Are you trying to open a checking account in Illinois, but can’t get approved? It’s probably because you have a negative listing in ChexSystems. Most banks in Illinois use ChexSystems to review your banking history.
Fortunately, you still have options. There are several banks that don’t use ChexSystems during the application process, and others that offer second chance checking.
Non-ChexSystems & Second Chance Banks in Illinois
Take a look at this comprehensive list of banks and credit unions in Illinois that either don’t use ChexSystems, or offer second chance checking accounts.
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 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 Secured 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.
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.
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.
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. Advantage One is located on 204 North Jackson Street in Morrison County.
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 for applicants who need to rebuild and repair their checking history. Called Rebound Checking, it costs $7.50 a month, but 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. However, it is 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 amount 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.
Corporate America Family offers a second chance checking account called Fresh Start Checking. To open an account, applicants must first become a member. To do this, applicants must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
- Be employed or retired from a CAFFCU sponsor group
- Be a member of The Hope Group
- Have a direct family member who is already a member
- Live within a 25-mile radius of a CAFCU branch
Additionally, Fresh Start account holders must maintain an account balance of $100 and pay a $10 monthly fee. CAFCU has locations in Mount Carmel, Oak Brook, Rosemont, Streamwood, Warrenville, Burbank, Chicago, Crystal Lake, and Elgin.
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 option for applicants who need to repair their checking credit history. 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 not a minimum account 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. Renew Checking is 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.
It comes with a free Visa debit card, and 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.
First Savings Bank of Hegewisch will open an account with anyone as long as there aren’t any reports of fraud on their ChexSystems report or if FSBH isn’t owed any money by the applicant. 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 offers second chance checking called Clean Start Checking. Designed for people with a ChexSystems record, Clean Start has a low monthly fee of $5.
In order to be eligible, applicants must not have more than three entries on their ChexSystems report, owe more than $500, and have any entries that are less than a year old. As long as they meet these criteria, applicants should be approved for an account.
Unlike other accounts, there is no minimum deposit to open a Clear Start account. Additionally, account holders can still access free online and mobile banking, use bill pay, take advantage of remote deposit, and gain access to a free debit card and 64,000 surcharge-free ATMs. GenFed has locations in Mt. Vernon and Centralia County.
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, previously 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 isn’t a 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 uses Telecheck in-lieu of ChexSystems, which is helpful for people turned away from banks because of a bad ChexSystems report. They offer a few different accounts for applicants to choose from Freedom Checking, Reward Checking, and Benefits Plus Checking.
Freedom Checking does not have a monthly fee if the account holder maintains a balance of $500 or more, or has at least five financial transactions a month. MidWest America has two different branch locations to choose from, with locations in Danville and Mattoon.
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 offers second chance checking for applicants that have a negative banking history, called Renew Checking. There’s a $7 monthly fee and an initial deposit of $50 is required of all applicants. It comes with 24/7 online and mobile access, free bill pay, a free debit card, and access to over 5,000 surcharge-free ATMs.
To open an account with Staley, applicants must live or work in accepted participating counties. Staley currently has three locations in Decatur, Illinois.
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.