraft transfers, contributing to a comprehensive and secure banking experience.

Current

Features & Benefits

  • Build credit just by using your debit card
  • No minimum balance or monthly fees
  • 40,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs in the U.S.
  • Get paid up to 2 days faster
  • No credit check or ChexSystems

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.

With Current, your everyday purchases can now shape your financial future. Simply by swiping your debit card, you can build credit. No loans or credit checks needed. There are also no monthly or annual fees for this service.

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.

Chime

Features & Benefits

  • Over 14.5 million downloads
  • No credit check or ChexSystems
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • Over 60,000 fee-free1 ATMs

With Chime, bad banking history is not an issue. They offer an award-winning financial app, a checking account with a debit card, and a savings account, all with no credit check.

When you open a Chime Checking Account, you won’t have to worry about monthly maintenance fees, foreign transaction fees, or minimum balance fees.

You can also start building your credit7 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 charges1.

Chime has over 60,0001 fee-free MoneyPass® and Visa® Plus Alliance ATMs. Plus, you can get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier with direct deposit2. You can also deposit cash for free at over 8,500 Walgreens.

Bank OZK

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

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

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

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

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.

Focus Bank

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

FSNB offers banking without ChexSystems or credit checks, allowing for easy account opening with a $5 deposit.

Checking account options vary: Advanced Checking has a $10.95 monthly fee; Career Checking and 50+ Checking are free with a monthly direct deposit; Basic Checking incurs a $6.50 fee if the balance drops below $100.

The accounts come with a Visa check card, free online and text banking with bill pay, and an interest-bearing account, conditional on maintaining a minimum balance.

Additional perks include fee-free ATM transactions at FSNB locations, mobile banking, free e-statements, and no charge for cashier checks and money orders. Customers also receive one free box of standard checks every quarter.

Hope Credit Union

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.

Red River Credit Union

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:

  • Clark
  • Garland
  • Hempstead
  • Hot Spring
  • Howard
  • Lafayette
  • Little River
  • Miller
  • Nevada
  • Pike
  • Sevier

Alternatively, you can join if you have a family member who is already part of RRCU.

River Valley Community Federal Credit Union

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 before 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

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. The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your card for its issuing bank.