Struggling to open a checking account in Illinois due to a negative ChexSystems listing?
While most banks use ChexSystems to review your banking history, there are some that don’t. Additionally, some banks offer second checking accounts.
Non-ChexSystems & Second Chance Banks in Illinois
We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of Illinois banks and credit unions that allow anyone to open a checking account, regardless of their banking history.
Advantage One uses credit reports instead of ChexSystems when screening new applications. Once approved, an initial one-time deposit of $25 is required.
Membership is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Bureau, Carroll, Henry, Lee, Ogle, Rock Island, or Whiteside County.
Each checking account comes with a free Mastercard debit card, unlimited check writing (plus 50 free checks), and 24/7 access to free online banking.
Instead of using a ChexSystems report, Archer Heights uses a credit report to screen new applications. Once a $25 initial deposit is made, the checking account does not have a minimum balance requirement or service fees.
Members can write an unlimited amount of checks, sign up for direct deposit, and use their savings account for overdraft protection.
Archer Heights is located at 6554 West Archer Avenue in Chicago. Membership is available to anyone who lives or works in the following zip codes:
Membership is also available to anyone who is an employee of one of Archer Heights SEG groups, or who has a family member that is already a member.
Catholic and Community offers a second chance checking account called Rebound Checking. It costs $7.50 a month. However, members can switch to standard checking after 12 months if their account maintains a positive balance during the trial period.
Catholic and Community have three locations: two in Belleville and one in Shiloh. It’s a member of the Co-Op Shared Branch network, which means members can access their account with zero fees at any participating credit unions across the nation.
Central Federal uses Telecheck instead of ChexSystems to screen new applications. They currently offer the following checking accounts:
- Totally Free Checking: $50 minimum deposit
- Basic Checking with Interest: $200 minimum deposit
- Super Checking with Interest: $2,500 minimum deposit
- Preferred Checking with Interest: $5,000 minimum deposit
Totally Free Checking does not have a minimum account balance or service fees. Account holders can write an unlimited number of checks, use Central Federal ATMs, and use their debit card both online and at stores.
Central and Federal have locations in Cicero, Berwyn, and La Grange Park.
Chester National Bank uses Telecheck in lieu of ChexSystems when reviewing new applications. It currently has four locations in the following areas: Chester, Sparta (West Broadway and Northtown Shopping Center) and Perryville.
Chester National has four checking accounts to choose from. Regular Checking requires a minimum of $50 to open the account. The account must maintain a minimum of $500 to avoid any monthly fees.
If the account balance falls below the minimum amount, there’s a monthly fee of $5. The fee can also be waived if the account holder maintains a savings account with at least $1,000 in it.
Members of Corporate America Family Federal can apply for Fresh Start Checking. You’re required to keep $100 in your Regular Share Account and the monthly fee is $10.
You can also sign up to take an online class called Get In Balance. Use it to learn the most effective ways to become a successful account holder.
Anyone can open a checking account with Fifth Third Bank as long as they don’t have a history of fraud or owe Fifth Third any money. Fifth Third offers Essential Checking, Enhanced Checking, Preferred Checking, Student Banking, Military Checking, and Express Banking.
Most accounts have a monthly service fee, but Essential Checking has a variety of ways account holders can avoid the $11 monthly charge. These include:
- Maintaining a monthly account balance of $1,500 or more (can include savings)
- Spending at least $500 a month on the Fifth Third credit card
- Having a mortgage, car loan, or credit card with an outstanding balance
Fifth Third Bank currently has 131 branch locations in Illinois alone.
First American Bank has a second chance checking account called Fresh Start Checking. It requires a minimum deposit of $50 to open the account.
With this account, members get a free Mastercard debit card, free online and mobile banking, free phone banking, and free unlimited check writing.
Members also get access to over 64,000, surcharge-free ATMs through the Allpoint ATM network. There is no minimum balance requirement, but there is a $9.95 monthly fee.
First American Bank has numerous locations throughout Chicago and nearby areas.
First National Bank offers a second chance checking account called Renew Checking. It’s for people who have negative entries on their ChexSystems report, but who want to get back into good standing with the banking system.
It requires a minimum deposit of $25 to open and has a one-time set-up fee of $15.
The checking account comes with a free Visa debit card. Account holders can upgrade to standard checking after keeping their Renew account in good standing for 12 months.
First National has branch locations in the following areas: Roscoe, Clinton, Winnebago, Rockton, and Forest Park.
You can get a checking account at First Savings Bank of Hegewisch as long as there aren’t any reports of fraud on your ChexSystems report and you don’t owe them any money.
They offer a few different checking options to their members: Totally Free Checking, Free Checking Plus Interest, Senior Checking, 1st Checking, and E-Account.
Both checking accounts are completely free, don’t require a minimum account balance, and only require a deposit of $10 to open.
Hegewisch has branch locations in Chicago, Calumet City, Frankfort, Homewood, Lansing, Lynwood, Oak Forest, and Tinley Park.
GenFed Financial offers a second chance checking account called Clean Start Checking.
To be eligible, you can have no more than three records in ChexSystems with an outstanding total of less than $500.
There are no minimum balance requirements, and the monthly fee is $5. If you successfully manage your account for a year, you can bump up to GenFed’s Free Checking or Dividend Checking.
After completing a Checking Account Management course online, applicants with a ChexSystems record are eligible to sign up for Great Lakes’ Fresh Start Checking.
Requiring a minimum initial deposit of $50, this second chance account helps members repair their checking history. It requires a monthly direct deposit of at least $250 and has a $10 monthly service fee.
Great Lakes has branch locations throughout Illinois, specifically in Antioch, Bolingbrook, Country Club Hills, Crystal Lake, Gurnee, Naperville, North Chicago, Round Lake Beach, Waukegan, Woodstock, and Zion.
GN Bank, formerly known as Illinois Service Federal, allows anyone to open an account as long there isn’t a history of fraud reported and they don’t owe any money to GN.
GN has four accounts for members: Retail Checking, Renaissance Checking, Absolutely Free Checking, and Advanced Student Checking.
Absolutely Free Checking requires a $100 minimum initial deposit but doesn’t come with a debit card and must be operated entirely online or via the mobile app.
Retail Checking also requires a $100 minimum deposit and has a $15 monthly fee if the owner doesn’t maintain a $100 balance.
Each account comes with 24/7 online and mobile access (which includes remote deposit), online bill pay, free-statements, and free phone banking.
Additionally, debit cards gain account holders access to over 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs throughout the nation. GN currently has two locations on South King Drive in the city of Chicago.
Marquette Bank has a ReStart Checking account tailored for people who need to repair their ChexSystems history. There’s a $5 monthly fee and a $20 minimum opening deposit to get started.
However, there’s no minimum balance requirement and each account comes with a free debit card and free money orders for the first 12 months.
After 12 months, account holders may be eligible to transfer to standard checking if their account always maintains a positive balance.
Marquette Bank has eleven branch locations throughout the southern Chicago area, which include Orland Park, Oak Forest, Hickory Hills, Lemont, New Lenox, Oak Lawn, and Bridgeview.
Midwest America Federal Credit Union uses Telecheck instead of ChexSystems when screening new applications.
It offers three types of checking accounts: Reward Checking, Benefits Plus Checking, and Freedom Checking.
The Freedom Checking account has no monthly service fee and no minimum balance requirement. It also offers overdraft protection options, and free online and mobile banking.
R.I.A. Federal Credit Union
Instead of running a ChexSystems, Telecheck, or EWS report, R.I.A. instead runs a credit report. As long as the applicant doesn’t have too many negative entries on his or her credit report, R.I.A. may approve the application.
They offer four types of accounts: Smart Checking, Basic Checking, Business Checking, and Perks Checking.
Basic Checking allows account holders to write 40 free checks a month and doesn’t require a minimum balance. It also comes with a free banking card as well as free online and phone banking.
An initial deposit of $25 is required for all applicants.
R.I.A. has locations in Rock Island, Moline, Savanna, Milan, and Silvis.
South Central has five locations in Chicago and doesn’t run a ChexSystems report on applications. Instead, they run a credit report.
As long as the report doesn’t have too many negative entries on it, and the applicant’s score is at least a 620, the application may be approved.
South Central offers three types of accounts: Beyond Free Checking, Beyond Interest Checking, and I-Check Checking. Beyond Free Checking requires an initial deposit of $200, but there are no monthly fees.
Regardless of which account is chosen, each comes with a free debit card, free online banking, free bill pay, free check printing, and a free safe deposit box.
Staley Credit Union offers a second chance checking account called Renew Checking. It’s designed for anyone looking to repair their checking history.
Renew Checking requires a $50 deposit to get started and there is a $7 monthly service fee.
Renew Checking comes with free online and mobile banking, free bill pay, a free debit card, and access to over 5,000 free nationwide ATMs. Overdraft protection options are also available to members.
Transferring to a standard checking account is possible if you maintain a positive balance in the account during the first year.
U.S. Employees uses Telecheck instead of ChexSystems to screen new applications. A checking account, or share account, with U.S. Employees comes with many perks. Some of them include:
- Free bill-pay
- Free online and mobile banking
- Free email alerts
- Free remote deposit
- Unlimited check writing
- Unlimited ATM withdrawals
- 5 free ATM withdrawals from non-USECU ATMs
There is no monthly fee, nor is there an account minimum.
U.S. Employees CU has a location in Hines and two in Chicago. Membership is open to anyone who works or has retired from the U.S. Federal Government, or who has an immediate family member who is already a member.
Vantage has many locations throughout much of Illinois, and instead of using ChexSystems they use Telecheck. Additionally, they also require a credit score of at least 499.
Vantage offers two checking accounts: Vantage Basic Checking and Vantage Save.Think.Live. Checking. Neither requires a minimum deposit nor a minimum account balance.
Additionally, neither has a monthly fee and if the account has insufficient funds, there is a $35 charge. But with the Save.Think.Live. Checking account, holders can request a refund on this fee once every six months.
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.
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