The unbanked population in Michigan has seen a big jump in recent years, particularly in lower-income households. But just because you’ve had banking hiccups in the past doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to qualify for a checking account again.

There are several credit unions and banks the don’t use ChexSystems in Michigan to approve new accounts or simply offer second chance checking accounts. Review your choices carefully and see which one matches the right benefits and fees that make sense for you.

BBVA Compass ClearConnect Checking

BBVA Compass offers second chance banking accounts to new members. A low minimum $25 deposit is required to open an account, but once open members get access to the following perks:

  • $0 fees when you withdraw money from a BBVA Compass or Allpoint ATM
  • Free online and mobile banking
  • Free online statements
  • Free bill pay
  • Remote mobile check deposits
  • Free debit card
  • Free transaction alerts with BBVA Wallet
  • Cash back rewards for every debit card purchase

Members can also get overdraft protection on their account, as well as enroll in the ClearBenefits Program for only $4 a month so they can protect their identity and cell phone.

Catholic Federal Credit Union

Catholic Federal Credit Union uses your credit report instead of ChexSystems, which is a good thing if you an average credit report but have had banking trouble in the past. Members with CFCU don’t have to pay any monthly fees and get free online and mobile banking. Free bill payment is also an option, and you can get rewards for every $5 you spend on purchases or bills.

Copoco Community Credit Union

Copoco Community Credit Union uses Telecheck instead of ChexSystems to screen all new members. To avoid all monthly fees, Copoco members must have at least $300 in their account or be signed up for direct deposit. If you do neither, a low $2 monthly fee is imposed on your account. Members get access to free Powerline Audio Teller, as well as free online access and free check images.

Community First Federal Credit Union

To create an account with Community First Credit Union, you’ll need to provide your ID and consent to having your credit report pulled. As long as your credit is in good standing, it won’t matter what ChexSystems has on file for you. Membership with CFFCU has several benefits.

Members are not responsible to pay any monthly fees and can write as many checks as they want. There are also no minimum balances. Dividends are also possible if you maintain a daily balance of $1,000. Dividends are compounded monthly and are credited back into your account at the tail end of each month. They also offer account monitoring to help borrowers keep track of their accounts with real-time updates.

Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union does not use ChexSystems, but rather looks at each member’s credit report prior to membership. They offer two types of checking accounts, Simple and Interest Checking. Simple Checking is best for most members.

It’s completely free if you sign up for e-statements, and comes with both online and mobile 24/7 account access. Interest Checking is great for members who are able to keep a balance greater than $1,000. Another perk is that each member gets a free box of checks once per year.

Central Savings Bank

Central Savings Bank uses credit reports for all applicants instead of ChexSystems. A decent credit history, therefore, is all you need to qualify for an account with CSB. CSB offers two types of accounts for you to choose from. The first is a non-interest bearing account called No Charge Checking Account, and it doesn’t require a minimum balance, nor are there ever any service charges.

The second option is called Personal Now Checking Account and it is an interest-based account. Interest is compounded monthly and there is no service charge if your balance is above $1,000. If it’s below, you’ll be charged $0.10 per debit transaction and $5 a month maintenance charge.

Covantage Credit Union

Instead of referring to ChexSystems, Covantage Credit Union uses your credit report for screening prior to membership. A checking account with Covantage Credit Union doesn’t have a monthly service fee, nor is there a required minimum balance. You get unlimited check writing every month, and free access to over 30,000 ATMs nationwide.

Overdraft protection is available to all members and you can earn a dividend if you maintain a daily balance of $500 or more. Remote deposit and free online and mobile banking are also available to all members.

Wide Credit Union

Community Wide Credit Union uses credit reports to screen all new applicants prior to membership. If your credit is in good standing, an account with Community Wide CU may be an option. It has everything you’ve come to expect with a modern checking account, including:

  • Non-surcharge ATMS
  • Overdraft protection
  • Free online and mobile banking
  • Mobile remote deposit
  • Text alerts
  • Direct deposit
  • ID theft protection
  • Free bill pay

Opening an account can be done entirely online, and only takes a few minutes to complete.

Credit Union One

Credit Union One offers a second chance checking account called Basic Checking. It’s designed to help members build a positive banking history. Basic Checking only requires a $25 deposit to open and members may be eligible to open a standard checking account after only 12 months.

Members can access over 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide, and monthly fees can be waived or reduced with direct deposit and a minimum balance of $500. Automatic bill pay is also available to all members, and you can sign up for email and text alerts if your balance gets too low or if there is unusual account activity.

Eaton Federal Savings Bank

Eaton Federal Savings Bank uses Telecheck instead of ChexSystems to screen all new applicants prior to membership, which is good for those who have been denied membership because of ChexSystems information. Eaton offers a lot of services to members, but its checking service is on par with large banks.

They offer secure online and mobile banking, text message banking, telephone banking, remote direct deposit, and e-statements for those looking to go green. If you need ATM access, Eaton has partnered with MoneyPass, so members are able to access thousands of non-surcharge co-op ATMs across the country.

Family First Credit Union

Family First Credit Union uses your credit report instead of screening you through ChexSystems prior to membership. If you’ve been denied membership to other banks because of past ChexSystems financial history, you may be able to get an account with FFCU if your credit is in good standing. FFCU offers all of the same perks as other banks, some of which include:

  • Free online and mobile banking
  • Free bill pay
  • Free debit card
  • Overdraft protection

Members are also able to wire money, take out personal loans, and open up savings accounts, interest accounts, and Christmas accounts.

Farmers and Merchants State Bank

Farmers and Merchants State Bank offers a second chance checking account to help members rebuild a positive checking account history. No minimum balances and the monthly fee is only $9.95 a month, but if you sign up for direct deposit the fee goes down to $7.95. An account with Farmers and Merchants gets you unlimited check writing, free online and mobile banking, and access to thousands of ATMs nationwide.

There are no minimum balances and once your account is in good standing you may be able to crossover to other Farmers and Merchants checking account options, such as Ultimate Checking, Pure Checking, or Secure Checking. These accounts offer non-co-op ATM reimbursements and don’t charge a monthly fee.

Horizon Bank

Horizon Bank offers a Fresh Start Checking Account that doesn’t require a minimum opening balance. It comes with unlimited check writing and also offers free online and mobile banking. It only costs $5 a month, plus you get a free debit card once you join.

Fresh Start Checking is much the same as any other banking account, and you can use it to pay your bills online and make deposits 24/7. Once you get back on track, Horizon Bank will let you cross over to their standard checking account options, where there isn’t a monthly service fee.

Kent County Credit Union

Kent County Credit Union uses each potential member’s credit report in lieu of ChexSystems to screen him or her prior to membership. Once a member, there are no minimum balances or monthly service charges.

All checking accounts come with free access to both online and mobile banking, and there is never a limit to the number of checks that can be written each month. The free debit card grants access to over 30,000 non-surcharge co-op ATMs nationwide. Free e-statements are also available each month through the online portals.

Marshall Community Credit Union

Marshall Community Credit Union offers Fresh Start Checking to those who may have a strained history with other banks. MCCU is still a traditional bank but offers its Fresh Start Checking as a way for members to rebuild their financial history.

The monthly fee is only $8 a month, but it is possible to lower that amount to $5 if you sign up for e-statements and direct deposit. An account with MCCU does not require a minimum balance and is both online and mobile friendly. A free debit or ATM card is given to all members and they can also utilize its bill pay features free of charge.

Members First Credit Union

Members First CU only requires $25 deposit to open its Fresh Start Checking Account. With the Fresh Start Checking Account, members are able to enjoy all of the perks that come with a standard checking account, which include:

  • Free debit card
  • Online and mobile banking
  • Bill pay
  • Overdraft Protection

When you open an account with MFCU, you get a free set of checks and can also make use of free automatic transfers. Fresh Start Checking allows members to begin repairing their financial history, while still being in a standard banking system.

Metro Shores Credit Union

Metro Shores Credit Union uses Telecheck instead of ChexSystems to screen all new applicants. A checking account with MSCU has a host of benefits, some of which include:

  • Free debit card
  • Free mobile banking
  • Free online banking
  • Free telephone banking
  • Free bill pay
  • Free ID theft protection

Metro Shores Credit Union doesn’t require a high minimum balance to have a free checking account with them. Only $250 is required to have all monthly fees waived, but should your account dip below that amount, the monthly fee is only $8.95.

Michigan First Credit Union

Michigan First Credit Union offers Classic Checking for those in need of a second chance account. It’s a regular bank account geared towards people who want to rebuild a positive relationship with standard banks. Monthly fees are $20 a month, but there is no minimum balance.

Use the mobile app to make deposits, pay all of your bills online, get unlimited checks, gain access to over 30,000 surcharge-fee ATMs, and one free withdrawal a month with a non-co-op ATM. Maintain a positive relationship with MFCU through this account and you can switch to Premier Checking after only six months, which has a $0 monthly fee.

Michigan State University Federal Credit Union

Michigan State University Federal Credit Union offers a Rebuild Checking Account, which is an account designed for members who need to repair their financial history. It costs $10 a month but offers direct deposit and free bill pay services.

Members are also able to gain access to their account 24/7 through its online portals or numerous shared branches nationwide, of which there are 5,000 and counting. Write checks from your account and do everything you need while also building a positive banking history with this second chance checking account.

Motor City Co-op Credit Union

Motor City Co-op Credit Union also uses Telecheck instead of ChexSystems. If your previous bank used ChexSystems, you may be able to open an account with Motor City Co-op CU. Their checking services offer some pretty good benefits compared to other standard banks.

Members are able to enjoy $0 monthly service fees, $0 minimum balance requirements, and $0 per check charges (meaning you can write as many checks as you’d like, free of charge). Motor City is also online, mobile-friendly, and offers free bill pay services.

You also get free access to 24-hour ATMs with any of the following companies: American Express, Cirrus, CO-OP ATM, MasterCard, NYCE, Plus, STAR, and VISA.

Portland Federal Credit Union

Portland Federal Credit Union uses your credit report to screen you before opening your account. This is a great option if you’ve maintained a good credit score, but have had some hiccups with past banks. With PFCU, there’s no minimum deposit to open an account. Automatic bill pay and 24/7 online access are also features of this member-owned credit union.

Riverview Community Federal Credit Union

Riverview Community FCU uses Telecheck as well. If you’ve had trouble getting a checking account because of information you have with ChexSystems, Riverview Community may open an account with you. Once you qualify, you can also gain access to numerous other deposit services, such as:

  • Christmas Club Account
  • Special Savings Account
  • Share Draft Account
  • IRA
  • Money Management Savings Account
  • Student Certificate of Deposit
  • Student Checking Account

Settlers Federal Credit Union

Provide a government-issued ID to apply for a checking account with Settlers Federal Credit Union. If you live, work, go to school, or worship in Ontonagon or Gogebic County, you may qualify for an account. With SFCU, members can transfer money between Settlers FCU accounts, make payments on loans, and use bill pay to pay all of your bills in one place.

South Central Credit Union

With South Central Credit Union a credit report is used to screen new applicants instead of ChexSystems. SCCU does not charge any monthly fees and there isn’t a minimum deposit required to open a new account.

Members get free online banking and bill pay and can access his or her checking account anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Overdraft is protection is also available to qualified applicants.

Straits Area Federal Credit Union

Instead of using ChexSystems, SAFCU requires prospective account holders to provide a form of government-issued ID. This ID is run through their system, and if no red flags pop up they may open an account with you.

A checking account with Straits Area Federal Credit Union does not have any monthly fees, and you can access your money through over 28,000 co-op network ATMs free of charge. All accounts also get free checking, free bill pay, and free transfers from savings to checking.


Provide Tahquamenon Area Credit Union (TACU) with a government-issued ID and you may be awarded an account. TACU provides 24/7 online banking to all of its members. TACU accounts do have a daily spending limit of $2,000 but this is for your protection in case you lose your card. If you need to make a large purchase, simply contact your local branch and let them know.

TBA Credit Union

TBA Credit union uses your credit report instead of ChexSystems to approve you for membership. A checking account with TBA doesn’t require a minimum balance or monthly service fee.

Members get free access to over 30,000 surcharge-free nationwide ATMs and can access their account both online and via mobile devices. Each member gets free $2,000 accidental death insurance and can receive bonuses on share certificates if they sign up for direct deposit.

Team One Credit Union

Team One CU uses your credit report to screen and accept your application. This is a great option if you’ve had some past banking misfortunes but always stayed on top of all of your monthly payments. If your credit score is in good standing, Team One CU may open an account with you. On top of being able to design your debit card, Team One has a few things going for it:

  • Free online and mobile access
  • ID theft protection
  • No minimum balance
  • Dividends on balances over $1,000
  • No per check fees
  • Overdraft protection
  • Courtesy pay coverage
  • Unlimited checks written

United Bay Community Credit Union

United Bay CCU doesn’t use ChexSystems. Instead, they use Telecheck. If you’ve been turned down because of financial history that has been logged and shared by ChexSystems, you stand a good chance of opening account with United Bay CCU.

Each account is insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration and you only need a $5 minimum balance. An account with United Bay opens up additional savings accounts opportunities, such as the Christmas Club account, an IMMA account, and youth accounts.

Unify Financial Credit Union

Unify Financial Credit Union doesn’t use ChexSystems, but you will need to fill out an application to qualify. The plus side is that there are no annual fees, and you get three free ATM withdrawals a month. Certain checking accounts do require a large deposit to open.

For example, the Premier Checking Account requires a $2,000 minimum just to open and activate the account. If you overdraw from your account, there is a $30 fee. Should you move or travel once you open an account with Unify Financial Credit Union, branch locations can also be found in many states throughout the country.

Vibe Credit Union

Vibe Credit Union runs your credit report instead of screening you through ChexSystems. VCU members don’t have to worry about minimum balance requirements, monthly or per check fees. VCU also offers $2,000 in overdraft protection, which means if you overspend on your account, VCU will cover you up to $2,000.

They have a free mobile banking app, which allows you to make deposits any time of day by simply using your smartphone. They also offer a fraud protection app which you notifies you any time there is any account activity on your card.

Wells Fargo

This is a great option for those who prefer a traditional, name brand bank. Wells Fargo‘s Opportunity Checking is a checking account designed for people who have been turned away from other banks because of poor past checking account activity. It provides opportunities for account holders to waive monthly fees and comes with free mobile banking.

West Michigan Credit Union

West Michigan uses your credit report to approve you for a new account. Checking accounts with WMCU don’t require a minimum balance and, upon approval, are eligible for overdraft protection. Register your account and you can also get shopping rewards at select vendors. Other perks involve identity theft protection, credit monitoring, cell phone protection, and 24-hour accidental death or dismemberment insurance.

Western Federal Credit Union

Western Federal Credit Union offers the Right Start checking account. With Right Start, prospective members get a second chance to build a positive checking account history. The only thing that is needed to open an account is a $25 deposit, but from there on no minimum balance is needed.

Benefits of this account include:

  • $0 monthly fees
  • $0 per check fees
  • Free eBanking