Banks that don’t use ChexSystems do exist. These non ChexSystems banks are covered in detail in this article, and there are quite a few of them. By the time you finish reading, you’ll know exactly where to get an account. There are many options and types of accounts from which you can choose. No longer do you need to worry about being rejected; enjoy getting non-ChexSystems checking accounts, savings accounts, and more.  There are many banks you can go to — and this article shows you where there are.

In This Article:

  • What is ChexSystems?

  • What are some options for people with a ChexSystems record?

  • What are the banks that don’t use ChexSystems?

What Is ChexSystems?

ChexSystems is one of the primary ways that banks assess the risk of letting consumers open new accounts. Like the major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax), ChexSystems reports consumers who have abused lines of credit. Essentially, ChexSystems is a specialty consumer reporting agency that monitors fraudulent and irresponsible use of checking and savings accounts. Banks want new customers to have a good record of handling these accounts: they are unlikely to take a risk and let someone open a new account when that person has a record of bank fraud, writing bad checks, and so on.

But what exactly is on a ChexSystems report? How can a bad ChexSystems report prevent someone from opening an account?

Unfortunately, many people are unaware of ChexSystems and what it does until they are denied an account due to the history on their ChexSystems report. If a person had a checking or savings account closed for fraud or abuse in the past five years, it’s likely that their bank transmitted information about the account to ChexSystems. The report also includes information such as:

  • Any returned (bounced) check that retailers have reported receiving from that person (this information is provided to ChexSystems from Certegy Check Services, Inc.)
  • Any recent inquiries for the person’s ChexSystems report
  • The number of checks the person has ordered in the past five years

When banks see problems on a ChexSystems report, they may refuse to open a checking or savings account for that individual. Since flagged accounts stay on the report for five years, the best way to prevent problems when opening another bank account is to avoid getting a CheckSystems record to begin with. ChexSystems has published a helpful list of some common mistakes to avoid. But what if it’s too late, and someone has already been denied a bank account due to their ChexSystems report? In the next section, we will examine the banking options available for a person who has a ChexSystems record.

Understanding What Is On Your Record

For people who have been denied a new account with a bank, or for people who just want to know what might be on their personal ChexSystems report, ChexSystems can provide a copy of the report to consumers who submit a request online. Once ChexSystems has processed the request, the consumer disclosure report will be sent through the United States Postal Service, normally within five business days.

After receiving the report, it is important to review it for accuracy to rule out the possibility of identity theft or information that has been incorrectly reported. If identity theft is suspected, it is possible to place a freeze on a consumer report. If any errors are found, each individual has the right to dispute their record.

How Can I Dispute My Record?

If you find any errors on the consumer disclosure report, it is possible to file a dispute either with the institution who reported the incorrect information or with ChexSystems directly. After the initiation of the dispute process with ChexSystems, the investigation can take up to 30 days with a possibility of a 15-day extension if any additional information is submitted during the process. An error on your ChexSystems report could be an indication of identity theft, so if you see something that shouldn’t be there, take it seriously and address it as soon as possible to protect yourself from further damage to your credit history.

Opening a “Second-Chance” Bank Account

What can you do if you have an unfavorable ChexSystems report? Although you may be denied for some bank accounts, there are still options available, even with a less than perfect track record. A few of the larger banks — who almost unanimously use ChexSystems — and some smaller, regional banks will allow a consumer with a bad ChexSystems record to open what is called a “second-chance” bank account. These accounts often have stricter limitations and higher fees, but since they are specially designed for people with bad banking history, it is easier to be approved. Often, after a 12-month period, customers may request to be upgraded to a standard checking account. Here are some of the “second-chance” bank accounts available:

Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Opportunity Savings Accounts

BBVA Compass Easy Checking

  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $25
  • Monthly Account Service Fee: $13.95 + $3 for paper statements
    • The fee for paper statements can be avoided by opting for online statements.
  • To Set Up An Account: Apply online for a regular checking account. If an account is refused, BBVA will automatically offer the option of opening an Easy Checking account.
  • Use the branch locator to find a branch nearby.
  • Read more about the BBVA Compass Easy Checking Account here.

Woodforest National Bank Second-Chance Checking

CenterState Fresh Start Checking

Bank of Arkansas Opportunity Checking

Axiom Bank Opportunity Checking

Opening a Prepaid, Reloadable Debit Card

Prepaid cards have many benefits. For example, it is possible to receive direct deposits and shop online, but without the risk of overdrawing your account. Some even offer consumer protection and FDIC coverage, like standard bank accounts. Unlike traditional checking accounts, however, there are no paper checks to use, and check cashing fees may apply.

Chase Liquid

BB&T MoneyAccount

BBVA Compass ClearSpend

Commerce Bank mySpending Card

Regions Now Card

  • Minimum Opening Deposit: None specified, although there is a one-time $4 issuance fee
    • The issuance fee can be avoided by opening a Now Card® using Regions’ Check Cashing service and having the funds loaded onto a new Now Card.
  • Monthly Account Service Fee: $5
    • This fee can be avoided if by having at least $500 in monthly direct deposits.
  • Reload Fee: $0
  • To Set Up An Account: Apply online.
  • Use the branch locator to find a branch nearby.
  • Read more about the Regions Now Card Debit Card here.

Finding Banks That Don’t Use Chexsystems (Or Does Not Prohibit You Based on Chexsystems Results)

This option can be the most complicated one because the vast majority of banks use ChexSystems and bank policies can vary from branch to branch. The best way to find out if a local bank uses ChexSystems is to go into a branch and ask. While banks generally do not make this information public, we were able to find several recent instances of banks announcing publicly that they will not use ChexSystems, or that they will no longer use it in specific cases. The good news is that some banks that use reports from ChexSystems don’t count one incident against a person applying for a new account. Here are some banks we found that either don’t use ChexSystems anymore, or that don’t exclude based on ChexSystems alone:

Capital One Essential Checking

Capital One was the first of the major banks to stop using ChexSystems to exclude potential customers, although an applicant with a history of banking fraud could still be refused.

Capital One 360 Checking

This online version of Capital One’s checking account has virtually no fees. However, an account needs to be opened with a deposit from an existing personal bank account.

Citibank Basic Banking Package

Following in Capital One’s footsteps, Citibank decided to only use ChexSystems to look for repeated incidences of bad banking practices, not one-time offenses.

Free Checking with USAA Bank

Please note that it is necessary to be affiliated with the military to open an account with USAA.

Banks That Do Use ChexSystems

It is well known that most banks use ChexSystems, including nearly all of the larger banks in the United States. However, it is important to know how a bank uses ChexSystems. Not all banks (and not even all branches of the same bank) use that information in the same way. Some will deny an account entirely to those with a ChexSystems record, while others have options like reloadable debit cards and second-chance accounts. The following are banks that do use ChexSystems but may still offer options for people with unfavorable ChexSystems reports. Contact your local branch to find out if there are options available to you.

In Summary

As you can see, bank accounts for people with ChexSystems reports are available. Even if you have an unfavorable ChexSystems record, the solution may not be as simple as finding a bank that doesn’t look at your ChexSystems report. It is important to know what is on your ChexSystems report, and to understand how banks will use that information. Keeping all this in mind, a decision can be made about the best banking solution for your situation. Remember that there are many choices out there, so don’t let past mistakes get in the way of future banking success.