25 Bank Accounts for Bad Credit


If you’ve ever tried to pay an electric bill, apply for a lease, or even get your paperwork set up at a new job, you know it’s true: you need a bank account. Cash may be king, but there are some instances where getting official is simply safer.

Although the solution seems simple, for many, their bad credit gets in the way. A history of unpaid overdrafts or bounced checks can get you blacklisted at major banks, or make you the not-so-proud new owner of a ChexSystems record.

Top 10 Bank Accounts for Bad Credit

Opening a checking account is one of the first things you need to do to get back on top of your finances. Fortunately, plenty of banks offer checking accounts for people with bad credit, sometimes referred to as “fresh start checking” or “opportunity checking” to get you back on your feet.

Here are ten of the best checking accounts for bad credit on the market.

1. Chase

Our Top Pick
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Features & Benefits

  • $100 bonus after 10 purchases in 60 days
  • Over 16,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • Over 4,700 branches nationwide
  • $4.95 monthly service fee
  • No credit check or ChexSystems

Chase offers a checking account called Chase Secure Banking. The account comes with a Chase debit card that gets you access to over 16,000 fee-free ATMs.

Some features of this checking account include free online bill pay, free money orders and cashier’s checks, no overdraft fees, and no minimum opening deposit. However, there is also a monthly service fee of $4.95.

When you open a Chase Secure Banking account and make 10 qualifying purchases within 60 days, you’ll get a $100 cash bonus.

Account approval is immediate, and the debit card typically arrives within days.

2. U.S. Bank

Our Second Pick
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Features & Benefits

  • $600 sign-up bonus
  • Minimum opening deposit of $25
  • Monthly service fee: $0 or $6.95
  • Over 40,000 surcharge-free MoneyPass ATMs

U.S. Bank is now offering the Bank Smartly™ Checking account, which is currently available in 26 states across the United States.

If you live in one of the following 26 states where this account is available, you can apply online: AR, AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, NV, OH, OR, SD, TN, UT, WA, WI, WY

You can earn up to $600 when you open a new Bank Smartly™ Checking account and a Standard savings account, and complete qualifying activities. This offer is valid through February 7, 2023.

The Bank Smartly™ Checking account comes with a free debit card and the option to lock or unlock the card if it’s ever lost or stolen.

Plus, you’ll never have to worry about ATM transaction fees at U.S. Bank ATMs or surcharge fees at over 40,000 MoneyPass Network ATMs.

U.S. Bank uses ChexSystems, but it has a history of being more lenient with records than most banks.

As long as you don’t have a history of fraud, or you don’t owe any money to U.S. Bank, you may be able to open a checking account with them.

The minimum opening deposit for this account is just $25, and the monthly service fee is $6.95. However, you can avoid the monthly fee by maintaining a minimum balance of $1,500 or by having a minimum monthly Direct Deposit of $1,000.

3. Axos Bank

Our Third Pick
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Features & Benefits

  • $100 sign-up bonus
  • Earn up to 3.30% APY
  • No overdraft or NSF fees
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
  • No credit check or ChexSystems

The Rewards Checking account from Axos Bank is an excellent choice for those looking for a bank account with no monthly maintenance fees, unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements, and cash back rewards.

With this account, you can earn up to 3.30% APY and enjoy up to a $100 Welcome Bonus. Additionally, you’ll have access to unlimited free mobile deposits and your funds will be FDIC insured up to $250,000.

There are no overdraft fees or non-sufficient fund fees to worry about, and no minimum balance requirements.

All you need is a $50 deposit to open the account, and Axos Bank doesn’t use ChexSystems or pull your credit report to open your account.

4. Chime®

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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 debit card, and a credit builder Visa® credit card, all with no credit check.

The Chime Checking Account has no monthly fees:

  • no monthly maintenance fees
  • no foreign transaction fees
  • no minimum balance fees

You can also start building your credit with the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card7. 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.

5. Current

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Features & Benefits

  • No credit check or ChexSystems
  • No minimum balance or hidden fees
  • Fee-free overdraft up to $200 with Overdrive
  • 40,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs in the U.S.
  • Get paid up to 2 days faster

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.

6. GO2bank

Features & Benefits

  • 4.50% APY on savings
  • Over 19,000 fee-free ATMs
  • $5 monthly fee can be waived
  • No ChexSystems or credit check

GO2bank, a neobank provided by Green Dot, an established financial technology company. Customers can open a checking account with subaccounts called vaults, all without requiring a minimum balance.

Furthermore, GO2bank offers a competitive 4.50% APY on savings accounts for up to $5,000 in savings. Customers can easily access their funds at 90,000 retail locations for cash deposits and 19,000 fee-free ATMs.

In addition, customers can receive their pay up to 2 days early and government benefits up to 4 days early with direct deposit.

Customers can opt for overdraft protection of up to $200 with eligible direct deposits, providing them with peace of mind.

GO2bank also provides the GO2bank Secured Visa Credit Card, which can assist customers in building their credit over time through responsible use.

The monthly fee of $5 is waived when customers receive payroll or government benefits via direct deposit in the previous monthly statement period.

7. Aspiration

Features & Benefits

  • No credit check or ChexSystems
  • $10 minimum opening deposit
  • Up to 5% cash back on qualified debit card purchases
  • 55,000 fee-free ATMs
  • Get paid up to 2 days early

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.

8. Navy Federal Credit Union

Features & Benefits

  • 4 free checking accounts to choose from
  • No monthly service fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Up to $20 in ATM fee rebates per statement period

If you qualify for membership to Navy Federal, you won’t have to worry about them using ChexSystems. To become a member, you need to be either on active duty or retired from the U.S. military.

There are two free checking accounts from Navy FCU, one of which is Active Duty Checking. There’s no monthly fee, but you’ll need to receive direct deposit from the military.

If you do, you’ll get access to those deposited funds one business day earlier than usual. You also get $20 a month in ATM free rebates.

The other free account from Navy FCU is called EveryDay Checking. It’s a basic account that doesn’t come with any direct deposit requirements.

9. First American Bank

Features & Benefits

  • Minimum deposit: $50
  • Monthly fee: $9.95
  • Over 42,000 fee-free ATMs

Even if you’ve had trouble applying for a checking account in the past, you may be eligible to open a Fresh Start Checking account at First American.

This checking account has no minimum balance requirement. You get free mobile and online banking, and a Mastercard debit card. They also do have some physical locations.

Most branches are in the Chicago area, but they’ve also opened a location in Coral Gables, Florida.

10. Wells Fargo

Features & Benefits

  • Minimum deposit: $25
  • No overdraft fees
  • Liability protection and fraud monitoring

If Wells Fargo declines you for a standard checking account, you may still qualify for their “Clear Access Banking” account.

This second chance checking account has a monthly fee of $5. The only way to avoid it is if the primary account owner is 13 – 24 years old.

There’s a minimum opening deposit of $25. You get access to online bill pay, mobile banking, and over 13,000 ATMs free of charge.

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 of the reasons why you need a bank account:

  • To pay bills easily online.
  • To cash and deposit checks without any fees.
  • For taking out cash at ATMs with a debit card.
  • Access to essential banking services such as money market accounts, CDs, savings accounts, debit cards, credit cards, loans, and much more.
  • Check-cashing stores are inconvenient and expensive.
  • To avoid using prepaid debit cards and paying high prepaid debit card 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?

Banks and credit unions offer checking accounts for bad credit to people who have made banking mistakes in the past. They want your business and they understand that many people don’t get a basic financial education. Many financial institutions are willing to help you learn and give you a fresh start.

How to Get a Bank Account with Bad Credit

To open a bank account with bad credit, you have three options:

  1. Clear up your ChexSystems report.
  2. Apply for a second chance bank account.
  3. Apply at a financial institution that doesn’t use ChexSystems.

Disputing 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.

These bad credit checking accounts typically come with monthly maintenance 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 banks 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

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.

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.