Your first option is to go with a non-ChexSystems bank or credit union. These are financial institutions that don’t use ChexSystems at all when making decisions about new customers.

The next best alternative is a second chance bank account. These are checking accounts aimed at customers who may be in ChexSystems.

The difference between non-ChexSystems and second chance checking account is that your ChexSystems record might be checked when you apply for a second chance account.

If you’re ready to put your past beyond you, check out these banks below. They either don’t use ChexSystems or offer second chance bank accounts.

Top 10 Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems

1. Chime

Our Top Pick
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at Chime's secure website

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 Spending 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 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.

Features and Benefits

  • No hidden or monthly fees
  • Automatic round-up savings to help you stash your cash
  • Top-of-the-line mobile banking capabilities
  • Access to direct deposit funds up to two days early

Best For: Users who don’t need access to physical bank locations and who want to take advantage of this online-only bank’s low fees.

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2. Sable

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on Sable's secure website

Sable allows you to open a bank account with a debit card and secured credit card in just 5 minutes.

There are no credit checks, no fees, and no minimum deposit required. Account holders can also get an unsecured credit card in about 4 months after using your secured card. That’s 3x faster than what traditional banks offer.

The Sable credit card offers 2% cashback on your favorite brands.

To open a Sable account, you don’t need a social security number or U.S. credit history. You can also send money to 55+ countries and get multilingual customer support.

Features and Benefits

  • Open a bank account and secured credit card in just 5 minutes.
  • No credit check
  • No fees or minimum deposit required
  • Upgrade to an unsecured credit card in just 4 months

Best For: Anyone who is trying to build credit, especially those without a social security number.

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3. Current

Our Second Pick
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on Current's secure website

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.

Features and Benefits

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

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on Aspiration's secure website

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.

Features and Benefits

  • 55,000 fee-free ATMs
  • Up to 5% cash back on qualified debit card purchases
  • Get paid up to 2 days early
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5. Acorns

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on Acorn's secure website

Acorns Spend Checking Account is a great option for anyone that is looking for a seamless way to spend and save money. When you sign up for Acorns Spend, you’ll receive a free Visa debit card.

Every time you swipe your debit card, money will automatically be deposited into your Acorns Invest or Later accounts. Plus, Acorns Spend comes with unlimited ATM reimbursements, and there is no minimum monthly balance.

Features and Benefits

  • $3 monthly service fee
  • No minimum balance required
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursement
  • Send and deposit checks digitally

Best For: There is a $3 monthly fee, but the unlimited ATM reimbursement more than makes up for it. Acorns Spend is a great option for anyone who already invests money with Acorns, and wants a low-fee online checking account.

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6. Navy Federal Credit Union

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on Navy Federal's secure website

Servicemembers in all branches of the armed forces are eligible for membership at Navy Federal Credit Union. If you or one of your immediate family members are one of the following, you qualify:

  • Active Duty members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Air National Guard
  • Delayed Entry Program (DEP)
  • DoD Officer Candidate/ROTC
  • DoD Reservists
  • Veterans, retirees, and annuitants

Eligible members of your family include: parents, grandparents, spouses, siblings, children (including adopted and stepchildren), grandchildren, and household members.

Features and 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

Best For: Active-duty and retired military members and members of their immediate family.

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7. United Bank

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on United Bank's secure website

If you live in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia, Ohio, or Washington DC, you have the option of opening a checking account at United Bank. This bank does not look at ChexSystems when you apply.

There are several account types to choose from that offer different features and benefits.

Features and Benefits

  • Zero monthly service fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Free online banking, bill pay, e-statements, mobile check deposit, Visa check card, and more

Best For: This account is an excellent option if you are located within the service area.

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8. US Bank

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on US Bank's secure website

The Easy Checking account from US Bank is a no-frills account that comes with standard benefits. It also provides full access to online and mobile banking.

Features and Benefits

  • No monthly maintenance fee if your average account balance is $1,500, or if your direct deposits add up to at least $1,000 per month, otherwise only $6.95 if you go paperless
  • Free Visa® Debit Card
  • Your withdrawals are free at US Bank ATMs
  • Mobile check deposit is available

Best For: An account from US Bank is a good option if you want to go with a large, well-known nationwide bank.

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9. Renasant Bank

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Renasant doesn’t look at your ChexSystems report nor do they use TeleCheck or EWS. They have branches in Alabama, Georgia, Florida Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Features and Benefits

  • Sign up for eStatements and there is no monthly maintenance fee
  • Write as many check as you want
  • Comes with a Mastercard® Debit Card

Best For: If you are located in the southeast and want a fee-free account, Renasant is an excellent choice.

10. Woodforest National Bank

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Woodforest Bank has over 700 branches throughout 17 states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

There are mixed reports on whether Woodforest uses ChexSystems. They do however offer Second Chance Checking.

Features and Benefits

  • $25 minimum deposit plus $9 setup fee
  • Monthly maintenance fee as low as $9.95 with direct deposit set up
  • Fee free withdrawals at Woodforest ATMs
  • Flexible overdraft options

Best For: Since there are fees for this account, it is not our top recommended choice, but it may be a suitable option if you are located in a state where the bank operates and are unable to qualify for a more affordable option.

Learn More →

16 Other Banks & Credit Unions to Consider

Here are some less popular regional banks and credit unions to consider:

  1. Bancorp South
  2. Bank OZK
  3. BOK Financial
  4. Capital One 360
  5. Community Bank and Trust
  6. Corporate America Family Federal Credit Union
  7. Fort Sill National Bank
  8. GenFed Financial Credit Union
  9. HomeStreet Bank
  10. Liberty Savings Bank
  11. MidWest America Federal Credit Union
  12. Mountain West Bank
  13. Republic Bank
  14. Synovus Bank
  15. UNIFY Financial Federal Credit Union
  16. Wells Fargo

What is ChexSystems?

If you’ve never heard of ChexSystems before, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Most people only know about ChexSystems once they find out they’re listed in it.

ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency that does two things: check verification and credit reporting.

ChexSystems is operated by Fidelity National Information Services which is a subsidiary of eFunds. The vast majority of banks and credit unions turn to ChexSystems to help them make decisions about whether to give new customers a checking account.

Customers who are listed in ChexSystems may have a negative banking history. It could be something as grievous as check fraud or as innocent as forgetting to pay an overdraft fee.

Either way, it can cause a banking institution to turn you down flat for a new account.

To learn about ChexSystems in-depth, please see our article, “What is ChexSystems?

Telecheck & Early Warning System

Note that some non-ChexSystems banks do choose to look up other records, like those maintained by TeleCheck or Early Warning System (EWS).

If you’re listed with either, you should be aware that you could still end up getting rejected for an account.

There are banks, however, do not reference any of these. It is also perfectly possible to have a record with ChexSystems but not with EWS or TeleCheck.

What to Do Now

There aren’t many banks that offer checking or savings accounts to people with bad credit. In fact, eFunds claims that over 9,000 banks in the US turn to ChexSystems to make screening decisions. Those 9,000 banks include over 100,000 branches in all. That’s over 80% of all financial institutions in the US.

While 80% may seem like an overwhelming figure, it should actually give you hope because it means that 20% are banks that don’t use ChexSystems.

So if you’re looking to open a checking or savings account right now, there is still hope.

You just need to choose one that doesn’t look at your ChexSystems records. For that, you have two different banking options: non-ChexSystems banks and second chance banking.

Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems vs. Second Chance Banking: What Are the Differences?

Here is a quick comparison of non-ChexSystems vs. second chance bank accounts.

Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems

  • Your ChexSystems record will not be checked when you are applying for an account.
  • Balance requirements should be low or nonexistent.
  • Maintenance fees are sometimes required.
  • Overdraft protection may be offered.
  • You will be able to enjoy the same services you would with a regular bank account such as online banking and bill pay.

Second Chance Banking

  • Your ChexSystems record is usually checked when you apply.
  • Sometimes you may need to pay maintenance fees.
  • You may be able to get overdraft protection.
  • After you establish trust, you will be able to get a regular checking account.
  • Since second chance banks do check your ChexSystems report, they know a little more about you. This may lead them to impose some other requirements. For example, you might need to take a personal finance class.

All in all, there aren’t many significant differences between the two options. Both give you the opportunity to get back to banking, writing checks, and making purchases with a debit card right now.

Other Alternatives to Banking Without ChexSystems

Here are a few other alternatives, but in most cases, we don’t recommend them.

  • Secured credit cards⁣ – Have some cash you can use as collateral? Use it to get a secured credit card. Be prepared for high interest rates and fees as well as smaller credit limits with these credit cards.
  • E-wallet – You can try signing up for an online service like PayPal. Some of them offer debit cards if you meet certain criteria.
  • Money market accounts – Brokerages do not run ChexSystems, so you may be able to qualify for a money market account even if you don’t qualify for a checking account. The balance and deposit requirements are often substantial, however, so you will need to be prepared for that.
  • Foreign bank accounts – This option is obviously far from convenient, but it is still something to consider, especially if you live near the Canadian border. There are some Canadian banks that will allow US citizens to open an account.
  • Prepaid debit cards – Of all the items on this list, a prepaid debit card is probably your next best option. It’s used just like a credit card and the fees are not as high as they once were. Some cards even come with online bill pay, free ATM withdrawals, and more.

You can see how these are not ideal options. They might help you out in a pinch, but the balance requirements, fees, and functional limitations can make it hard to establish financial stability.

Can You Dispute ChexSystems?

At this point, you may be wondering whether you really need to go to the trouble to search for a bank that won’t run ChexSystems verification before giving you an account. Can’t you just find a way to get out of ChexSystems?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) makes it possible for you to dispute your ChexSystems report. However, it’s not easy; especially if the information on your record is actually accurate.

For example, it might be unfair that you are listed in ChexSystems because you failed to pay a $5 overdraft fee once, but that doesn’t mean that ChexSystems will delete the record upon request.

ChexSystems is not overly concerned with fairness. Once you have a record, it will remain for five years since the date of the infraction if you cannot get it expunged.

How to Dispute ChexSystems

If you do want to initiate the process to try to get removed from ChexSystems, we have detailed instructions for disputing ChexSystems.

Either way, we recommend in the meantime that you apply for a non-ChexSystems checking account.

Even a successful dispute can be a lengthy and involved process. You might find that you are weeks or even months away from getting your record cleared.

Opening an account through one of our recommended providers above means you can enjoy all the benefits of a bank account right away.

What to Look for When Choosing a Checking Account

You have probably noticed that features and benefits can vary when it comes to checking accounts. Some accounts have drawbacks as well. What is important to look for when selecting an account?

  • Low or no balance requirements – Ideally none at all.
  • Low or no monthly fee – The lower the monthly fee, the better. The last thing you need to be doing while you are trying to get back on your financial feet is paying fees.
  • Free debit card – If you can personalize it, that is a nice added benefit.
  • Free ATM use – You do not want to be spending $3 or $5 every time you want to withdraw cash from the ATM. Make sure that the bank you apply at offers you free access to a wide network of free ATMs in your area.
  • Option to upgrade – If a bank or credit union lets you upgrade automatically to a regular account after some time period, that is an awesome benefit.
  • Likely to accept you – Remember, ChexSystems is not the only agency that might have a file on you. If you think you could be in TeleCheck or EWS, it makes sense to apply at an institution that will not be deterred by those records either.
  • Online banking features – You can check your statements electronically, see the funds available in your account, pay your bills, transfer money, and so much more. You might even be able to deposit checks. You can expect all of these same fantastic features with a high-quality checking account without ChexSystems.
  • Bells and whistles (if you want them) – There is no rule that an account has to be bare-bones just because a bank doesn’t use ChexSystems.
  • Transparency – A lot of customers end up in ChexSystems because of unclear policies and terms from their original banking institutions. Choose a bank that makes its rules and fees clear so that you do not find yourself in the red again.
  • Excellent customer service – Finally, customer service is incredibly important when it comes to picking the right bank. It can make the difference between a swift resolution to an issue to inadvertently ending up in ChexSystems again. So be sure to choose wisely.

Best Practices for Banking

Once you’re able to open an account and start making purchases and paying bills again, you will probably heave a sigh of relief.

It is essential to know however that there are still things that can go wrong.

Issues to Lookout For

  • The bank could view your ChexSystems record after giving you an account, perhaps because the institution has just decided to start using the system and has screened all customers. This could result in account closure.
  • There are some actions that you can take that might result in receiving a black mark in ChexSystems even though you have done nothing wrong. For example, something as innocent as ordering checks can cause problems.
  • If you do not keep your account in good standing, the bank might decide to close it, just as they would with a regular customer. It might take fewer red flags in your case however for the institution to decide to take action.

Tips to Protect Your Account

  • Do not overdraw your account if at all possible, even if there are no overdraft fees.
  • If there are fees to maintain your account, pay them all on time every month. Pay any other fees you are charged immediately in order to stay on good terms with the bank.
  • Try to order your checks only from companies that do not report to ChexSystems. Some options include Checkworks, Costco Check Printing, and Harland Clarke.
  • Banks often look more favorably on customers who set up direct deposit, regularly make purchases with debit cards, and so on. Even if you are not required to bother with this to get around a balance requirement or maintenance fees, think about doing it anyway. If you are loyal to the institution and demonstrate stable, reliable banking habits, it is less likely your account will be closed than if you only use it sporadically.

Keep an eye on credit reports, and also consider checking on your own ChexSystems report now and again to make sure that your record is clean.

Conclusion

It can be very frustrating trying to open a bank account and finding out that you cannot because you have a record in ChexSystems.

You have things you need to do, like pay your bills and make purchases. Trying to do those things without a basic checking account is very hard. It can make you feel like you have fallen right between the cracks in life’s financial sidewalk.

Just remember, around 15% of checking account applicants every day have that same frustrating experience. That is why around 20% of banks and credit unions do not use ChexSystems, and even those that do may offer a second chance option.

While it is frustrating to discover you are listed in ChexSystems, it does not need to put a damper on your financial life. You are now familiar with some of the best options in both categories, and some alternatives. If you apply for any of our recommended non-ChexSystems accounts, you could be approved quickly. Soon, you will have your new checking account and debit card and be ready to receive payments and make purchases!

Non ChexSystems Banks & Credit Unions 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.