Living in Washington, DC affords you countless unique opportunities, and a robust banking experience is no exception. This is even true if you’ve made financial mistakes in the past and have a record in ChexSystems. While a ChexSystems history may seem like a roadblock in getting a new checking account, it doesn’t have to be.

Non-ChexSystems & Second Chance Banks in Washington, DC

There are credit unions and banks that don’t use ChexSystems in the District of Columbia or offer second chance checking accounts. Either option allows you to qualify for an account you otherwise thought out of your reach. We’ve got the full list below, along with details on who can qualify and how to get started.


Our Top Pick
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on Chime's secure website

With Chime, bad banking history is not an issue. They offer an award-winning financial app, a debit card, and a credit-builder Visa credit card, all with no credit check.

The Chime Spending Account is 100% free and has no monthly fees:

  • no overdraft fees
  • no monthly maintenance fees
  • no foreign transaction fees
  • no minimum balance fees

They’ll even spot you up to $200 on debit card purchases with no overdraft fees.

You can also start building your credit with the Chime Credit Builder Visa Credit Card. It’s a secured credit card with no annual fees, no credit checks, and no interest charges.

Chime has over 60,000 fee-free MoneyPass® and Visa® Plus Alliance ATMs. Plus, you can get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier with direct deposit. You can also deposit cash for free at over 8,500 Walgreens.

You can see why Chime is our #1 choice.

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CommonWealth One Federal Credit Union

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on CommonWealth One's secure website

CommonWealth One Federal offers Second Chance Checking to help you get a fresh start with your finances. In order to get more details and apply for an account, you’ll have to visit a branch in person.

There are branches throughout the Washington, DC metro area in Alexandria and Springfield. If you’re a GAO employee, you can access their on-site private branch.

The easiest way to join is if you live, work, worship, or go to school in Alexandria, Washington DC, Harrisonburg, Warren County, or Clarke County, Virginia.

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Library of Congress Federal Credit Union

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on Library of Congress' secure website

Opening an account with the Library of Congress Federal doesn’t entail any kind of check reporting system or credit check. They offer a Free Checking account, so there’s no monthly charge or minimum account balance. This comes with both a Visa debit card and unlimited check writing, making it an extremely flexible option.

You get free access to a large network of ATMs, plus 10 transactions at non-LCFCU ATMs each month. There’s also a free program you can use to help you learn more about budgeting, called Balance Financial Fitness.

To join, you must work at a participating employer or be a family member of an existing LCFCU member. There are nearly 40 participating employers in the DC region, so there could be a good chance you qualify for membership.

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Navy Federal Credit Union

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on Navy Federal's secure website

If you qualify to become a member at Navy Federal, you can open a free everyday checking account with no monthly service fees or balance requirements. They also offer and a competitive 0.05% APY and dividend rate.

All current and retired armed forces or Department of Defense members, as well as their families, qualify for membership.

Your Navy Federal Debit Card will be accepted at millions of merchant and ATM locations, and you’ll have access to the best modern technological banking tools, such as mobile check depositing.

Navy Federal also offers an online-only e-checking account, which carries no monthly service fee when you set up Direct Deposit. You’ll still have access to your funds at your fingertips, thanks to the credit union’s large network of fee-free ATMs (and up to $10 per month in ATM fee rebates).

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United Bank

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on United's secure website

United Bank doesn’t use ChexSystems or a credit report to approve account applications. There are three checking account options: United Rewards Checking, Platinum Checking, and United Free Checking.

Free Checking comes with a Visa check card, free e-statements, mobile banking with check deposit, and online banking with bill pay. There’s no minimum balance and you also get access to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay with this account.

United Bank has multiple branches in Washington, DC. These include Glover Park, Georgetown, U Street, G Street, and Spring Valley. There are also locations in Maryland and Northern Virginia if you work in DC but live just outside the city and want to access a branch closer to home.

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Wells Fargo

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on Wells Fargo's secure website

Wells Fargo has branches throughout Washington, DC and offers a second chance account called Opportunity Checking. To qualify for this account, you first have to be denied a traditional account because of your ChexSystems history.

Once approved, you’ll need just $25 as initial deposit. Then, there’s no minimum balance required. Opportunity Checking comes with a $10 monthly service fee, but you can get it waived in one of the following ways:

  • Post 10 or more debit card transactions each month
  • Sign up for at least $500 in monthly direct deposits
  • Maintain at least a $1,500 daily balance

You get a debit card and check writing abilities with this account, plus standard features like online and mobile banking. You can even sign up for overdraft protection if you open up an Opportunity Savings account as well.

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