If getting denied for a checking account in Washington state has become a familiar story, you may not be applying at the right banks or credit unions. While many financial institutions only offer traditional accounts, there are some willing to cater to you even if you have a negative history in ChexSystems. It could be that they check other sources (such as a credit report) when approving accounts, or that they offer second chance checking.
Either way, don’t feel discouraged if you haven’t found a bank in Washington willing to give you a checking account. Read through this comprehensive list to find a bank or credit union near you that fits your needs for a checking account.
BBVA Compass ClearConnect Free Checking
BBVA Compass ClearConnect Free Checking is a non-ChexSystems banking solution for anyone who has been denied checking from a traditional bank. A $25 minimum deposit is all that’s required to open an account, and after that, there isn’t a monthly service fee or a minimum account balance requirement.
Each BBVA Compass ClearConnect account comes with free online and mobile banking, free bill pay, free eStatements, and free ATM withdrawals if you use a BBVA or Allpoint ATM. Currently, these two ATM networks combined account for over 55,000 ATMs across the globe.
American Lake Credit Union
American Lake Credit Union doesn’t use ChexSystems to screen new applications; instead, they use Telecheck. Applicants must first apply for membership before they can open a checking account. To be eligible, you must simply live in the state of Washington and make a minimum deposit of $5 into a shared savings account.
American Lake Credit Union offers a few different checking options for its members: Compass Checking, Regular Checking, Budget Checking, and Money Plus Checking. Compass Checking is free and doesn’t require a minimum balance if you enroll in eStatements. It provides 24/7 access through both online and mobile banking, comes with a free Visa debit card, and overdraft protection options are available. Additionally, you get access to over 30,000 co-op ATMs and over 5,600 co-op branches.
American Lake Credit Union has branch locations in Tacoma and Lakewood.
Chime Bank is an entirely online banking platform. You can access your account through any internet enabled device — meaning PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. You also get a free debit card, which you can use to access over 30,000 ATMs across the world through the Alliance ATM and MoneyPass ATM network.
Chime is completely free, with no monthly service fees, overdraft fees, foreign transaction fees, or overdraft fees. There’s no minimum balance requirement, and there’s not even a minimum opening deposit requirement.
Banking with Chime has a few interesting perks. You can get access to your money two days earlier than your counterparts when you enroll in automatic payment. Secondly, Chime has a few savings programs to help you reach your savings goals sooner. Chime will round each purchase to the next dollar and deposit the change into a savings account.
Great Northwest Federal Credit Union
Great Northwest Federal Credit Union uses Telecheck to screen new applications. However, anyone interested in joining must do so in person and be able to provide a government issued ID with a current address on it. Additionally, you must make a minimum $5 deposit into a savings account.
To be eligible to join, you must live, work or worship in Gray’s Harbor or Pacific County or have a family member who does. Great Northwest has locations in Aberdeen, Long Beach, Raymond, and Ocean Park.
GNFCU offers a few different kinds of checking accounts:
- Regular Share Account
- Money Market Account
- Great Value Checking
- Regular Draft Account
- Platinum Plus CHecking
Great Value Checking is free if the account has a minimum of $100 in it. It comes with free online banking, free bill pay, a free Visa debit card, and earns dividends.
Homestreet Bank does not run a Chexsystems, Telecheck, or EWS report on new applications. In fact, they don’t even run a credit report or check your credit score. Instead, Homestreet Bank just requires that you be able to provide two forms of identification, one of which must be issued by the government. As long as you don’t owe Homestreet Bank any money from an old account, you may be approved for membership.
Homestreet offers three types of checking accounts: Choice Checking, Select Checking, and Premium Checking. Choice Checking doesn’t have a monthly service charge or a minimum balance requirement, but it does require a minimum opening balance of $100. It comes with free online and mobile banking, a free Visa debit card, and access to thousands of surcharge-free ATMs through the MoneyPass ATM network.
Homestreet Bank has numerous locations both in and around Seattle.
MountainCrest Credit Union
MountainCrest Credit Union offers a second chance checking account called Fresh Start Checking. You’ll pay a $10 monthly service fee, as well as a $25 minimum opening deposit requirement. There are no minimum account balance requirements, and account holders get a host of perks with this account. These include:
- Free online banking
- Free bill pay
- Free mobile banking
- Free eStatements
- Free telephone banking
- Free Visa debit card
MountainCrest Credit Union has branches in Arlington and Everett. To become a member, you must deposit a minimum of $5 into a savings account and either work, live, or worship in Washington state.
Mountain West Bank
Mountain West Bank does not use ChexSystems, EWS, Telecheck, nor does it pull a credit report when reviewing applications. Instead, they only require two forms of ID (one of which must be government issued). Mountain West offers four types of checking accounts: Totally Free Checking, Easy Interest, 50+ Interest Checking, and Premier Interest Checking.
Each account comes with a free Visa debit card, free online and mobile banking (which includes free remote deposit), free eStatements and free bill pay. Totally Free Checking, in particular, comes with unlimited check writing and doesn’t require a monthly service fee or a minimum balance. Mountain West Bank has locations in Spokane Valley and Ione.
Salal Credit Union
Salal Credit Union offers a second chance checking account for anyone looking to repair their ChexSystems checking history. Called Pathway Checking, this checking account requires a $25 minimum opening deposit and there’s a $10 monthly service fee. However, it is possible to get the fee waived if certain conditions are met each month. These include:
- 15 debit transaction per month reduces the fee by $5
- At least $250 directly deposited each month reduces the fee by $5
Salal Credit Union has locations in Tukwila, Seattle, and Bellevue.
US Bank may open an account for people with a negative ChexSystems history. However, there must not be any indication of fraud and you can’t owe any money to US Bank. The minimum opening deposit is $25, and you get access to free bill pay, free online and mobile banking, and remote deposit. You also get free access to over 4,700 ATMs and 3,000 branches.
US Bank has multiple locations in Washington state but has a particularly strong presence in the western part of the state.
Wells Fargo offers a second chance checking account called Opportunity Checking. Developed to help people who are looking to repair their checking history, this account requires a minimum opening deposit of $25 and has a $10 monthly service fee.
It is possible to get the $10 fee waived if certain conditions are met. These include maintaining a $1,500 account balance each day of the month, having $500 or more deposited each month, or having 10 more debit card transactions through point of sale systems.
Opportunity checking comes with every modern day checking tool that customers expect. Perks include mobile access, free 24/7 online banking, as well as free bill pay and a free debit card. Wells Fargo has many locations throughout much of Washington.
Wheatland Bank uses Early Warning Systems (EWS) instead of ChexSystems when screening new applications. They offer two types of checking accounts: Gold Checking and Free-Range Checking.
Free-Range doesn’t have any monthly service fees and comes with free online checking, free online bill pay, a free Visa debit card, and up to $10 in non-Wheatland ATM fee reimbursements. Additionally, there aren’t any caps to the number of times you can use your debit card each month, and the first box of checks is free. To open an account only requires a low opening deposit of $100.
Wheatland Bank has branch locations in Chelan, Davenport, Ellensburg, Moses Lake, Odessa, Pasco, Quincy, Ritzville, Spokane, Wenatchee, Wilbur, and Yakima.