Getting back in the banking system in Colorado after a troublesome history doesn’t have to be as difficult as you may think. There are actually numerous credit unions and banks in Colorado that don’t use ChexSystems or that offer specific programs for those who need a second chance.

Why would you need one of these banks?

The most likely reason is that you’ve been denied for a traditional checking account because of your history in ChexSystems. Your records may reflect past mistakes such as outstanding fees owed to a previous bank or a consistent history of overdrafts and/or nonsufficient funds.

But even if you have these types of items attached to your name in ChexSystems, you could still qualify for a checking account in Colorado — you just have to know where to look.

BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking

ClearChoice Free Checking is available in Colorado and offers both a debit card and free unlimited check writing. You can save well over $100 a year by choosing this account because it comes with no monthly fees. You also only need $25 as your opening deposit.

Online banking with bill pay is available, as is mobile banking with mobile deposit. You can also customize text alerts to stay on top of your account balance and transactions. Overdraft protection is also available with this account.

BBVA Compass ClearConnect Checking

Residents of Colorado can apply for the ClearConnect Checking account from BBVA Compass, which is entirely online. They don’t run a ChexSystems report, so you have a strong chance of getting approved. Plus, this account comes with several perks.

First, there’s no monthly fee and the minimum deposit for opening an account is just $25. You also get all the benefits of online banking, such as mobile banking and bill pay. When you need cash, you can use free ATMs that are part of the BBVA Compass or Allpoint networks. You can even get checks to use. As a bonus, this checking account allows you to earn rewards just for using your debit card.

Chime Bank

Another online bank account option in Colorado is Chime Bank. Not only can you use their checking account, you can also help grow your savings easily by linking it to your checking and rounding up to the next dollar on every purchase. It’s a nice add-on service that boosts your savings without any extra effort on your part.

You’ll manage your checking account entirely through Chime Bank’s mobile app and you get a debit card for everyday spending. There’s no monthly fee and you don’t need to maintain any kind of monthly minimum balance.

Another benefit is that if you sign up for direct deposit, you can get those funds up to two days faster than you usually do.

5Star Bank / AFBA

AFBA does use ChexSystems to review checking account applications, but you may be able to get approved if you meet certain conditions. For example, you may get approved if you don’t have any records over $200 and the incident occurred more than six months ago.

You also can’t have any instance of fraud on your ChexSystems record. Signing up for direct deposit can also help your chances of getting approved with this bank.

There are three accounts you can choose from E-checking, Military Checking, and 5Star Checking. The most basic option is E-checking, which requires a $50 opening deposit but no monthly or annual maintenance fees. You’ll receive a debit card and will need an approved credit score to qualify for overdraft protection.

5Star Bank has three branch locations in Colorado Springs, plus multiple ATMs.

Colorado State Bank and Trust

While Colorado State Bank and Trust does use ChexSystems for new accounts, 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. It’s a nice bonus perk as long as you remember to use it. To save a monthly paper statement fee of $1.50, you can also switch to e-statements for free.

Get started with a $50 deposit into your Opportunity Banking account. After you’ve managed your account well for a year, Colorado State Bank and Trust could approve you for an upgraded checking account.

Equitable Savings and Loan Association

Instead of referencing ChexSystems during the application process, Equitable Savings and Loan Association instead pulls a credit report. There are three different personal checking accounts available: Checking with Interest, Freedom 55 Checking, and Value Checking.

The Value Checking option requires a $100 minimum opening deposit, but there’s no monthly fee. It includes some free services, including both an ATM card and a MasterCard debit card. You also get free bill pay and e-statements. There are a few restrictions, including a $0.06 charge for each check you use after the first 50 checks.

Equitable Savings and Loan has multiple branch locations in Colorado. These include Akron, Brush, Burlington, Fort Collins, Fort Morgan, Julesburg, Limon, Sterling, Wray, and Yuma.

Liberty Savings Bank

Liberty Savings Bank offers the Clean Slate Checking account, a second chance account that comes with just a few restrictions. To qualify, you should have no more than three incidents reported to ChexSystems.

In most cases, you’ll get approved if you meet this requirement. After you’ve successfully managed your account for a year, you may also be able to switch to another checking account.

You can apply for the Clean Slate Checking account online or in person. Colorado branch locations for Liberty Savings Bank can be found in Granby and Denver. Once you’re approved, you can take advantage of online banking, as well as their mobile app. Bill pay is also available to stay on top of your monthly obligations.

Metrum Community Credit Union

Metrum Community Credit Union doesn’t advertise a second chance checking account, but you may be able to get one if you ask in person. Obviously, this is a bit more cumbersome than a simple online application, but it may be worth it if you’re having difficulty finding a Colorado bank to approve you for a checking account.

Since Metrum Community is a credit union, you also have to qualify for membership. You can apply if you live or work in Centennial, Colorado or if you’re employed by one of the partner organizations. Alternatively, you can qualify if a family member is already a member. When opening your account, you’ll need to deposit $25 into your share account, which is standard for credit unions.

There are two branch locations, one in Centennial and one in Denver. You can also use Metrum Community’s co-op of shared branches.

NuVista Federal Credit Union

As a NuVista Federal Credit Union, you can qualify for The Last Chance Checking account. To get started, you’ll need an opening deposit of $100. While that may seem steep, the monthly fee is a modest $10 and you don’t have to maintain a minimum balance moving forward.

You also won’t be subject to per item charges, plus you receive unlimited check writing. Additional perks include free direct deposit, bill pay, and e-statements.

NuVista Federal Credit Union has locations in Montrose and Gunnison, Colorado. To become a member, you simply need to live, work, worship, or go to school in one of the following counties: Montrose, Gunnison, Ouray, or San Miguel. If you’re eligible, you can become a member by opening a share account with a $25 deposit, which you must maintain. You can apply online or in one of their branches.

UNIFY Financial Federal Credit Union

You can qualify for UNIFY Financial Federal Credit Union’s Right Start Checking account despite your history in ChexSystems. It’s also a good option if you’ve never had a checking account before and are trying to get approved for your first-ever account.

There’s no minimum balance requirement and the opening deposit required is just $25. Plus, there’s no monthly maintenance fee to worry about. You get to access UNIFY’s online banking services and can sign up for overdraft protection up to $250.

In addition to co-op shared branches, UNIFY Financial Federal Credit Union has a branch located in Aurora, Colorado. The membership requirements for this credit union are extremely lax; you’ll just need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You’ll need a social security or tax identification number, as well as a government-issued photo ID.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo’s Opportunity Checking account gives you a second chance from a national bank. You’ll gain standard banking features like a debit card and online banking, plus banking on the go through their mobile app, which can be accessed on your smartphone or tablet.

The account requires a $25 opening deposit and there’s a $10 monthly service charge. You can avoid that monthly fee, however, if you meet just one of these requirements:
Use your debit card for at least ten transactions each month
Enroll in direct deposits totaling at least $500 monthly
Maintain a daily balance of at least $1,500

For many people, it’s pretty easy to reach one, if not more, of these qualifications in order to get that monthly fee waived. Other features of the Opportunity Checking account include optional overdraft protection, zero liability protection for unauthorized purchases, and 24/7 fraud monitoring.

White Crown Credit Union

You could qualify for a checking account with White Crown Credit Union even if with a history in ChexSystems, as long as any owed amounts are paid and you don’t have any record of fraud.

The Free Checking account comes with 50 free checks and unlimited check writing abilities. Plus, you’ll receive a free MasterCard debit card, giving you plenty of flexibility in how you pay for things from your checking account.

If you sign up for direct deposit, you could also qualify for overdraft protection up to $750. As with most checking accounts today, White Crown Credit Union also offers free services such as online banking and bill pay.

Located in Denver, Colorado, membership to White Crown is open to anyone who lives, works, or worships in the downtown Denver area. There’s also a long list of partnering employers and you can qualify if you work at any of those or if you’re a family member who is already a part of the credit union.