Idaho residents who have had financial mishaps in the past may find it difficult qualifying for a new checking account. This is especially true if you have a history of excessive nonsufficient funds fees, overdrafts, or unpaid fees to banks.
Your former bank may have reported these issues to ChexSystems, which in turn creates a record with all of your relevant information on it. The next time you go to apply for a checking account, the new bank may request your ChexSystems record to find out more about your history. This is where’ it’s common to hit a wall.
However, there are many non-ChexSystems banks available throughout the state of Idaho and online. There are also financial institutions that provide second chance checking account. Even if they do look at your ChexSystems record, they may give you an account if you meet certain conditions.
Ready to find the best checking account for you in Idaho? Here’s the complete list.
BBVA Compass ClearConnect Checking
For an online non-ChexSystems bank, try BBVA Compass and their ClearConnect Checking account. There’s no monthly fee or minimum balance and it takes just a $25 opening deposit to get you started. You get all the perks you’d associate with an online account, including online bill pay and mobile banking. For free ATM access, go to one of the 55,000 machines in the Allpoint or BBVA Compass network.
Along with a free Visa debit card, you can also earn money with the Simple Cash Back rewards program. Enrolling in e-statements can get the $3 monthly paper statement fee waived, making this a truly free checking account.
Capital Educators Credit Union
CapEd Credit Union doesn’t access ChexSystems, EWS, or Telecheck, although they may potentially run a credit report when reviewing your application. There are a few different checking accounts available, each of which comes with a debit card, checks, overdraft protection, and courtesy pay.
Good For Me Checking comes with no monthly fees or required minimum balance. Plus, you can earn 2% cash back on your debit card purchases and receive ATM refunds of up to $25. Other standard perks include online banking and bill pay.
You can become a CapEd Credit Union member by having a connection to the education system in one of the following counties: Ada, Adams, Blaine, Boise, Camas, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Owyhee, Payette, Valley, or Washington. Alternatively, you can join the Idaho CapEd Foundation for a one-time fee of $20.
Chime Bank offers a mobile checking account that you can access and manage completely through their app on your smartphone or tablet. It’s free and comes with no minimum balance requirement. You can also get paid two days earlier when you sign up for direct deposit. For accessing cash, simply visit one of the 38,000 fee-free ATMs in the MoneyPass or Visa Plus Alliance networks.
The mobile app sends you regular updates on your account balance and transactions. You can also sign up for an optional savings account with Chime. It’s easy to automate your savings by rounding up each purchase to the next dollar.
Cottonwood Community Federal Credit Union
Cottonwood Community Federal Credit Union utilizes your Equifax credit report rather than your ChexSystems record. If approved, you can get a share draft checking account, which includes a debit card and direct deposit.
To become a member of Cottonwood Community Federal Credit Union, you must live, work, attend school, or worship in either Idaho County or Lewis County. Branches are located in Cottonwood, Craigmont, and Nezperce.
Horizon Credit Union
Horizon Credit Union relies on a credit report, not ChexSystems for new account approvals. There are three account options: Explore Youth Checking, Replenish, and Bridge. The Replenish Checking account requires a minimum opening balance of $25 but there’s no monthly service charge. All accounts come with Horizon’s Home Banking mobile app, online statements, and mobile check deposit.
Other helpful tools include MX (an online money management resource), Popmoney, and purchase rewards. Membership to Horizon Credit Union is open to anyone who resides, works, or worships within Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Benewah, Shoshone, Latah, Nez Perce, or Lewis County of Idaho.
ICON Credit Union
ICON Credit Union is non-ChexSystems and offers a Free Checking account with no monthly fee or minimum balance to keep track of. A full suite of online banking services include mobile deposit, bill pay, and Popmoney. You can also use any MoneyPass ATM for free and other ATM usage costs just $1 each time.
To become a member with ICON Credit Union, you must live or work in Ada, Adams, Canyon, Kootenai, Shoshone, Valley or Washington Counties in Idaho. Branches are located in Boise, Meridian, and Nampa.
Idaho Central Credit Union
Idaho Central Credit Union will run a credit check instead of your ChexSystems record so you may be able to meet their qualification standards. Choose from one of five checking accounts available: Free Checking, Go Green Checking, Money Market Checking, Starter Checking, and Classic Checking. The Free Checking account has no minimum balance or monthly fee. You can get an instant-issue Visa debit card and could even qualify for a Visa credit card if approved.
Other benefits include online and mobile banking, plus the CardControl app that helps you manage your spending. Idaho Central Credit Union has branches throughout much of the state.
Latah Federal Credit Union
Latah Federal Credit Union offers a Second Chance Checking account to help get you back into affordable checking. The monthly fee is $8 but that is waived completely if you maintain an average daily balance of $100 in your account.
Otherwise, there’s no minimum balance required besides a $25 opening deposit. Along with your debit card comes unlimited transactions. Digital banking is available, but you’ll have to pay $6.45 monthly to take advantage of online bill pay.
If you’re interested in this account and want to become a member of Latah Federal Credit Union, you must live, work, worship, or attend school in Latah, Benewah, Kootenai, Boundary, Bonner, Shoshone, Nez Perce or Lewis County. There are five branches located throughout northern Idaho.
Mountain West Bank
Mountain West Bank uses ChexSystems for online applications, but you may be able to qualify for a checking account if you apply directly in a branch. There are multiple locations across Coeur d’Alene, Hayden, Post Falls, Sandpoint, and Ponderay.
If you get approved, try the Totally Free Checking account. There’s no minimum balance or monthly service fee involved. Also, if you bring in your checks or debit card from another bank account, you’ll receive a $25 credit to your new checking account.
Pioneer Federal Credit Union
Pioneer Federal Credit Union will likely approve you for an account if you have a minimum credit score of 500. If you don’t have any open collections on your report (besides medical or utilities) you could potentially qualify even with a lower credit score. All checking accounts come with a monthly $1.99 fee. With the Preferred Checking account, you don’t have to worry about a minimum account balance.
To find a Pioneer Federal Credit Union in Idaho, visit a branch in Mountain Home, Glenns Ferry, Gooding, Boise, Meridian, Jerome, Nampa, Hailey, Twin Falls, Middleton, or Caldwell.
Pine Tree Credit Union
You’ll have your credit report pulled when applying for a checking account with Pine Tree Credit Union, but not if you just apply for a savings account. The share checking account requires a $100 opening deposit but has no minimum balance requirement after that. There are no monthly fees with the account unless you use an out-of-network ATM or go into a negative balance on your account.
To become a member of Pine Tree Credit Union, you must live, work, or worship, volunteer or attend school in Idaho County. You’ll also need to keep a $25 deposit in your savings account. You’ll find two branches, one in Grangeville and one in Riggins.
The Opportunity Checking account from Wells Fargo is a second chance account available if you’ve been declined for a regular checking account with them. It still comes with plenty of perks, like online and mobile banking, a debit card, checks, and bill pay. The opening deposit is just $25 and the monthly fee is $10.
This fee can be eliminated in one of three ways:
- Use your debit card 10 or more times a month
- Sign up for direct deposits that total $500 or more a month
- Keep at least $1,500 in your account