With close to 25% of Texas households deemed underbanked, it’s time to reconsider your current banking situation. Perhaps you’ve recently been denied for a checking account because of your past history that’s been recorded in ChexSystems. Alternatively, maybe you just assume that since you’ve had issues with non-sufficient funds or unpaid overdraft fees, you won’t be able to open another checking account anytime soon.
Both of these scenarios are myths. There plenty of banks and credit unions throughout the state of Texas that either doesn’t run a ChexSystems report or are still willing to approve you if you meet other qualifications.
Non-ChexSystems & Second Chance Banks in Texas
No matter where you live or what kind of banking history you have, check out this extensive list of second chance checking accounts and banks that don’t use ChexSystems in Texas. Most of them allow for upgrades to other accounts once you have 6 to 12 months of positive history with your second chance account.
Consider mobile checking from Chime, an all-online financial institution that offers user-friendly, technology-minded banking you can control at the swipe of a finger.
Its mobile app offers both standard online banking features, like remote check deposit, as well as more advanced options like a built-in option to pay friends and family (like Paypal or Venmo), and an automatic, round-up savings program that can help you make your financial dreams a reality.
You can get started today, since there’s no minimum opening deposit, and you won’t have to worry about annoying, ongoing account minimums afterward, either. You get a free Visa® Debit Card and access to direct deposit funds up to two full days earlier than you might at competing firms.
Employees in the airline industry can become a member of American Airlines CU and apply for their second chance account, which is called Ascend Checking. It’s a great way to rebuild your checking history.
The monthly fee is just $12.75 per month, but you can get that reduced to $9.75 if you sign up for direct deposit. It comes with online account management and mobile banking. You won’t, however, be able to use checks with this account. You’ll also need to complete a free credit education course to qualify.
Try the Second Chance Checking account from Bancorp South, which allows you to work towards a standard account after a year. You can get approved if you have a limited history in ChexSystems. If you qualify, you’ll need a $50 minimum to open the account. You’ll then pay $10 per month. You’ll also have to pay for checks and you won’t have access to bill pay.
Benefits include mobile and online banking, plus access to BudgetWi$e, a free budgeting tool. You can also access in-person help at Texas branches in Goldthwaite and Mason.
You could be approved for the Pathway Checking account from Bank OZK if you’ve been denied by other financial institutions in the past. It’s $50 to open an account, but after that, you don’t need to maintain a minimum balance.
The monthly service fee for this one is $10 and you won’t earn interest like some of Bank OZK’s other checking accounts. They offer unlimited check writing for up to 15 payments per month. After that, you’ll pay $0.50 for each payment afterward.
Located in Houston, Dallas, and Corpus Christi, Texas, Chemcel FCU uses Telecheck to approve applicants rather than ChexSystems. There are a couple of different checking options, including Free Kasasa Cash Back Checking and Free Kasasa Tunes Checking.
There’s no monthly maintenance fee for either account. On top of that, you can get up to a $25 refund on ATM fees each month. The minimum opening deposit for both is just $25 but you may be able to qualify for a promotion waiving that amount.
Clean Slate Checking from Chocolate Bayou can help get your checking history back on track. The cost is low for a second chance account, coming in at just $5 per month. Plus, you get unlimited check writing, an unlimited cash back rewards program, and you’ll earn dividends if you keep at least $50 in your account.
They have branch locations in both Alvin and Pearland. To become a member, you just need to bring in a qualifying form of identification and open a savings account with just $5. It’s an easy process to get back to banking with the Clean Slate Checking.
CCU is located throughout the greater Dallas area in Texas. They use Telecheck rather than ChexSystems to open new bank accounts so depending on your history there, you could get approved. Basic Checking is free and requires just a $25 deposit to get started.
Plus, you’ll get a variety of benefits, including online and mobile banking, free cashier’s checks, and free notary services. You can also sign up for overdraft protection.
Members of Corporate America Family Federal can apply for Fresh Start Checking. You’re required to keep $100 in your Regular Share Account. But if you can maintain that balance, you’ll only have to pay $10 a month as a monthly fee for your checking.
You can also sign up to take an online class called Get In Balance. Use it to learn the most effective ways to become a successful account holder.
For $20 a month, Neighborhood CU offers an account intended for applicants who have been denied access to other banks because of their history with ChexSystems. It requires an initial deposit of $25.
After six months of maintaining their account in good standing, and completing a financial educational workshop, applicants are eligible for standard checking at NCU.
To qualify for membership, applicants must either live or work in Texas’s Dallas County, Ellis County, or the City of Arlington. Applicants can also either live, work, worship, or attend school within ten miles of the following branches: Coppell, Grand Prairie, Highland Village, or Richardson.
NETCU uses Telecheck instead of ChexSystems, plus offers a Fresh Start Checking account. New members must make an initial deposit of $100 and pay a $10 a month monthly fee. Members are also required to keep a pledge balance of $50 in the account at all times.
Debit cards can be obtained with a $5 a month fee, but this fee can be waived if you take a financial counseling course. After all requirements are met, members can apply for a standard checking account.
Pantex Federal uses your credit report instead of your data from Telecheck or Chexsystems. To become a member you have to work, live, go to school, or worship in Hutchinson County or the Pampa area of Texas.
You also get free access to over 64,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the world, as well as automatic overdraft protection.
Primeway FCU uses Telecheck during an applicant’s screening process instead of ChexSystems. They offer three checking options for new members: Youth Checking, eChecking, and Premier Checking.
eChecking doesn’t require a minimum balance, but if you’re able to keep high balances, Premier Checking may be for you. Premier Checking gives monthly dividends with no service fees.
Peoples Bank offers an account for applicants who need to repair their financial history. Called Second Chance Checking, it only requires an initial deposit of $30 to open.
All members get unlimited check writing. After 12 months has elapsed, account holders may be eligible to apply for a standard bank account with Peoples Bank.
For applicants who have past ChexSystems records on their account, Premier America CU offers Fresh Start checking. It’s $25 to get started and there is a monthly service fee of $13. This amount can be reduced to $10 if the applicant is able to have $200 or more directly deposited into the account.
All accounts must be opened directly in a branch, which are located in two locations in Houston, Texas. Members get access to online and mobile banking (including remote deposit) and over 30,000 fee-free ATMs.
Prestige Community CU offers an account called Fresh Start Checking. It’s an account for applicants who need to repair their financial checking history.
It has a monthly service fee of $15 without direct deposit, and $10 with it, but does not require a minimum required balance. Members get instant access to a variety of benefits, including:
- Free bill pay
- Free online banking
- Free ATM withdrawals
- Free unlimited Check writing
- Free unlimited debit card use
Applicants who keep their account in good standing for six months are eligible to apply for a standard checking account.
Rio Bank offers second chance checking called Fresh Start Checking. An initial deposit of $100 is required to open a bank account. Additionally, members are required to pay a monthly service of $11.56, as well as a monthly debit card fee of $1.46.
All members get access to over 64,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide. Currently, they have eight branch locations located in Palmview, McAllen, San Juan, Weslaco, Harlingen, and Brownsville, Texas.
In contrast to most banks, River City uses Telecheck in lieu of ChexSystems. It’s primarily based in San Antonio, but there are numerous CO-OP shared branches nationwide.
They also offer Fresh Start Checking if needed. You get all the same benefits and only have to pay a small monthly service charge. This allows you to improve your financial history while also getting to use all of their modern banking technologies.
SELECT Federal offers second chance checking called Fresh Start Checking. A $25 deposit is required, as well as a $10 monthly service fee. To join, you’ll need to either live, be employed, worship, or study in Eastside San Antonio, Texas.
After 12 months has elapsed, you should qualify for a standard bank account with SELECT FCU.
Next Checking is a second chance account from SouthSide Bank. A $50 deposit is required to open an account with Next Checking, and after that, there is a $9.95 monthly fee.
Currently, SouthSide Bank has nine Texas branches located in Palestine, Jacksonville, Flint, Bullard, Tyler, Chandler, and Gun Barrel City.
In contrast to most banks, Shell Federal uses Telechecks in lieu of ChexSystems. It’s primarily based in San Antonio, but there are numerous CO-OP shared branches nationwide.
If needed, Shell also offers Fresh Start Checking. You get all the benefits of banking with Shell, and only have to pay a small monthly service charge.
Smart Financial uses Telecheck while screening new applicants. It’s a great alternative that currently offers three types of checking accounts.
All accounts require different minimum deposits but come with the same modern perks: bill pay, mobile and online access, and remote deposit. The monthly service charge is $10, but this can be waived if you have $500 or more directly deposited into your account each month.
Texas Bay uses Telecheck instead of credit reports and ChexSystems while screening new applicants. Branches revolve mainly around the Houston area, but members get shared branch access with other credit unions across the U.S. with their Texas Bay membership. All members get the following:
- Free sign-gift
- Free mobile banking
- Free remote deposit
- Free online banking
- Free debit card
- Free Apple Pay
The account is entirely free. Members also have access to the Allpoint Surcharge-free ATM network. This network has over 64,000 ATMs across the world.
Texas Gulf Bank uses Telecheck in lieu of Chexsystems while screening new applicants. If you’ve been denied membership to other banks because of information on your ChexSystems account, a Telecheck oriented bank may be your answer. TGB currently has nine branch locations, which start in Houston and proceed south to Freeport.
Though it’s physically focused in the Houston area, TGB is a very tech-oriented bank. Everything can be done online or via mobile, but they also have a sophisticated phone center, too. Texas Gulf Bank gives members everything they could ever expect from a modern bank. If you are in the Houston area, put this bank on your shortlist.
Tarrant County offers Fresh Start Checking for applicants whose credit report has a few negative entries on it. There’s no minimum deposit to open, nor is there a monthly service fee. You get free online banking and bill pay, a free MasterCard debit card, unlimited check writing, and access to thousands of non-surcharge ATMs across the nation.
The only drawback is that you have to be associated with Tarrant County in some way. You must live, work, worship, or attend school in Tarrant County to be eligible. If you are, a completed application with a $5 savings deposit is all that’s needed to join.
UNIFY offers second chance checking for applicants who have been denied membership to banks because of information from ChexSystems. Right Start Checking can be opened with only a $25 initial deposit.
You also won’t be responsible for any monthly fees and can write as many checks as you need. If needed, Right Start Checking also comes with overdraft protection up to $250. Lastly, get free access to eBanking with this one of a kind second chance bank account.
United Texas provides a Do-Over Checking Account. With membership, this second chance checking account is still a part of the ChexSystems network, so if you maintain a good account with them you’ll also strengthen your financial history.
You only need to make an initial deposit of $25. The monthly fee is only $10, but membership gets you a free MasterCard debit card, unlimited checking, and 24/7 online access. Keep your account in good standing, and you’ll be able to upgrade to a no-fee checking account after 12 months.
If you have a proper ID, as well as a healthy Telecheck history, United Heritage CU offers a second chance checking account. With branch locations in Austin, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Kyle, Lakeway, River Place, Round Rock, and Tyler, it’s one of the more accessible banks in Texas.
They’re also a part of 5,000 shared branches nationwide and are in the national Co-Op ATM network, which means you have access to over 35,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the nation.
Union Bank is a ChexSystems bank, but they’re lenient where others are not. If your ChexSystems record is at least a year old, has been paid, and does not indicate fraud, Union Bank may consider you for membership.
You will need $100 to get started.
Unity One offers second chance checking called Clean Start Checking. It only requires a $50 deposit to open, but from then on only costs $10 a month with direct deposit and doesn’t require a minimum balance.
After just 12 months of keeping your account in good standing, you can qualify for a free account with Unity One. In the meantime, Clean Start comes with a wide array of features to keep you happy, including:
- Free Bill Pay
- Free Overdraft Protection (up to 6 a month)
- Access to thousands of surcharge-free ATMs
- Online and mobile friendly
- Free E-Statements
- Free E-alerts
Velocity uses ChexSystems, but offers second chance checking called Access Checking. There is a one time fee of $10 to open up the account, and thereafter a $15 per month. It’s designed to help applicants get back into a traditional bank account, such as Totally Free Checking or Check Plus, which don’t have any monthly fees.
Maintain a good account for 12 months, and Velocity allows applicants to switch over to one of their other checking accounts. Velocity is primarily an Austin-based bank but allows applicants from Travis and other surrounding counties to join.
Wells Fargo has a second chance checking account tailored for people who have either had trouble with banks in the past or whose credit report could be better. Called Opportunity Checking, this account is good for people who don’t have a spotless history with ChexSystems, or who have a few negative entries on their credit report.
Opportunity Checking costs $10 a month if you sign up for eStatements, but you can get this fee waived a number of ways. You can either make 10 debit purchases a month, have at least $750 directly deposited each month, or maintain a daily balance of $2,000 a month.
Woodforest offers members a second chance bank account. If you have had trouble with banks in the past, Woodforest is a good choice.
To begin, you’ll need to make a deposit of $25, and pay a one-time account set-up fee of $9.00. The monthly service fee is $9.95 if you sign up for direct deposit, but if you don’t it’s $11.95.
An account with Woodforest gives you everything you need from a bank including access to both online and mobile banking.