If you live in Indiana and are having trouble getting approved for a checking account, you may have one or more negative entries in ChexSystems. What is ChexSystems and how is it hurting your banking potential? It’s basically a database that banks and credit unions check as part of the application process. When you have a history of banking mistakes such as too many bounced checks or overdrafts.
Some banks, however, are still willing to work with you even if you’ve had issues in the past. There are banks and credit unions that don’t use ChexSystems at all and there are also places that have second chance accounts designed specifically for people with ChexSystems records.
There are banks and credit unions that may help you get approved and back in the banking system. The tricky part is actually finding the right place to apply for a checking account.
Non-ChexSystems & Second Chance Banks in Indiana
Here’s our go-to list of banks in Indiana that don’t use ChexSystems or that offer second chance checking.
For a convenient non-ChexSystems bank that’s completely online, Indiana residents can try Free Checking from BBVA. Instead of ChexSystems, BBVA uses EWS.
There is no monthly service charge. You just need a $25 opening deposit to get started. With your free Visa debit card, you can even earn cash back rewards points on your everyday purchases.
They provide online banking as well as a comprehensive mobile app, which includes mobile deposit. There’s also an overdraft program you can enroll in. For cash, you can use over 64,000 ATMs across the country for free as long as they’re in the BBVA or Allpoint networks.
Chime is another online option available across the country offering second chance checking. It has a lot of unique perks to take advantage of, including early access to direct deposit funds up to two days sooner.
Because Chime uses a mobile app, you get continual updates on what you’re spending and how much you have left, so it’s easy to stay on top of your finances.
You can also set up an automatic savings feature that lets you round up purchases to the next dollar and transfer the change to a savings account. It’s also possible to send paper checks through the mobile app.
Onward Checking from 3Rivers Federal is a second chance checking account designed for people who have had previous financial problems. It comes with a free Visa debit card and you can access tens of thousands of nationwide ATMs for free.
The monthly fee is $8 but there’s no minimum balance. Plus, 3Rivers will pay for your first overdraft fee. The account includes free online and mobile banking, plus bill pay.
3Rivers Federal has multiple branches in Indiana, including in Fort Wayne, Decatur, Auburn, Bluffton, Columbia City, and Kendallville.
AAA Federal offers Fresh Start Checking for credit-challenged individuals. You can gain access to banking services such as checking, a debit card, and even loans. After one year of successfully managing your account, you can upgrade to a traditional account.
There are two branches in South Bend and one in Mishawaka. Membership is available for anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school, or volunteers in St. Joseph County, Indiana.
After joining Centra, you can take advantage of their Opportunity accounts. The first step is to open an Opportunity Savings account with a $5 deposit. After that, you can sign up for Opportunity Checking. With direct deposit, the account costs $5 per month. Without direct deposit, you’ll pay $8 monthly.
Benefits of this account include a MasterCard debit card, online banking and bill pay, overdraft protection options, and unlimited check writing. There are limits, however, on your debit card and ability to cash checks.
Centra has locations in Carmel, Clarksville, Columbus, Edinburgh, Greensburg, Indianapolis, Jeffersonville, Madison, New Albany, North Vernon, Scottsburg, Sellersburg, Seymour, and Shelbyville.
CommunityWide Federal requires a credit check rather than a pull of your ChexSystems record, which could improve your chances of getting approved. You need $15 to open your account and if you keep at least $500 in your account, you can earn interest.
You can find 11 CommunityWide branches in South Bend, Mishawaka, Granger, Elkhart, Plymouth, Goshen, and Warsaw. Membership is available to those who are an employee, retiree, or donor to one of several participating organizations in northern Indiana.
Even if you don’t work at one of these organizations, it’s easy to become eligible by making a donation to one of the non-profits, such as Goodwill, Housing Assistance Office, or Hope Rescue Mission.
Fresh Start Checking from Diamond Valley Federal can help you rebuild your financial history. It comes with the same perks as a regular account, including a Visa debit card, online banking, mobile banking, and bill pay.
The account requires an opening fee of $25, plus an ongoing $10 monthly maintenance fee. To open an account with Diamond Valley, you must live, work, worship, or attend school in Vanderburgh County or be related to someone who does. Branches are located in Evansville, Indiana.
Evansville Teachers Federal offers Opportunity Checking to help you get back into the banking system. The monthly fee is $7.50 and you can upgrade to another account after 12 consecutive months of managing your account responsibly.
There’s no minimum balance requirement for Opportunity Checking and you get up to 10 ATM withdrawals for free each month. You can also opt for overdraft protection that’s either connected to a savings account or an overdraft loan. Also, note that you don’t have to be a teacher to become a member.
First Financial Bank offers CLEANslate Checking to help rebuild your financial history. You’ll receive a debit card and get access to First Financial and Allpoint ATMs. The minimum balance at opening is $50 and there’s a $10 monthly service fee. Plus, you get banking perks like online banking and a mobile app that includes mobile deposits and a mobile wallet.
To visit First Financial Bank in person, you can visit one of their many branches throughout the state of Indiana. You’ll even receive a free gift upon opening your first account, giving you additional incentive to make a visit in person.
Instead of ChexSystems, First Trust relies on a credit report pull to approve new applicants. There are two account options, with the more accessible one being their Traditional Checking.
There’s no monthly fee nor is there a minimum balance requirement. You can also get a Visa check card, unlimited check writing, overdraft protection, and courtesy pay.
To be eligible for membership with First Trust, you must live or work in La Porte, Porter, Jasper, Newtown, or Pulaski County. Another method is to work with a community partner or have a relative who’s already a member. Branches are located in Michigan City, La Porte, Valparaiso, and Wheatfield.
Clean Start Checking from GenFed Financial can give you a fresh chance in the banking system. To be eligible, you can have no more than three records in ChexSystems with an outstanding total of less than $500.
Additionally, your outstanding items must be more than a year old. If you’re approved for an account, the monthly fee is just $5 and you get regular checking perks, including unlimited debit signature purchases.
If you keep your nonsufficient fund and overdraft activity to a minimum over the course of the year and pay any outstanding balances in ChexSystems, you can upgrade to a traditional account. There are branch locations across northern Indiana.
You can apply for Second Chance Checking at Heritage Federal. There’s a monthly service charge of $10 but otherwise, you get access to typical financial services. All accounts come with a MyMoneyCard, which can be used anywhere that accepts Visa debit cards. You also get online and mobile banking, plus bill pay.
You can become a member if you live, work, worship, or attend school in Vanderburgh, Warrick, or Posey Counties in Indiana. There are 11 branch locations spread out in Indiana and Kentucky.
Fresh Start Checking is available from Horizon Bank and there’s just a $5 monthly service fee. You don’t need a minimum opening deposit or an ongoing balance either.
Perks include a free debit card, unlimited check writing, online banking, and bill pay. Sign up for e-statements to get the monthly $3 paper statement fee waived.
Horizon Bank has a large footprint in Indiana, with branches located across the state. They’re especially prevalent in northern and central Indiana.
You just need two forms of identification to open an account with Kentland Bank. The most basic account option is Personal Checking, which requires an opening deposit of $100. The monthly charge depends on how much money you have in your account. If you keep under a $250 balance then you’ll pay an $8 monthly fee.
The cost lowers incrementally the higher balance you keep. It can be waived entirely if you’re a senior citizen, keep a high balance, or use less than five checks a month. Kentland Bank branches can be found in Kentland, Lafayette, Lake Village, Rennselaer, and Roselawn.
Members Source is non-ChexSystems so you could qualify for an account with them. You’ll need a $100 deposit to open the account, but then there’s no minimum balance necessary. You can sign up for automatic overdraft transfers, plus get unlimited check writing along with your Visa debit card.
There are broad membership requirements so it’s easy to qualify. Their five branch locations include Merrillville, Griffith, Munster, Hammond, and Dyer. Plus, Members Source lets you access your account nationwide at 5,000 co-op shared branches. You also get access to over 20,000 fee-free ATMs.
MidWest America Federal uses Telecheck rather than ChexSystems to review applications. The three checking accounts are Freedom Checking, Reward Checking, and Benefits Plus Checking.
Freedom Checking is the most basic option with the fewest requirements. There’s no monthly fee or opening balance required in most cases. If your balance is less than $500 for two months in a row, you could be charged a monthly fee. The simplest way to get it waived is to have at least five account transactions each month.
Membership is easy to attain if you work at a business in MidWest America’s field of membership, or if you live or work in Fort Wayne’s Allen County Investment Area. Indiana branches are located throughout the Fort Wayne area.
You may be able to qualify for EZ Access Checking from Old National Bank. It’s a basic account with a $4.95 monthly fee. There’s no minimum balance and you get five free money orders each month. You won’t get access to overdraft protection but you can take advantage of online bill pay, mobile deposit, a digital wallet, and Popmoney.
Old National Bank has branches across the Evansville area. You also get free access to over 64,000 Allpoint ATMs located throughout the U.S.
One Vision Federal has second chance checking called Rising Star Checking. The monthly fee is $15 but you can get that lowered to $10 if you meet the following requirements.
First, you must complete One Vision’s financial education workshop. Additionally, you must maintain a minimum balance of $30. You also need to sign up for monthly direct deposit to get the fee discount.
How can you become a member? You must live, work, worship, or attend school in one of the following counties: Clark, Floyd, or Harrison. Once you complete your application, you must pay a one-time $1 membership fee. Then, you’ll need to open a Prime Share account that has at least $5 in it.
Rather than use ChexSystems, Park Community runs a credit report to determine eligibility for a checking account. There are several checking options to choose from, but the most basic option is called Freedom Checking.
If you sign up for direct deposit of at least $400 a month, you can get the monthly fee waived. There’s also unlimited bill pay and check writing, with no minimum balance required.
Park Community is primarily located in Kentucky, but there are two branches in southern Indiana. You’ll find one in New Albany and the other in Clarksville.
Even if you’ve had a rocky financial past, you can apply for Regional Federal’s First Step Checking. Direct deposit is required in order to qualify and you’ll have to pay an $8 monthly fee.
On the plus side, there’s no minimum balance required and you get a free debit card and unlimited check writing. You’ll also get access to a free educational service so you can get better at managing your finances. Another perk is the potential to apply for a Step Up loan if you ever need a personal loan for some reason.
To join Regional Federal, you must live in Northwest Indiana. Specifically, you should live, work, worship, or attend school in either Lake or Porter County. Branches are located in Hammond and Valparaiso.
Republic Bank’s Checking Builder account is an effective way to rebuild your financial history while gaining access to solid banking services.
When applying, you’ll need to present a government-issued photo ID and supply your social security number. If needed, you must also supply documentation showing you’ve satisfied any outstanding debts listed in ChexSystems.
It takes $50 to open the account, but after that, there’s no minimum balance required. Each month, you’ll pay a $12.95 fee, which can be reduced to $7.95 if you either sign up for direct deposit or make at least 20 debit card transactions each month.
In addition to benefits like online banking and unlimited bill pay, you can also qualify for a savings account. Republic Bank is located in southern Indiana.
Try out Staley’s Renew Checking for a second chance option in Indiana. There’s just a $7 monthly maintenance fee along with a $50 minimum deposit to open the account.
You get both online and mobile banking, plus a debit card and free bill pay. If you open a savings account, you can also sign up for overdraft protection. For account monitoring, you can opt into CardValet, which helps you control your account with your phone, including turning your debit card off and on.
Membership to Staley is open to anyone living or working in one of the following Indiana counties: Tippecanoe, White, Carroll, Clinton, Montgomery, Warren, Fountain, Boone, Howard, Vermillion or Parke. Their Indiana branch is located in Lafayette.
Formerly known as Western Federal, Unify Federal offers members Right Start Checking. This is geared towards either people who need a second chance or even those who are simply opening a checking account for the very first time. Here’s what you can expect.
There are no monthly or per-check fees with this account and you can get overdraft protection for up to $250. You can find a Unify FCU branch location in Princeton, Indiana. In order to become a member, you’ll need a social security or tax ID number, a photo ID, and a bank routing number or debit card to fund your new account.
United Fidelity Bank offers second chance checking called New Day Checking. The minimum opening deposit is a low $25 and after that, you don’t have to maintain a certain balance. The monthly fee is also reasonable at just $8.
After you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without an instance of non-sufficient funds, you can request to have the monthly fee removed completely. You’ll also need to reach 6 months of no non-sufficient funds in order to qualify for a Visa debit card.
However, automatically you’ll be eligible for unlimited check writing and online banking with bill pay. There are also multiple locations throughout Indianapolis and Evansville.
Woodforest National Bank has Second Chance Checking that is a great option to consider. The minimum opening deposit is just $25 and you’ll also have to pay a one-time setup fee of $9.
While the monthly fee starts at $11.95, you can get it reduced to $9.95 by enrolling in direct deposit. Another small fee is a paper statement fee of $3 per month, but that can be waived completely be signing up for e-statements.
For more details on this account, you can speak directly to a retail banker at Woodforest National Bank. In Indiana, branches are located throughout the entire state, making it easy to apply in person.