Regardless of your banking history, you can still qualify for a checking account, as long as you’re looking at the right banks and credit unions. In West Virginia, you have multiple options to get back into the banking system. Whether you’ve never had a checking account before, or have one or more records with ChexSystems, you may not get approved for a traditional account.
What banking options do you have?
The first path to take is finding a bank that doesn’t use ChexSystems at all as part of the approval process. They might use different monitoring systems, such as EWS, Telecheck, or a credit report. Alternatively, these non-ChexSystems bank may just require government-issued ID cards in order to confirm your identity.
Another avenue is to get a second chance checking account. You may find some restrictions on the services you’re offered and you’ll likely pay a monthly fee, but this can be an effective way to rebuild your history while accessing bank features.
Keep reading for a complete list of online and West Virginia banks and credit unions offering helpful checking solutions regardless of your history in ChexSystems.
BBVA Compass ClearConnect Checking
No matter where you live in West Virginia, you can apply for an online checking account with BBVA Compass. Since there’s no review of your ChexSystems record, you have a strong chance of getting approved; plus, ClearConnect Checking comes with some strong incentives. First, let’s talk money. There is no monthly fee and you don’t have to worry about maintaining a minimum balance. You just need $25 for your opening deposit.
ClearConnect Checking comes with a free Visa debit card and you can sign up for the Simple Cash Back rewards program to earn money for each transaction you make. You can eliminate the $3 monthly paper statement fee by enrolling in e-statements. Additionally, you can use over 55,000 ATMs for free in the Allpoint and BBVA Compass networks.
Another online option, Chime Bank offers both a checking and savings account. You’ll manage your money directly through the mobile app, which sends you transaction alerts and balance notifications. It’s an easy way to keep track of your spending and avoid hitting a zero balance.
There’s no monthly fee to sign up for this non-ChexSystems account. Another bonus is that if you sign up for direct deposit, you can get your money deposited into your count up to do days sooner than usual. You can link your checking and savings accounts to make it easy to set aside cash for a rainy day, and you also get free ATM access across the nation at any MoneyPass or Visa Plus Alliance machine.
Clear Mountain Bank
Clear Mountain Bank offers StartFresh Banking, a second chance program that offers two steps to rebuilding your financial history. The first is called StartFresh First Step, which provides unlimited debit card transactions but no check writing.
You’ll need $50 to use as your opening deposit, plus you’ll pay a $9.95 monthly fee. If you enroll in direct deposit, that charge rolls back to $6.95. After 12 months of keeping your account in good standing, you can apply for the StartFresh Checking account.
The opening deposit and fees remain the same, but you get to add check writing to your available features. After 18 months with this account in good standing, you can apply for a traditional checking account. Clear Mountain Bank has locations throughout northern West Virginia.
Community Trust Bank
Community Trust Bank uses EWS instead of ChexSystems, so you could potentially qualify for an account here. There are three personal checking options available: Unlimited Checking, CJB 55+ Club Checking, and Community Trust Flexible Checking.
The Flexible Checking account requires a $100 opening deposit, but no monthly balance requirement and no monthly maintenance fee. You’ll receive a debit card and unlimited check writing, plus your first 20 checks free. To find a Community Trust Bank branch, you’ll need to visit Summersville, Alum Creek, Hamlin, the Huntington area, or Fort Gay.
Hancock County Savings Bank
Rather than ChexSystems, Hancock County Savings Bank utilizes the WatchDOG CIP system to approve account holders. Once you’re approved, there are multiple accounts to choose from, including:
- Interest Checking
- Regular Checking
- Hancock Classic Checking (62+)
- Student Checking
- Keep Your Money Checking
To avoid fees, try the Keep Your Money Checking account. It comes with an opening deposit of just $10, plus you get your first debit card and check order for free. There’s no monthly fee as long as you make at least 10 debit card transactions each month and receive a monthly statement. Hancock County Savings Bank has West Virginia locations in Chester, New Cumberland, and Weirton.
West Virginia Federal Credit Union
For a second chance checking account, try Fresh Start Checking from West Virginia Federal Credit Union. The opening deposit is $100 but the monthly fee is relatively low at just $4.99. In addition to a debit card, you also get unlimited check writing with this account. Plus, there’s no monthly balance you need to maintain. After 12 months, you can apply to for the Regular Checking account.
To become a member of West Virginia Federal Credit Union, you must reside, work, worship or attend school in Kanawha, Putnam, Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln. or Boone counties.
United Bank doesn’t utilize ChexSystems or a credit report for new applications. Their most basic checking account to consider is United Free Checking, which has no monthly fee and no minimum balance required. In addition to your United Visa check card, you also get e-statements, mobile check deposit, online banking with bill pay, plus your choice of Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay.
There are plenty of United Bank locations throughout West Virginia. Plus, you can manage your entire account through mobile banking from anywhere.
Woodforest National Bank
The Second Chance Checking account from Woodforest National Bank is a convenient option for West Virginia residents. Most bank branches are located inside a Walmart, making it easy to keep on top of your financial errands. To qualify for this account, you need a $25 opening deposit. The monthly fee is $11.95 but it drops to $9.95 if you sign up for direct deposit each month.
You’ll also have to pay a one-time fee of $9 when you first open your Second Chance Checking account. While there is a $3 monthly paper statement fee, that can be waived by enrolling in e-statements.