It is possible to get a second chance at bank or credit union in Maine, regardless of your history in ChexSystems. Even if you’ve only recently had a record added to your report, which can stay for five years, you can still find a financial institution who is willing to work with you.
Why is it so important to get a checking account?
The two biggest reasons are cost and convenience. Getting cash at out-of-network ATMs or cashing a check at a bank where you don’t have an account can get expensive. On top of that, prepaid debit cards are also costly and all of these scenarios require you to manage your finances at select locations.
Opening a checking account can get you back in the banking system and rebuild your financial history. If you live in Maine, there are several options available. Some are local banks or credit unions, while others are online banks. Either way, take a look at the list to find one or more places that can help you get your finances back on track.
BBVA is an online option offering a free checking account that doesn’t use ChexSystems. Instead they use EWS. You’ll only need $25 to get started.
There are no monthly fees. The only ongoing fee is a $3 charge for paper statements, but you can get rid of it by opting for e-statements.
This account offers both online and mobile banking. Popular perks associated with those services include mobile deposit and bill pay. There’s also a cash back rewards program that allows you to earn every time you make a debit card purchase.
Chime is another online bank, but it operates primarily through a mobile app. It’s very helpful in keeping your finances on track because you get daily balance alerts as well as instant transaction notices, so you always know exactly what’s coming out of your account.
Another bonus is that if you enroll in direct deposit with your checking account, your funds can become available two days sooner than you typically receive them.’ Plus, there’s no monthly fee.
For cash, you get free access to MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs in addition to other cash-back locations. To easily save money, open a savings account and sign up for automatic transfers when you get paid or when you spend (or both).
Eastmill Federal does not use ChexSystems and only requires proper ID to get started with an account. They no minimum balance requirements, nor are there any monthly service fees. If you link your savings account to your checking account, you can opt into overdraft protection.
The field of membership for Eastmill FCU includes anyone who lives, works, worships, or goes to school in Penobscot County and Southern and Central Aroostook County. Relatives of existing members are also allowed to join. All new members are required to make a $25 deposit into their share savings account. There are branch offices in East Millinocket and Patten, Maine.
You can potentially sign up for Second Chance Checking at Five County as long as your past issues are minor. The monthly fee is just $5 and there is no minimum balance. You get a free Visa debit card and check card. The daily limit is $2,500, with $2,000 being allotted to purchases and $500 of it going to cash.
To use bill pay, you must pay a small fee. Additionally, this account isn’t eligible for shared branching. Eligibility for membership is offered to those who live, work, or worship in Maine’s Androscoggin, Cumberland, Lincoln, Kennebec, Knox, Sagadahoc, Somerset or Waldo Counties. Alternatively, you can be an employee of Bath Iron Works or be a relative of an existing member.
Infinity Federal’s second chance checking account is called Bridge Checking. It comes with a number of benefits, including no monthly fees, no minimum deposit, and no balance requirements.
You get your first order of checks for free, in addition to unlimited check writing. There are some limitations, however, including no overdrafts allowed. Your debit card is limited to a $100 daily ATM withdrawal and $1,000 a day through transactions. Check deposits are also held for an extended period of time.
Infinity Federal has locations in the Bangor and Portland areas of Maine. To become a member, you must live, work, worship, or attend school in Cumberland and York Counties, and in the City of Bangor, Maine.
Midcoast Federal offers Compass Checking to those who have fallen off track with their finances. It’s a proactive account that provides support through money management tools, budgeting guides, and e-alerts.
There are no minimum deposits or minimum balance requirements, nor is there a monthly fee. You get a free debit card, plus access to Midcoast Federal’s e-services.
To open a Compass Checking account, you must become a member, provide a government-issued ID, and a social security number or individual tax identification number.
This is open to anyone who lives, works in, worships, or attends school in certain rural communities in Maine. It includes all communities within Sagadahoc, Lincoln, and Knox Counties, plus select communities within Androscoggin and Cumberland Counties.
New Dimension Federal may approve you for a checking account if your ChexSystems records are limited and minor. Their Regular Checking account is free and doesn’t come with any minimum balance requirement or per check fees. You’ll get a Visa debit card for free, plus online and mobile banking access.
How can you become a member of New Dimension Federal? You must have some connection to either Kennebec or Somerset County. To get started, you must open a savings account first and make a $25 deposit there.
You could get approved for a checking account with Saco Valley with just a valid photo ID. Their checking account comes with no minimum balance requirement and no monthly service fee. In addition to a debit card, you also get unlimited check writing. Saco Valley offers mobile and online banking as well.
To become a member of Saco Valley, you must live, work, attend school, or worship in Maine’s Cumberland or York County. You can apply in person at their branches in Saco or Waterboro.
Town & Country Federal is said to check your credit rather than your ChexSystems record. There are a couple of different checking account options, with Better Checking being the most basic. It comes with a lot of perks, including no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirements. You don’t even need any specific deposit amount when opening your account.
Before you can open an account with Town & Country Federal, you have to become a member. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, attends school, or worships in Cumberland or York County, Maine.