Banks That Don't Use ChexSystems in 2021

[Honest Reviews]

Do you need a bank account but your application keeps getting denied? It’s probably because your credit report is negative. What you can do is find banks that don’t use ChexSystems and luckily for you, I have the best on my list.

In this article, I will:

  • Help you find such banks
  • List some of the best checking accounts for bad credit
  • Provide guidelines about which features you should look for and the overall benefits of having a ChexSystems-free bank account 

 

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Top 13 Banks That Don't Use ChexSystems in 2021

1. Chime

Chime can give you convenient online transactions via its user-friendly platform. It’s virtually free, but it does come with low APY and somewhat difficult cash deposits. Full Review

  • Convenient online transactions
  • Large ATM network
  • Virtually free
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Chime can give you convenient online transactions via its user-friendly platform. It’s virtually free, but it does come with low APY and somewhat difficult cash deposits. Full Review

Features

4/5

Fees

4.9/5

Ease of Signup

4.8/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

4/5

2. BBVA

BBVA can give you low-interest rates and the possibility of an upgrade in 12 months. Robust mobile and online banking are also on offer, but with limited branch locations. Full Review

  • Large ATM network
  • Robust mobile banking and online banking services
  • Upgrade in 12 months
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BBVA can give you low-interest rates and the possibility of an upgrade in 12 months. Robust mobile and online banking are also on offer, but with limited branch locations. Full Review

Features

4.8/5

Fees

4.5/5

Ease of Signup

4.5/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

4.5/5

3. Varo

Varo offers a high savings APY of up to 2.80%, as well as highly functional banking. No minimum deposit is needed, though it has somewhat limited banking features. Full Review

  • High savings APY
  • Excellent customer service
  • Opportunity for expansion
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Varo offers a high savings APY of up to 2.80%, as well as highly functional banking. No minimum deposit is needed, though it has somewhat limited banking features. Full Review

Features

4.5/5

Fees

4.9/5

Ease of Signup

4.5/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

4/5

4. N26

N26 gives frequent travelers rewards, perks, budgeting features, robust in-app security... There are no monthly maintenance fees, but there are some negative reviews of its customer service. Full Review

  • International bank for frequent travelers
  • MasterCard available
  • Budgeting features
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N26 gives frequent travelers rewards, perks, budgeting features, robust in-app security... There are no monthly maintenance fees, but there are some negative reviews of its customer service. Full Review

Features

4.5/5

Fees

4.9/5

Ease of Signup

4.9/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

4.7/5

5. First Convenience Bank

First Convenience Bank is a great option if you’re after banks that don't do credit checks for a checking account. The bank's wide range of lending options is a big bonus. This bank is ideal for those looking for a guaranteed checking account despite having bad credit. With a Power Checking account, you can manage your money without paying a monthly maintenance charge. Full Review

  • Five checking accounts for bad credit
  • Fresh start loans
  • No monthly service charge for clients 55 and over
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First Convenience Bank is a great option if you’re after banks that don't do credit checks for a checking account. The bank's wide range of lending options is a big bonus. This bank is ideal for those looking for a guaranteed checking account despite having bad credit. With a Power Checking account, you can manage your money without paying a monthly maintenance charge. Full Review

Features

★★★★★ 5/5

Fees

★★★★☆ 4/5

Ease of Signup

★★★★★ 5/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

★★★★★ 5/5

6. Renasant Bank

Renasant Bank is great for people who want to do all of their banking through a single source that doesn’t use ChexSystems and has a strong connection to the local communities. Renasant is one of the few banks that don't check credit and can provide comprehensive banking needs all under one roof. Full Review

  • High APY
  • Limitless check writing
  • Student checking accounts
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Renasant Bank is great for people who want to do all of their banking through a single source that doesn’t use ChexSystems and has a strong connection to the local communities. Renasant is one of the few banks that don't check credit and can provide comprehensive banking needs all under one roof. Full Review

Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Fees

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Ease of Signup

★★★★★ 5/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

★★★★★ 5/5

7. TD Ameritrade

With quality trading platforms, $0 commissions on online stock, options, and ETF trades, and a vast variety of mutual funds, TD Ameritrade caters to both active traders and novice investors looking to avoid ChexSystems Full Review

  • No account minimum
  • Increased FDIC insurance coverage
  • Free check writing
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With quality trading platforms, $0 commissions on online stock, options, and ETF trades, and a vast variety of mutual funds, TD Ameritrade caters to both active traders and novice investors looking to avoid ChexSystems Full Review

Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Fees

★★★★★ 5/5

Ease of Signup

★★★★☆ 4/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

★★★★★ 5/5

8. Bank of America

Bank of America’s second chance banking offers to waive certain fees for students. It’s easy to use, has a great budgeting tool, and low fees overall. However, there’s no interest to be earned. Full Review

  • Budgeting tool
  • Great reputation
  • Low fees
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Bank of America’s second chance banking offers to waive certain fees for students. It’s easy to use, has a great budgeting tool, and low fees overall. However, there’s no interest to be earned. Full Review

Features

4.7/5

Fees

4.8/5

Ease of Signup

4.8/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

4.5/5

9. Axos

Axos gives its users full-service banking and provides them with high APY via its Rewards Checking. And while there are fewer fees, one slight issue is the lack of any physical branches. Full Review

  • Full-service banking
  • Fewer fees
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
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Axos gives its users full-service banking and provides them with high APY via its Rewards Checking. And while there are fewer fees, one slight issue is the lack of any physical branches. Full Review

Features

4.5/5

Fees

4.9/5

Ease of Signup

4.5/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

4.5/5

10. GoBank

With GoBank, you can get early access to your paycheck. The platform makes depositing easy, there are no overdraft fees, but no savings account or interest either. Full Review

  • A plethora of no-fee ATMs
  • Mobile check deposit
  • No overdraft fees
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With GoBank, you can get early access to your paycheck. The platform makes depositing easy, there are no overdraft fees, but no savings account or interest either. Full Review

Features

4.7/5

Fees

4.6/5

Ease of Sign Up

4.9/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

4.7/5

11. Wells Fargo

The Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account is best for persons with bad credit who cannot open traditional checking accounts and seek to open second chance bank accounts. Wells Fargo gives you free access to over 13,000 ATMs and 5,000 branches, as well as the ability to withdraw and deposit money online and avoid a monthly charge. Full Review

  • Free online banking and mobile app
  • Free money transfers
  • No credit score check
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The Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account is best for persons with bad credit who cannot open traditional checking accounts and seek to open second chance bank accounts. Wells Fargo gives you free access to over 13,000 ATMs and 5,000 branches, as well as the ability to withdraw and deposit money online and avoid a monthly charge. Full Review

Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Fees

★★★★☆ 4/5

Ease of Signup

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

★★★★★ 5/5

12. Capital One

Capital One 360 provides a top-of-the-line banking experience backed by excellent customer service. Its checking and savings accounts pay competitive interest and have no monthly fees. Capital One offers a variety of overdraft choices, but their overdraft fee is expensive. Full Review

  • No monthly fees
  • Good interest rates
  • No minimum balance requirement
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Capital One 360 provides a top-of-the-line banking experience backed by excellent customer service. Its checking and savings accounts pay competitive interest and have no monthly fees. Capital One offers a variety of overdraft choices, but their overdraft fee is expensive. Full Review

Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Fees

★★★★★ 5/5

Ease of Signup

★★★★★ 5/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

★★★★★ 5/5

13. Woodforest National Bank

Consider banking with Woodforest National Bank if you want a bank without ChexSystem that is consistent across all of your accounts and offers a wide range of advantages. This bank offers a second chance account for all customers who’ve ended up with bad credit and want to avoid going through the ChexSystems evaluation. Full Review

  • Low minimum deposit
  • Unlimited check writing
  • FDIC insurance
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Consider banking with Woodforest National Bank if you want a bank without ChexSystem that is consistent across all of your accounts and offers a wide range of advantages. This bank offers a second chance account for all customers who’ve ended up with bad credit and want to avoid going through the ChexSystems evaluation. Full Review

Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Fees

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Ease of Signup

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Ease of Funding/Deposit

★★★★★ 5/5

 

 

Detailed Reviews

Chime
Chime

Best For Those In Need Of Instant Banking Access

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  • User-friendly
  • Convenient online transactions
  • Virtually free
  • Large ATM network
  • Low APY
  • Difficult cash deposits

Overview

Chime is one of the banks that don’t use ChexSystems and offers online banking for individuals with poor or bad credit. It’s best for you if you need instant access to banking but have a negative ChexSystems report.

It’s an internet-only bank that’s perfect if you love the convenience of online and mobile banking. Chime’s banking accounts are great for bad credit because you can build creditworthiness despite negative ChexSystems reports.

Accounts

Chime bank offers the possibility to open more than one type of online bank account for bad credit i.e. you can open a spending, savings, or credit builder account alongside great features.

  • Spending Account comes with a Visa debit card and doesn’t have monthly account fees or minimum balance requirements. The best thing about it is its Round Up feature which rounds up the fee to the nearest dollar and transfers the sum to your Chime savings account. 
  • Savings Account comes with an Automatic Savings feature, no minimum balance requirement, and no maximum interests earned. 

Credit Builder is available through their secured credit card which comes without annual fees, interest, or minimum deposit requirement. However, to be eligible for this online checking account for bad credit you will need to have a Chime spending account with a minimum of $200 qualified deposit within 1 year of your application.

Features

Here are some of the standout features Chime offers:

  • Free debit card replacement
  • FDIC insurance of up to $250,000, to keep your money safe
  • Mobile Payments available through Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Free-fee overdraft with SpotMe
  • Safer Credit Building to automatically pay your bills on time
  • Credit bureaus reporting 

Ease of Use

To open an account with the Chime noChexSystems bank, visit their page, and supply your basic information. You can deposit money into your account via direct deposit or mobile deposits. It doesn’t allow wire transfers, however. For direct deposits, you must go to a Green Dot location, where you might incur some fees.

Fees

Unlike many other ChexSystem-free banks, the fees at Chime are virtually non-existent. There’s no minimum initial deposit, and the checking accounts don’t charge any monthly maintenance fees or foreign transaction fees. There aren’t any ATM fees for in-network use, although fees may apply for out-of-network ATM withdrawals. The APY, which lets you grow your account over time, is 0.50%.

Customer Satisfaction

Although Chime has a modest rating of 2.6 stars on ConsumerAffairs it does offer a lot more to its clients. Satisfied customers praise the online cash checking feature and the option to block your card online if you’ve misplaced it. All this without any fee. The negative comments mention issues with security.

Competition Overview

Chime wins over the competition with the number of features at no charge that come with the checking accounts for poor credit

It falls short with its APY which is somewhat lower than what some of the competitors offer.

BBVA
BBVA

Best Robust Services

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  • Large ATM network
  • Robust mobile banking and online banking services
  • Upgrade in 12 months
  • Good option for bad credit
  • Limited branch locations
  • Low interest rates

Overview

BBVA (previously Compass Bank) offers a full-service banking experience and has a solid digital presence. It’s best for you if you want to open a checking account without ChexSystems but still want to get robust services.

Accounts

There are multiple options for online checking accounts with no ChexSystems. If you get denied for its standard checking account, you can apply for an Easy Checking account. It gives you a debit card and direct deposit functions, as well as online and mobile banking features.

Features

BBVA offers the following features:

  • Online payments and transfers
  • Online statements
  • Account alerts
  • Direct deposit function
  • Mobile app 

Ease of Use

You can sign up either in person at a local branch or via telephone. You must verify your identity by submitting a copy of your driver’s license, passport, or state-issued ID with a photo.

Fees 

BBVA doesn’t charge any in-network ATM fees nor does it require a minimum balance. The initial deposit is only $25 and there is no maintenance charge. In spite of this, it is one of the best banks that don’t check credit or use ChexSystems, although it does use Early Warning Services (EWS).

Customer Satisfaction

BBVA has a bit better rating than Chime on ConsumerAffairs with 3.7 stars with satisfied clients praising the quick resolution of frauds and the overdraft extension. The low stars were mostly due to customer support who wasn’t reachable or wasn’t knowledgeable. 

Competition Overview

As an online bank with no ChexSystems, customers find BBVA online services very practical and easy to use.

BBVA customer support is reported as hard to reach.

Varo
Varo

Best Highly Functional Banking

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  • No initial deposit
  • High savings APY
  • Opportunity for expansion
  • Customer support could be better
  • High-yield APY only available to Gold Members

Overview

Varo is one of the best ChexSystems-free banks that offer little to no fees and convenient transactions. If you’ve been denied by ChexSystems banks and you need highly functional banking, then Varo is for you.

Accounts

Varo offers its clients second chance checking accounts as a standard online checking account and an online savings account with an option to automatically transfer money from the standard account to the savings account and an option to save change from round-up purchases.

Varo Believe is a credit-building account that enables clients to build their credit at their own pace.  

Features

With Varo features, you can:

  • Deposit money via mobile or direct deposit via Green Dot Reload 
  • Withdrawals can be made by making debit card purchases
  • Transfer money to another Varo user or another external account
  • Free paper check mailing
  • Save Your Pay for automatic savings
  • Save Your Change for saving the change from round-up bills
  • Varo Advance to stretch your paycheck
  • Get your good spending habits reported to the three major credit bureaus
  • Free credit score monitoring

Ease of Use

Just like most of the banks that offer second chance accounts,  there’s no minimum deposit amount required to open an account with Varo Bank. You can sign up via your phone and submit your Social Security number. You can open an account even if you’ve been denied a checking account due to your bad credit history. 

A little glitch in the ease of use is that you can only deposit cash via third parties that may charge their own fees but if you have the option of direct deposits, this won’t be a problem. 

Fees

As a no-ChexSystems online bank, Varo doesn’t charge any monthly, overdraft, or foreign transaction fees.

It also charges no fees when you use any of its 55,000 Allpoint ATMs, though you must pay $2.50 for out-of-network ATM transactions. They offer no APY for regular bank accounts, but you can get up to 3% APY with their savings accounts.

Customer Satisfaction

Varo Bank has a very nice rating of 4.4 stars on Trustpilot. Customer reviews state that banking with Varo is easy and free of charge. 

On the negative side, they say that their customer service could be improved. 

Competition Overview

Using Varo Bank’s online checking account with no ChexSystems comes with a lot of benefits among which its easy banking service and great mobile app stand out the most.

With so many great things to offer, Varo Bank’s customer service could be improved to reach its standards. 

N26
N26

Best Flexible Banking Options

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  • International bank for frequent travelers
  • Mastercard available
  • Offers rewards and perks
  • Budgeting features
  • Negative customer service reputation
  • Signup issues

Overview

N26 is an app-based bank headquartered in Europe that services international clients. It’s among the best ChexSystem-free banks if your credit rating is poor but you travel quite often and need flexible banking options.

Accounts

N26 offers only one account that comes with an abundance of great features. You can create additional sub-accounts where you can put money aside as savings. 

Features

As one of the banks that don’t use ChexSystems, it’s a great option if you’ve got bad credit. You can:

  • Deposit and transfer money to an external account at any time 
  • Make withdrawals at any of the 55,000 Allpoint ATMs worldwide
  • Have robust in-app security, where you can reset your PIN, lock or unlock your card, and enable or disable foreign payments
  • Get cashback and discounts with certain retailers and services 
  • Get direct deposits up to 2 days early
  • Round-ups to the nearest dollar 

Ease of Use

Signing up takes less than 8 minutes, and you can do it through your phone or computer. Simply provide the personal information they need, and you’re good to go. You can also request a Mastercard from N26, and it arrives within 2 to 3 days of signing up, which places it among the top banks that offer instant online checking accounts for people with bad credit.

Fees

N26 bank account comes with no ChexSystems, no minimum daily or monthly account balance, and no monthly maintenance fees. It is a Europe-based online bank, but there are no foreign transaction fees when you travel overseas. The best thing is that aside from the free in-network ATM withdrawals, you get 2 free out-of-network ATM withdrawals per month. 

Customer Satisfaction

N26 has a great reputation on review platforms, although it has a rating of 3.9 stars on Trustpilot. Customers from all over the world appreciate its no-fee accounts and the fast signup process although some customers did report being unable to verify themselves. 

Competition Overview

N26 wins over the competition thanks to its easy banking and the free online checking accounts without ChexSystems

Yet, the issues in the signup process need to be resolved before the service is perfect.

First Convenience Bank
First Convenience Bank

Best Multiple Banking Options

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  • Five checking accounts for bad credit history
  • Fresh start loans for customers with overdraft accounts
  • No monthly service charge for clients 55 and over
  • Limited to Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico
  • Maintenance fee is a bit high for other clients

Overview 

First Convenience Bank is a subsidiary of First National Bank Texas. This financial institution dates back to 1901 and has provided clients with a wide range of banking services, including checking accounts and mortgage loans, for more than a century. The bank doesn’t use ChexSystems to assess who is eligible to create an account.

Accounts 

First Convenience Bank does not use ChexSystems for their checking accounts for bad credit, which include: Power Checking, Checking with Interest, President Select High Yield Checking, eAccount, and Power Stash

Features

Here are some of the features offered by First Convenience Bank:

  • Balances and activity check
  • Examine the history and details of your statement, including ATM and debit card transactions
  • Status of deposits and withdrawals check
  • Access to loan balance information and the ability to make payments on a loan
  • Stop payment on checks
  • ACH Origination Secure Internet Online Banking

Ease of Use 

For these checking accounts for bad credit history, the bank offers an advanced online and mobile banking platform. Once you’ve created a bank account by submitting proof of identity documents and the minimum deposit, you can sign up for their online banking, which is very straightforward. If you’re having trouble, the bank’s website has great tutorials on how to set up your account. 

Fees

To start an account online, you must deposit $20, however, there is no minimum deposit if you open an account in person at a branch location. This no-ChexSystems bank account type has a $12 monthly service charge, which is canceled for account-holders over 55. If you maintain a minimum daily balance of $100, use your debit card at least eight times each month, or set up at least $100 in monthly direct transfers, the bank will forgo the maintenance charge. There’s a $34 overdraft fee. 

Customer Satisfaction

The bank has a BBB rating of A+, and customers are happy with the bank’s account selection, but a few mention their dissatisfaction with the customer service. 

Competition Overview

First Convenience Bank is an excellent no ChexSystems alternative if you’re looking for multiple banking options.

However, First Convenience Bank is located only in three states: Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, making it a very limited choice for a no ChexSystems bank.

Renasant Bank
Renasant Bank

Best Limitless Check Writing Privileges

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  • Checking account with a high interest rate (certain criteria apply)
  • High-yield special CDs
  • Limitless check writing
  • High overdraft fee
  • Savings and money market accounts have low interest rates

Overview 

Renasant Bank does not employ ChexSystems, EWS, or Telecheck, so it’s worth investigating if you’re concerned that a bad banking past may prevent you from obtaining a checking account.

Accounts

Renasant Bank provides banking accounts for bad credit, as well as credit cards, wealth management, and online banking. It also offers HELOCs and conforming, FHA, Jumbo, VA, and USDA mortgages. Some of their no ChexSystems checking accounts include: 

  • Rewards Checking has an impressive APY of 1.51% and launches this option among the top interest-earning checking accounts. However, in order to apply, you have to make at least 10 debit card transactions, make a minimum of one direct deposit or ACH transfer per qualification cycle, and opt for receiving statements electronically. 
  • Student Checking is intended for students aged 15 to 25 years old. It has a minimal $8 monthly maintenance fee that you can avoid if you make at least 10 debit card transactions per qualification cycle (excluding ATM transactions) and receive monthly statements electronically.
  • Renasant Checking is a guaranteed checking account with a minimum deposit of $50. You get online, mobile, and physical access to the bank and are subject to monthly fees if you don’t opt for monthly eStatements and maintain a minimum daily account balance of $500.

Features 

Renasant Bank offers these features for their checking accounts:

  • Mastercard debit card linked to the account
  • Limitless check writing privileges
  • Rewards Checking account-holders get free mobile banking, online banking, and online Bill Pay
  • Option to avoid monthly checking account fees

Ease of Use 

Mobile banking and free online Bill Pay are both available with these online checking accounts with no ChexSystems. To apply, you can fill out an application online which will take no longer than 10 minutes. All you need is your driver’s license and the routing number and account number available from a transactional account by another bank. This is mandatory for new Renasant Bank applicants. 

Fees

To open an account at Renasant Bank, you must deposit at least $50. Unless you sign up for eStatements or maintain a daily balance of at least $500, there is a $10 monthly service charge. Renasant Bank also charges a $36 overdraft fee. With their Bill Pay option, the first six online bill payments are free of charge, and each additional payment is $0.50.

Customer Satisfaction

Renasant Bank is not BBB accredited, however, it does score high on WalletHub, with an average score of 4.8/5 based on over 400 online reviews stating their satisfaction with the bank’s services. 

Competition Overview

With Renasant Bank’s online bank account for bad credit, when you match specific criteria, you can open a checking account with a high APY.

However, Renasant Bank’s physical ATMs and banks are only located in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia.

TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade

Best For Banking And Trading on One Platform

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  • Free tools and research
  • For beginners and advanced traders alike
  • No account minimum
  • Increased FDIC insurance coverage
  • Very low interest rate
  • Soft credit check

Overview 

With a $0 minimum, free tools and research, and various trading platforms tailored at both beginners and advanced traders, TD Ameritrade is hard to match. And yes, you can open a TD Ameritrade account online with no minimum deposit and bad credit.

Accounts

Although creating an account is subject to a soft credit check, TD Ameritrade will allow you to open a checking account without ChexSystems. You must first open a brokerage account before applying for a Cash Management checking account

A Cash Management checking account offers a debit card and free ATM withdrawals, free check writing, and free online bill pay. That way you have the freedom to access, spend, and manage your money the way you want to without worrying about ChexSystems or potential bad credit.

Features 

TD Ameritrade offers these features:

  • No minimum deposit
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Free ATM withdrawals
  • Unlimited check writing 
  • Debit card issued by TD Bank

Ease of Use 

This online checking account for bad credit has mobile banking available and online application. All you’ll need to sign up is your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), and, if applicable, your employer’s name and address. You can download the TD Ameritrade mobile app to your phone or tablet and manage your account from wherever you go. You can check your balance, make a transfer, or make a payment with ease, and even deposit checks into your account. 

Fees

You won’t have to worry about monthly fees with a TD Ameritrade Cash Management account. This institution does not charge maintenance fees, regardless of your average daily or monthly balance or amount of direct deposits.

Customer Satisfaction

TD Ameritrade has an average score of 3.9/5 on ConsumerAffairs with clients saying that their customer service is very helpful and offers constant assistance. That said, some have had an unpleasant experience when opening their accounts. 

Competition Overview

When compared to the fee schedules of most other banks’ checking accounts for poor credit, a TD Ameritrade account shines since it has fewer and lower fees.

GoBank
GoBank

Those Who Need Early Paychecks

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  • Free online and mobile bill pay
  • Free mobile and direct deposit
  • Offers both Visa and Mastercard cards
  • Loading cash on the card at retailers costs up to $5.95
  • There is a $3 ATM fee

Overview 

Green Dot Bank recently launched a no-ChexSystems online bank checking account that can only be found on store shelves, which is built for today’s “on-the-go” customer and includes a range of modern features as well as a linked Mastercard or Visa debit card

Accounts

GoBank, a full-featured checking account, is breaking down traditional banking barriers and bringing the benefits of an FDIC-insured checking account to the masses. With eligible direct deposits, GoBank does not charge overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, or monthly fees.

The basis for evaluating client eligibility is not a ChexSystems score or a credit bureau rating. GoBank employs proprietary underwriting algorithms to allow practically any customer who passes ID verification to open an account, which means it’s a bank without ChexSystems.

Features 

Green Dot’s GoBank offers these features:

  • Quick account set-up
  • Early Paycheck Availability
  • Pay-anyone bill pay
  • Instant person-to-person payments
  • Transparent fee structure
  • Advice on spending from “Fortune Teller” feature

Ease of Use 

After purchasing a $2.95 beginning kit, you can set up your instant online checking account for people with bad credit. Customers can use their starting debit Mastercard to make purchases right away after they’ve been set up until their personalized card arrives in the mail.

Fees

GoBank’s pricing makes it one of the most cost-effective checking accounts available. There are no minimum balance limitations, overdraft fees, or even non-sufficient funds fines on bad checks. The monthly membership fee of $8.95 is waived with a qualifying direct deposit of merely $500 per month.

Customer Satisfaction

Green Dot has an average score of 3.8/5 on ConsumerAffairs. Clients are very satisfied with the service as there are many people who want to know what banks don’t use ChexSystems in order to open up a checking account. However, some clients have expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that they don’t offer after-hours customer service. 

Competition Overview

In comparison to most other banks’ basic checking accounts, GoBank’s checking account offers an out-of-the-box approach with transparent fees and a quick account setup

On the downside, the Green Dot card has no free ATM access.

Bank of America
Bank of America

Best For Credit Score Building

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  • Easy access
  • Budgeting tool
  • Great reputation
  • No interest earned
  • No paper checks
  • No overdraft offers

Overview

Bank of America is one of the best choices in the banking world for people with great credit scores. However, it also offers a second chance checking account called Advantage Safe Balance Account for applicants who have been denied by ChexSystems.

Accounts

Since Bank of America uses ChexSystems they offer only one account under the name Advantage Safe Balance Account for people with bad credit which comes with great features. 

Features

The Advantage Safe Balance Account comes with the following features:

  • Easy access through their website
  • Virtual assistant
  • 24/7 security and fraud monitoring
  • Zelle for convenient online banking
  • Custom alerts
  • Mobile app

Ease of Use

To enjoy Bank of America’s second chance checking account for bad credit, go to its website and sign up for a Safe Balance Account. Provide your personal information, including your employment details and Social Security number. Then, submit your application.

Fees

This account charges only a $4.95 maintenance fee, and the minimum deposit is $25. You get a debit card and enjoy mobile transfers and online bill payment options. There are over 16,000 ATMs nationwide that don’t charge any transfer fee.

If you’re a student, or if you are enrolled in the Preferred Rewards, the maintenance fee can be waived. And though it requires an initial deposit, there are no monthly balance requirements.

Customer Satisfaction

Bank of America has a positive 3.4 rating on ConsumerAffairs and a low rating of 1.3 stars on Trustpilot. To summarize both, they have loyal customers who have used them for years and say that Bank of America is very reliable with great customer service. The only complaints were about the high fees. 

Competition Overview

Bank of America has a well-established presence among banks that offer second chance accounts and enjoys a reputation as a reliable company with great perks for its clients.

However, the great benefits come with high fees that make it less affordable for some people.

Axos
Axos

Best Full-Service Banking

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  • Full-service banking
  • High APY
  • Fewer fees
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
  • No physical branches
  • Lower certificate of deposit rates

Overview

Axos is another online-only bank that charges low fees and offers a variety of checking accounts placing it among the top banks for people with bad credit

Axos is a publicly-traded company formed in 2000 with over 1,000 employees. It’s among the longest-lived online banks that offer full-service banking for individuals and businesses.

Accounts

Axos offers a great variety of personal accounts under checking and savings accounts.  

  • Checking accounts have 3 plans: Essential Checking, Rewards Checking, and Cashback checking that come with no maintenance fee and unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements for all. They differ only in the APY, the overdraft fees, and the minimum required balance. Axos also offers a First Checking account for teens and Golden Checking accounts for people over 55. 
  • Savings accounts plans include High Yield Savings, Certificates of Deposit (CD), IRA/Roth Savings, and High Yield Money Market that come with great features such as FDIC-insurance, high APY, check-writing, etc. 

Features

Axos Bank accounts come with excellent features, the best of which are:

  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursement
  • FDIC insurance
  • Digital security
  • Biometric authentication
  • Account alerts
  • Virtual financial assistant
  • Online debit card management
  • Mobile app
  • 24/7 customer support

Ease of Use

You can open an account with Axos Bank through its website. Simply provide personal information such as your mailing address and Social Security number. You must also provide a valid driver’s license or state ID.

Fees

If you are looking for an almost free online checking account for bad credit, Axos does away with many fees. For most of the accounts, there’s no monthly service charge, overdraft fees, or insufficient fund fees, making it an ideal online bank if you want to avoid hefty fees. You can also get certificates of deposit, loans, and investment options. 

It’s a great non-traditional banking option if you have poor or bad credit. With its Rewards Checking, you can gain rewards totaling 1.25% APY. There’s also unlimited ATM fee reimbursement. 

When you use their checking account for bad credit, you can get the highest APY by having monthly direct deposits of $1,000 and using your debit card for at least 10 transactions

Customer satisfaction

Axos Bank has very few customer reviews on online reviews platforms. That’s why the rating of 1.9 stars from only 16 reviews on Trustpilot should be taken with a grain of salt. The unsatisfied customers report accounts being restricted and unhelpful customer service. The satisfied customers, on the other hand, praise the great variety of accounts to pick from and the features that come with them. 

Competition Overview

Axos Bank has more checking accounts to pick from than most other banks. However, Axos doesn’t openly specify whether it offers an online checking account with no ChexSystems but as can be inferred from the online reviews even if it does use ChexSystems, it doesn’t affect the customer’s eligibility greatly.

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo

Best For Ease of Application

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  • Free online banking
  • Free money transfers
  • No credit score check
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • Limited branches
  • No transaction processing during weekends

Overview 

The Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account is for people who don’t meet the requirements for standard checking accounts due to having bad credit. Among banks that offer second chance banking with no ChexSystems, this one includes basic account functionality and options for avoiding the monthly price.

Accounts

The Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account is meant for persons with little or no credit history or previous banking mistakes. That means there are no credit score criteria to meet, and the account doesn’t require a ChexSystems score. Wells Fargo, unlike other second-chance checking accounts, offers three methods to avoid the $10 monthly service charge.

Features 

Here are some of the standout features of the Wells Fargo second chance checking account

  • Checks and a debit card are included
  • Free access to over 13,000 ATMs and 5,000 branches
  • Avoidable monthly fee
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Phone, online, or wire transfer
  • Bill pay

Ease of Use 

This account cannot be opened immediately. You’ll need to apply for another Wells Fargo checking account first. You’ll be able to apply for this second-chance account if you’re denied the first time, which might not be the easiest application system for a no-ChexSystems checking account

Fees

This second chance checking account requires a minimum deposit of at least $25, while the overdraft fee is $35. An insufficient funds fee is also applied, which is $35 as well.

There is a $10 monthly fee, however, there are three ways to avoid it:

  • Make a minimum of ten debit card transactions
  • Maintain a daily balance of at least $1,500
  • Have a minimum of $500 in qualifying direct deposits

Customer Satisfaction

Wells Fargo has received almost 1,000 online reviews on ConsumerAffairs and has a 3.3./5 average score. This bank without ChexSystem requirements is praised for being very responsive to questions and issues, although some have reported issues with the bank’s mobile app. 

Competition Overview

Wells Fargo, unlike other second-chance checking accounts, offers different methods on how to avoid the $10 monthly service charge.

However, Wells Fargo does have a longer processing time for transactions in comparison to other similar banks offering second chance checking accounts

Capital One
Capital One

Best for full trasparency

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  • No monthly fees and good interest rates
  • No minimum balance requirement on checking accounts
  • Easy sign up process
  • Limited transaction options
  • Expensive overdraft fee

Overview 

With less than 25 years in the industry, Capital One has managed to become a powerhouse in just a couple of decades. Capital One offers second chance bank accounts for clients with bad credit through their Capital One 360 Checking service, which works primarily online.

Accounts

Capital One 360 offers free checking, savings, and CD accounts with no minimum deposit necessary

  • Capital One 360 Checking has a 0.10% APY on all balances. 
  • The interest rate on the Capital One 360 Performance Savings Account is 0.40% APY, which is higher than the national average of 0.06%. 
  • As for CD rates, they are often higher than those offered by many traditional banks.

Features 

These are some of the most important features of Capital One’s non ChexSystems checking accounts:

  • Check writing
  • Online bill payment
  • Make person-to-person payments
  • Possibility for deposits to earn interest
  • Free access to all Capital One ATMs
  • Free access to 38,000 ATMs under the Allpoint ATM network

Ease of Use 

Capital One 360 accounts are primarily online, including bank transfers, smartphone apps, and direct deposit. Signing up for an account can be done online in just under 10 minutes by simply filling out your personal information. 

Fees

If you’re looking for second chance checking with no opening deposit, this is the bank for you. There is no minimum balance requirement to start a checking, savings, or CD account. But they have a $35 overdraft fee

Customer Satisfaction

The bank has an overall positive online presence, with customers stating they’ve had no issues with the bank’s services and that there are no hidden fees at all. However, the limited branch locations can be a disadvantage for some, rounding the average score to 3.8/5 on ConsumerAffairs

Competition Overview

With app store reviews averaging 4.7/5 stars, Capital One 360 accounts offer some of the greatest mobile banking experiences.

That said, other online banks that don’t check credit offer better interest rates on checking and savings accounts.

Woodforest National Bank
Woodforest National Bank

Best For Consistent Services

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  • Low monthly charges
  • Unlimited check writing
  • FDIC Insurance
  • Only available in 17 states
  • Accounts can only be opened in-person

Overview 

With 788 branches in 17 states, Woodforest National Bank is one of the largest “little” banks in the US. They are also one of the banks with second chance checking accounts for potential clients who’ve had problems with previous bank accounts. 

Accounts

Woodforest Second Chance Checking is a bank account that functions similarly to a secured credit card. More precisely, this type of account is ideal for anyone who has previously struggled with overdrafts and other costs when banking.

Features 

These are the key features offered at Woodforest National Bank:

  • Unlimited check writing
  • Online banking
  • The second chance account does not earn interest
  • FDIC insurance

Ease of Use 

To open any of the non ChexSystems checking accounts, you must speak with Woodforest staff in person, and offices are only available in 17 states. After you’ve opened an account in person, you can proceed to online banking, as there is a Woodforest website and mobile app. eStatements are accessible through your online account and can be downloaded into Quicken or QuickBooks by Intuit.

Fees

This account allows anyone to open a checking account with a minimum deposit of $25. A monthly maintenance cost of $9.95 is charged with a monthly direct deposit, and $11.95 is charged without a monthly direct deposit. They also have a $9 one-time account setup fee for their bank account with no ChexSystems offer.

Customer Satisfaction

Woodforest National Bank has an average score of 2.9/5 on WalletHub out of over 250 online reviews. According to some reviewers, their online mobile banking tends to have frequent downtimes, but overall the rest of the services from the bank are satisfactory. 

Competition Overview

Low minimum initial deposit requirements are a definite advantage of the bank.

However, in comparison to other banks, this second chance account does have higher fees than usual.

Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems – Buyer’s Guide

Even though by now there is probably at least one bank that has caught your attention, keep on reading below to find out what else you need to know when choosing a bank or a credit union without ChexSystems.

What Are Checking Accounts for Bad Credit

When your bank account application gets denied because of bad credit, you can use alternatives. These are either banks that don’t use credit reports to screen applicants or banks that offer second chance accounts.

Also called demand accounts or transactional accounts, checking accounts let you make withdrawals and deposits using checks, ATMs, and e-debits. They offer high liquidity, but they don’t have the highest interests on deposits.

As opposed to regular banks, banks that don’t do credit checks for checking accounts often charge lower fees. In general, they function similarly to traditional banks. APY rates may differ, but their real advantage is that you have access to great banking despite having poor or bad credit.

How to Get Approved for Banks that Don’t Use ChexSystems

The application process for accounts with such banks is straightforward and follows requirements similar to more traditional banks. Follow these steps when trying to get approved for an account:

Check the Bank’s Requirements

While banks might not perform a credit check on applicants, they do require things like government-issued IDs, social security numbers, addresses, and other personal information. Always check what the bank needs from you before signing up to get approved.

Go Through Your Credit Report and Dispute Any Error

Most account denials happen because of poor credit ratings, which stem from less-than-perfect credit reports by the three main credit bureaus. Before signing up with a bank without ChexSystems, go through your credit report. If you find any errors, dispute them. If you’re successful, you may end up being eligible for an account in bigger and more traditional banks.

Choose a Second Chance Bank Account

A second chance bank account is another alternative where banks with no ChexSystem or credit unions are willing to look past your poor credit. Think of second chance bank accounts as the bare-bones version of standard accounts, with fewer features and a limited spending threshold.

Think About Using a Prepaid Debit Card

You might also consider using prepaid cards, which aren’t linked to a bank checking account or a credit union account. Using this card, you deposit money in advance, and that’s what you spend when using the card.

Know Which Features You Want

When searching for what banks do not use ChexSystems, you should also consider what kind of features you want. While features may differ from one account to another, ChexSystems-free banks often provide features similar to traditional banks. These features may include online banking, mobile deposits, and free in-network ATM usage.

Use the Account Wisely

Once you have the account, make sure you use it wisely. Avoid unpaid fees, overdrafts, and other things that can affect your credit report negatively. Eventually, you’ll be able to upgrade or switch to a standard bank — when you finally have a better credit rating.

Benefits of a Checking Account With Bad Credit

A bad credit checking account lets you manage, store, or spend your money when banks deny you a standard account.

You can forego credit checks, as banks that don’t use ChexSystems are meant for people with poor or bad credit history. Acquiring a credit card to use for purchases or transactions in-store or online is also easy.

You can benefit from little to no fees. Initial deposits, maintaining balances, and foreign transaction fees are generally cost-free in such accounts. This can help rebuild your credit rating after a bad credit report since you can stop worrying about unpaid fees. You’ll also withdraw cash over the counter or through ATMs and set up direct debits and standing orders, which are convenient and easy to do.

Banks with second chance checking accounts and the ones with no ChexSystems also provide access to online banking features, as well as real-time transaction alerts. Similar to traditional banks, these accounts also offer additional features and budgeting tools.

At the same time, such an account allows you to establish a better relationship with a financial institution. This can help you down the road if you’re thinking of applying for a mortgage from other loan providers.

Downsides to Consider 

Meanwhile, there are also some downsides. For instance, as opposed to a standard checking account, accounts for bad credit may feature overdraft restrictions. That means you can only spend what’s in your account and the bank won’t cover any exceeding limits.

If you choose not to have an online checking account for bad credit — or any account at all — you won’t be able to:

  • Set up direct debits and standing orders – many firms offer discounts to direct debit buyers. Without a bank account, you’ll always pay in full. Another reason for paying for goods or services using direct debits is because it’s convenient and fast.
  • Improve your credit rating – if you don’t have a bank account, your credit rating will be negatively affected. Making regular payments using direct debit can improve your credit score as reflected in consumer reports.
  • Access other sources of funding – without a bank account, you might not be eligible to access other funding sources in case you need them, such as mortgage and loan providers.
  • Guarantee cash security – dealing purely with cash all the time isn’t always safe. You also won’t benefit from fraud protection. Reporting cash-related fraud will likely take a longer time to resolve and you won’t be reimbursed.

Overall, having a checking account for bad credit lets you enjoy convenient banking services while also rebuilding your creditworthiness. This way you can improve your credit rating quickly.

Alternatives to Bank Accounts

If you can’t get approved for bank accounts, other alternatives include:

Credit Unions

No ChexSystems credit unions are a great alternative to bank accounts as they have lower fees, higher savings rates, and a more personalized approach to your financial situation. At the same time, they’re great loan providers with easier terms than large, impersonal banks. Although they have fewer financial services, they generally operate in the same ways as banks do. They’re also federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which is the equivalent of FDIC insurance for banks.

Debit Card-Based Accounts

These are cards not attached to any bank accounts. They’re fee-based prepaid cards that allow you to “reload” money into them. With these cards, there’s no risk of uncollected overdrafts. You’ll only be spending the money you’re putting into the account, so it’s a great way to manage your budget. Some cards can also load your paycheck directly into them, fully eliminating the need for a bank account. Just be careful with the fees, such as purchase fees, loan fees, monthly fees, and inactivity fees.

Secured Credit Cards

A secured credit card is a good way to access funding while building your credit. You deposit a payment upfront, and the issuer will hold it in case of default. Although secured cards have low credit limits and high-interest rates, they’re a good way to improve a bad credit history if you pay responsibly every month. These are available both from traditional banks and banks for bad credit.

Money Market Funds

Money market funds offer accounts with higher yields than traditional banks. These funds also ensure that their price remains at $1 per share, so you’re technically not losing any money in them. However, the downsides include being uninsured by the FDIC and paying a minimum initial deposit, which can be hefty.

Online Banks

Online-only banks have less overhead. Just like banks that do not use ChexSystems, they often look beyond a negative ChexSystems report. They also often have lower fees and better rates than your average banks. With online accounts, you can perform many of the functions of a standard bank account, only easier. Transactions can be done via a mobile app, where you can deposit, transfer, or purchase items without ever touching an ATM or going inside a banking office.

Finally, if none of this sounds too enticing, our best tip is to get the help of credit repair companies like Credit Saint. Once your credit is looking better, you’ll be able to open a regular account.

What’s the Difference Between non-ChexSystems and Second Chance Banking? 

When choosing between no-ChexSystems banking and second chance banks, it pays to know the difference.

No-ChexSystems Banks 

Banks that don’t use ChexSystem may verify new accounts using other consumer reporting agencies. For instance, BBVA doesn’t use ChexSystems, but it uses Early Warning Services, which allows them to verify an applicant’s account.

With no-ChexSystems banks, you can avoid fees associated with traditional accounts. Since they’re FDIC-insured, your money gets the same fraud protection as when you store it in a standard account. Automatic payment features are also available.

The downside to this kind of banks is that they are usually difficult to come by. Although we’ve listed the best banks here, 90% of other banks still use ChexSystems.

Many banks that don’t use ChexSystem are also online-only companies, meaning they don’t have physical locations. In this case, there’s no in-person support when you need it. You’ll do everything online, which can be good or bad depending on the issue you’re facing.

Second Chance Banks 

Meanwhile, second chance banks use ChexSystems to screen customers. However, they’re willing to offer a fresh start and a checking account even though the customer is denied the standard account. These accounts are ideal for people with past banking problems. Credit card companies also offer this feature.

Second chance accounts come with fees, such as monthly minimums. The rewards and features, which you can find in standard checking accounts, will also be limited.

At the same time, banks that offer second chance checking with no opening deposit may ask you to take a course on money management. This can take time and may not be practical depending on your situation.

Both second chance banking and no ChexSystems banks offer a great alternative for people with bad credit.

2021’s Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems – At A Glance

How I Created This List – Methodology

To ensure that I’m listing only the best banks that do not use ChexSystems, I analyzed the following features:

Account Requirements And Ease of Signup

Non-ChexSystems banks often come with account requirements. Requirements may include providing your Social Security number and/or other government-issued IDs, a minimum deposit, etc. I also checked how easy or difficult it is to open an account with each bank to help you find the most convenient one for you.

Typical Approval Time

I also compared the time it takes for banks to process applications. As a non-traditional banking option, applying for a non-ChexSystems account should be quick and straightforward.

Banking Services

These services may include savings account offers, upgrades, deposits, and withdrawals, check writing, and other features. I checked these banks’ services and compared them to other offers to find which ones provide the best value.

Fees 

Online banking comes with different fees so I compared how much you’ll spend for using each bank’s services monthly. These monthly minimums are often higher in standard accounts, while banks that don’t use ChexSystems have lower fees. I also made sure to list banks that charge little or no overdraft fees because having a negative history of overdraft fees can result in a poor credit rating.

ATM Network and Fees

The ideal bank should have ATMs available nationwide to make it easier for you to withdraw or deposit money. I checked which banks have the most ATMs available for their customers and what are their in-network and out-of-network fees. 

Cashback Rewards

If you frequently use your bad credit checking account for purchases, it’s great to have cashback rewards and other similar perks. I checked which banks offer such rewards and how much you can get back every time you use your account.

Mobile App

Every online bank with no ChexSystems should have apps with mobile check deposits or card lock/unlock features. I compared which banks have more robust app functionalities than the others. I also checked whether their apps are secure or prone to glitches and whether they offer transfer of funds.

Daily Deposit Limit

Some of these banks’ daily deposit limits may also differ from traditional banks. I checked which ones have higher limits and which ones have more flexible setups.

Fraud-Free Record

I found banks that have the cleanest records in terms of fraud accusations or reports. The best checking accounts for bad credit should come from a bank with a trusted reputation.

Regular and Second Chance Savings Accounts

I also checked which of these banks offers the best rates in terms of savings and APY for regular and second chance savings accounts that let you have a fresh start despite negative ChexSystems reports. These accounts have only slightly different features from second chance checking accounts offered by online banks, which I also reviewed.

Customer Support Service

I also investigated which banks have the best (or worst) customer support reputations. I did this by checking direct customer reviews that talked about their experience with the bank in question.

Customer Reviews 

Finally, I looked through what customers say about the banks, what they like and dislike, as well as the strengths and the points for improvement. 

Conclusion

Getting denied a standard banking account doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have a great banking experience. A no-ChexSystems bank can offer useful features that help you build a higher credit rating, while second chance accounts allow you to start over.

Apart from them, credit unions and debit card-based accounts are also good alternatives. A credit union checking account for bad credit gives you a more personalized banking experience, but card-based accounts let you monitor your expenses more properly.

With these banking alternatives, you’ll never run out of choices even if you’re going off a fresh start to recover from bad credit.

FAQ

What is ChexSystems?

ChexSystems is a reporting agency that collects information about your financial history, specifically the problems you’ve had with checking and savings accounts. Banks use their report when deciding whether to approve your account application or not. A negative ChexSystems report is a common reason for application denials.

What banks do not use ChexSystems or Telecheck?

Some examples of ChexSystems or Telecheck-free banks are BBVA, Chime, Axos, Varo, N26, Renasant Bank, and TD Bank. These banks offer you a chance to rebuild your credit after a big financial mistake or if your credit rating has fallen to poor or bad, while also providing a functional banking experience.

What are the cons of using an online bank with no ChexSystems?

The downsides of using online banks without credit checks include having limited account capabilities. Their businesses are done mostly online, so you’ll also receive limited customer support in case you need in-person services.

Can I open a bank account if I owe another bank money?

It depends. With some banks, you can open an account even if you owe another bank money. However, you may not be able to get your preferred account type. Unpaid fees appear in consumer reports. You can renegotiate with the bank for a second chance account if your application is denied.

Can a bank remove you from ChexSystems?

No, they cannot. However, they can override or overlook negative ChexSystems records based on policies. Your negative ChexSystems record, meanwhile, typically stays on the report for 5 years until you’ve paid your debt or fees. If your consumer report is accurate, pay off the balance as soon as possible.

Does Chase use ChexSystems?

No, Chase doesn’t use ChexSystems. Chase is a part-owner of EWS, which is a competing service to ChexSystems. EWS checks for negative information including overdrafts and bounced checks. Chase is required to submit information to this credit reporting group for them to create consumer reports.

What is the Best Free Online Checking Account for Bad Credit?

The best free accounts for bad credit are offered by BBVA, Chime, GoBank, Axos, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America. Each of them offers great account features and rewards to help you recover from bad credit through their second chance checking account options.

How do I clear my ChexSystems?

The fastest way to clear your ChexSystems records is to pay all debts and fees. If you think there are errors in the report, dispute them accordingly. Banks that don’t use ChexSystems are often willing to overlook this, but clearing your record is necessary to become eligible for better account types.