Having a bank account is essential for managing everyday financial transactions, such as receiving salaries, paying bills, and saving for the future. So, when a bank denies your application, it can be frustrating.
A history of unpaid overdrafts or bounced checks can get you blacklisted at most major banks if you’re listed in ChexSystems. However, even with bad credit, you still have options.
Top 10 Bank Accounts for Bad Credit
Here are ten of the best checking accounts for people with bad credit. With just a few clicks, you can open a bank account online in less than 5 minutes with these banks.
Here are some additional banks and credit unions for people with bad credit:
BOK Financial’s Opportunity Banking is a checking account designed to provide customers with safe, affordable banking services, regardless of their financial background.
With no overdraft fees, a low monthly fee of only $5, and a low opening deposit requirement, this account offers all the perks of a traditional checking account while remaining affordable and accessible.
Opportunity Banking offers a free Visa® Debit Card, free online and mobile access with bill pay and mobile deposit, and access to over 32,000 ATMs nationwide.
The account also features QuickSave, a tool designed to help customers save money faster by automatically transferring a chosen amount into savings with every qualifying debit card purchase or online bill pay transaction.
Why You Need a Bank Account
Along with keeping you from accessing basic financial products like checking accounts, a bad credit score can also wreak havoc on your day-to-day life. Here are some reasons why having a bank account is essential:
- Effortlessly pay bills online, avoiding late fees and streamlining the process.
- Cash and deposit checks without incurring additional fees.
- Conveniently withdraw cash from ATMs using a debit card.
- Gain access to essential banking services, such as checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, debit and credit cards, loans, and more.
- Transfer money easily between bank accounts or to other individuals, simplifying transactions and payments.
- Bypass the inconvenience and high costs associated with check-cashing stores.
- Eliminate the need for prepaid debit cards, which often come with hefty fees.
Not having a bank account can be costly and have a negative effect on your credit score. Not only is it inconvenient, but can also be unsafe. Being able to store your money where it’s insured is much better than hiding it elsewhere.
What is a checking account for bad credit?
Checking accounts for bad credit, also known as second chance checking accounts, are specialized financial products designed by banks and credit unions to cater to individuals with poor credit history, prior banking issues, or negative records in ChexSystems. These financial institutions understand that everyone deserves access to essential banking services and a second chance to rebuild their financial footing.
Bad credit checking accounts often come with certain features, such as low or no minimum balance requirements and account monitoring tools, to help customers manage their finances more effectively. Additionally, some banks and credit unions provide financial education resources and personalized support to guide account holders in making informed decisions and improving their financial health.
By offering bank accounts to people with bad credit, financial institutions help customers achieve financial recovery, stability, and eventually, access to more traditional banking products.
How to Get a Bank Account with Bad Credit
To open a bank account with bad credit, you have three options:
- Clear up your ChexSystems report.
- Apply for a second chance bank account.
- Apply at a financial institution that doesn’t use ChexSystems.
It’s possible to get out of ChexSystems if you file a dispute with ChexSystems. If you win the dispute, your record will be clean and you can open a checking or savings account online or at any bank or credit union you choose.
Second Chance Banking
Some banks and credit unions offer their customers a second chance. They’re aware of your bad banking history, but they’re still willing to give you a second chance checking account.
Second chance checking accounts typically come with a monthly maintenance fee and other account fees. However, they usually give you an opportunity to upgrade to a traditional checking account with no monthly fees after 12 months of good account management.
Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems
While most financial institutions pull your ChexSystems record, there are some banks that don’t use ChexSystems. These banks aren’t necessarily targeting people looking for a bank account with bad credit, they just don’t look at their customers’ banking history. The banks that offer these checking accounts are typically the best for people having trouble getting a bank account.
No matter which option you choose, the convenience of having a checking and savings account will be worth it as it will make your life much simpler.
See also: Credit Unions That Don’t Use ChexSystems
Tips for Choosing the Right Bad Credit Checking Account
When considering a bad credit checking account, it’s important to know what services and features you should expect. These bank accounts are designed to help individuals with bad credit or past banking mistakes, so they often come with specific features to support customers in rebuilding their financial standing. Here are some essential services to look for in a bad credit checking account:
- Low or no minimum balance required: Many bad credit checking accounts have low or no balance requirements, making it easier to maintain their accounts without the stress of meeting high balance thresholds.
- Reasonable monthly fees: While some checking accounts for bad credit may have monthly fees, they should be reasonable and transparent. Many online banks don’t have fees, offer to waive these fees, such as through direct deposit or maintaining a specific account balance.
- Online and mobile banking: Access to online and mobile banking is essential for managing your finances conveniently. These services allow you to monitor your account balance, transfer money, pay bills, and deposit checks remotely, enabling you to stay on top of your finances with ease.
- Debit card access: Most backs will provide you with a debit card for ATM withdrawals and everyday purchases. Using a debit card can help you avoid expensive check-cashing services or prepaid debit cards with high fees.
- Overdraft protection: Overdraft protection can help you avoid costly overdraft fees and declined transactions. Some checking accounts offer optional overdraft protection services, such as linking a savings account or a line of credit to cover any overdrafts.
Non-ChexSystems Banks by State
Looking for more information and additional options available in your area? Select your state from the list below to explore your options.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington, DC
- West Virginia
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.