Everyone has made mistakes in life, but if you have a negative history in ChexSystems, you may have an incredibly difficult time rectifying your past. It can even feel like a vicious cycle because it’s tough to get a checking account to rebuild your history in ChexSystems when you’re denied a new account in Pennsylvania.
That’s where non-ChexSystems and second chance checking accounts come in. Certain banks cater directly to individuals who are trying to rebuild their banking relationships. You may find limits on the account features you can access, or might have to pay a higher fee than usual, but these accounts are a good way to get back on your feet.
Here’s the list of top banks and credit unions in Pennsylvania that offer checking accounts to people who have a ChexSystems history.
BBVA Compass ClearConnect Free Checking
A true non-ChexSystems bank, BBVA Compass doesn’t check your banking history. The opening deposit is just $25 and there’s no monthly service charge. Anyone in Pennsylvania can apply as the bank has a national online presence. You’ll receive a Visa debit card and gain access to the BBVA mobile banking app.
When you need cash, simply visit an Allpoint or BBVA Compass ATM for free. There’s also a cash back rewards program when you make purchases with your debit card.
Corporate America Family Credit Union
You could qualify for Fresh Start Checking from Corporate America Family Credit Union as long as you keep $100 in your Regular Share account. The monthly fee is $10 and you can also sign up for a free online course called Get In Balance, which helps you learn how to better manage your checking account.
There’s a CAFCU location in Towanda, Pennsylvania and you can also take advantage of multiple co-op shared branches throughout the state.
Chime Bank offers an online checking account with some major perks. For starters, when you sign up for direct deposit, you can get access to your money two days earlier than normal. You don’t have to worry about a monthly fee and there’s no required minimum balance.
You also get access to thousands of fee-free ATMs when you use the MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance networks. To start saving, you can sign up for an optional savings account and link it directly to your checking. It’s an easy way to start building your nest egg all while enjoying standard bank accounts with Chime.
Sun Federal Credit Union
Fresh Start Checking is available at Sun Federal Credit Union. The fee is $10 a month. Once you keep your account in good standing for a full 12 months, you can request your account be reviewed and considered for an upgrade to Regular Checking. In order to qualify, you’ll also need to complete CheckRight, which is a self-study online course that helps you learn how to better manage your money.
You won’t find a Sun Federal Credit Union branch in Pennsylvania, but there are plenty of co-op shared branches as well as fee-free ATMs throughout the state.
Utilities Employees Credit Union
Utilities Employees Credit Union has a second chance account called Advantages Green Light Checking. The minimum opening deposit is $25 and the monthly fee is $12. This account comes with a few unique perks, including free credit counseling to help you rebuild your credit score along with your checking history. You also get a cash card to use at ATMs, plus a monthly $8 reimbursement for ATM surcharges.
After you use the account for six months without incurring any non-sufficient funds fees, Utilities Employees Credit Union allows you to upgrade your account to Advantages Checking. Membership to the credit union is open to any employee in the utility or energy industry, as well as their families. They’re located in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, with a wide ATM network across the state.
Wells Fargo is a bank with a national presence that offers Opportunity Checking to help give you another chance to rebuild your checking history. You get access to mobile banking, plus traditional banking features like a debit card, checks, and bill pay.
To open the account, you’ll need to deposit just $25. There’s a $10 monthly service fee but there are three different ways to get it waived:
- Use your debit card for at least 10 purchases each month
- Sign up for direct deposit totalling at least $500 monthly
- Maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500
Wells Fargo has almost 250 branch locations across the state of Pennsylvania, plus nearly twice as many ATMs.
West Branch Valley Federal Credit Union
West Branch Valley Federal Credit Union has a Back on Track Checking account for anyone who has a history in ChexSystems, bad credit, or a bankruptcy. As long as you don’t have a history of fraud, you could qualify. You get a Visa check card and you can access ATMs, pay bills online, and use other typical checking features.
The most common path to membership is by living, working, conducting business in, worshipping, volunteering, or going to school in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. Their branch is located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Woodforest National Bank
With multiple locations throughout Pennsylvania, Woodforest National Bank provides an accessible Second Chance Checking account. There’s a $9 setup fee that you pay once, then you’ll also need $25 for your opening deposit. If you sign up for direct deposit, your monthly fee is $9.95; if not, the fee jumps to $11.95. There’s also a $3 fee for paper statements, but you can get that waived by signing up for eStatements.