If you’ve had trouble opening a checking account in Rhode Island because of past financial mistakes, you may feel roadblocked by the lack of options. Not having a bank account can be extremely limiting in the way you manage your money. You constantly need to carry cash around, locate expensive ATMs, and pay hefty fees for prepaid cards if you ever want to make an online purchase.
Living in a small state, however, gives you the opportunity to work with quite a few community financial institutions that offer second chance checking accounts and other flexible approval requirements. There are also online checking options available to residents throughout the entire state of Rhode Island. Even if you have a ChexSystems record, you can still get access to the banking system and start improving your financial history day after day.
Here’s the comprehensive list of Rhode Island’s non-ChexSystems and second chance checking accounts. Read through each one to find out which is the most convenient option for your personal situation.
BBVA Compass ClearConnect Free Checking
BBVA Compass is a non-ChexSystems online bank that offers a free checking account that’s available to Rhode Island residents. You don’t have to worry about paying a monthly service charge and you need just $25 as your opening deposit.
The account also offers typical features you’d find with a more traditional checking account, such as online banking and bill pay, plus a mobile app. You can even sign up for BBVA Compass’ Simple Cash Back program which allows you to earn rewards for using your Visa debit card.
There’s also overdraft protection available with this account. There is a $3 paper statement fee, but just sign up for e-statements to get that waived and keep your account completely free. To take advantage of identity theft protection services, you can enroll in the ClearBenefits program for $4 a month.
Chime Bank is another online checking account available in Rhode Island, which also allows you to open a linked savings account. When you go this route, you can set up an automated savings plan that allows you to round up each debit card purchase to the next dollar and have that change transferred to your savings.
It’s also an ideal account if you receive direct deposit because you can get access to your payroll cash up to two days sooner than your co-workers. You can manage your account entirely through your mobile phone and you’ll receive ongoing alerts regarding your purchases and balance so you know exactly where your money stands.
Plus, there are no monthly fees or minimum balance required. If you need cash, you get free access to MoneyPass and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs. You won’t get paper checks, but you can have them sent through the app to anyone in the U.S.
Rhode Island Credit Union
You could get approved for a checking account with Rhode Island Credit Union even if you have a history in ChexSystems. The two key requirements you must meet are that any debts on there are paid and there is no history of fraud. If you get approved, consider starting off with the Basic Checking account.
The monthly fee is $5 but you can get that waived if you keep a daily balance of at least $300. The account also comes with a debit card, unlimited check writing, and free online banking and bill pay.
Membership requirements are broad for Rhode Island Credit Union. You simply must live or work in Rhode Island, or do so within 50 miles of the state’s border. There are several branch locations, including Providence, Cranston, Bristol, Pascoag, and Kingston. Rhode Island Credit Union also participates in shared branching throughout the country.
Rockland Trust also approves account holders in ChexSystems, as long as you meet certain requirements. Your debt in ChexSystems must be paid and you can’t have any records on there that are related to fraud. Once approved, there is a Free Checking account option from Rockland Trust. As the name implies, there’s no monthly fee and you don’t need to maintain a certain minimum balance in your account.
You’ll receive a MasterCard debit card in addition to one free order of checks when you open your account. There’s also online and mobile banking available through Rockland Trust. While primarily located in Massachusetts, Rockland Trust has one Rhode Island branch in Providence.
As a national bank with a physical presence in Rhode Island, Wells Fargo offers the Opportunity Checking account to those who can’t get approved for one of their traditional checking account. It comes with quite a few benefits to take advantage of.
You get access to a debit card, check writing, and online bill pay. You can also receive account alerts to track your finances and stay protected with liability protection against unauthorized purchases from your account.
You’ll need $25 to open an Opportunity Checking account. There’s a $10 monthly fee you have to pay unless you meet one of three requirements that will waive that expense. The first option is to use your debit card for at least 10 purchases each month. You can also sign up for direct deposit, which must amount to least $500 monthly. The last option to get your fee waived is to maintain a daily balance of at least $1,500.