Vermont may be a small state, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options when trying to qualify for a checking account. Oftentimes, people find it difficult to get approved when they have a history in ChexSystems. If your record includes minor infractions like too many account overdrafts or unpaid fees to old banks, you’ve probably found yourself in this situation.

However, not all banks and credit unions use ChexSystems to evaluate potential account holders. They may use alternative sources, like EWS or Telecheck. Some just require a credit pull. And many only require some form of identification. Finding these non-ChexSystems banks is a great way to get your checking history back on track.

Another common solution is to find a second chance checking account. These accounts are designed specifically to get you back into a bank account even if you’ve had financial mistakes in the past. You might have to pay a small monthly fee, but usually after a year of responsibly managing your account, you can upgrade to a better option.

So what does Vermont have to offer in terms of non-ChexSystems and second chance checking accounts? You have a few choices, so check out the complete list below.

BBVA Compass ClearConnect Checking

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on BBVA Compass' secure website

BBVA Compass is a non-ChexSystems bank and it’s entirely online, making it easy to qualify for a checking account in Vermont. There’s no monthly fee and it takes just $25 for your opening deposit for the ClearConnect Checking account. After that, there’s no minimum balance required. You can also get the $3 monthly fee for paper statements waived when you sign up for e-statements.

Managing your money is convenient with BBVA Compass’ online presence and mobile app. To get cash, simply visit a fee-free ATM in the Allpoint or BBVA Compass network. You can also sign up for a cash back rewards program that’s linked to your debit card transactions.

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Chime Bank

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on Chime's secure website

Chime Bank is another option available to Vermont residents and it’s completely mobile-based. There’s no ChexSystems report pulled when you apply, giving you a second chance at establishing your checking history. You also don’t have to worry about any monthly fee with this account, plus you get a Visa debit card.

Another perk that comes with Chime is daily balance alerts delivered right to your phone. You also get transaction alerts every time a purchase is made with your debit card. When you sign up for direct deposit, you can even receive those funds in your account up to two days early. Also, consider opening a Chime savings account to link to your checking for a full banking experience.

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Northern Lights Credit Union

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on Northern Lights' secure website

Northern Lights Credit Union does use ChexSystems when reviewing checking account applications, but not for savings accounts. If you’re just getting back into banking, this could be a great place to start. The Basic Savings account doesn’t come with a monthly service fee and you only need a $25 deposit to open the account. Plus, once your balance reaches $500, you’ll start earning interest.

To become a member, Vermont residents must live or work in Caledonia or Essex counties. They have a branch located in St. Johnsbury.

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Wells Fargo

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on Wells Fargo's secure website

Wells Fargo offers a second chance checking account called Opportunity Checking. To qualify, you must first be turned down for another account because of your history in ChexSystems. In addition to mobile banking, Opportunity Checking also comes with standard features such as a debit card, checks, and bill pay.

The account does have a $10 monthly service fee, but it’s easy to get it waived. You can do one of three things:

  1. Use your debit card for at least 10 transactions each month
  2. Enroll in direct deposits totaling at least $500
  3. Keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more

If you plan on actively using your Opportunity Checking account, it should be relatively easy to meet one of these requirements to make the account completely free.

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White River Credit Union

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on White River's secure website

White River Credit Union could potentially run a credit report to evaluate applications, but that’s it. They offer student and senior checking, but their regular checking account is the one most people will qualify for. It doesn’t require a minimum balance and it comes with a debit card and check writing abilities. You can eliminate the monthly service fee by signing up for e-statements and can also elect to enroll in overdraft protection.

If your account drops to a negative balance, you will be charged a daily $5 fee, so it’s best to stay on top of your account balance. To join White River Credit Union, you must work or live in Rochester or Bethel, Vermont. They have branches located in Rochester, Bethel, and Randolph.

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