Credit Unions That Don’t Use ChexSystems Listed (Plus Those That Do)

Do credit unions use ChexSystems? Many do, yes. Many credit unions use this reporting agency to screen potential members, and they may turn you down for an account if your ChexSystems report is negative. So if your banking history is lackluster, it’s natural you want to know of the credit unions that don’t use ChexSystems.

Not all credit unions use ChexSystems to screen their customers. Without further ado, here’s the list of credit unions that do and do not use ChexSystems.

In This Article

How Do Credit Union Memberships Work?

More than 98 million people in the United States — about one-third of the entire population — belong to a credit union. Credit unions offer checking and savings accounts, issue loans, and offer most of the services that banks offer. Unlike banks, which are open to anyone, credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned institutions. Because they are not focused on profits, they can offer lower interest rates on loans, higher rates on savings accounts, and other benefits to their members.

Who Can Join Credit Unions?

Banks have customers, but credit unions have members. This means there are membership requirements for joining a credit union and using its services.

Credit union members generally share some sort of common bond — the same employer or profession, the same geographic area, the same place of worship, or another commonality. When a credit union has one of these types of membership criteria, you must meet them in order to join.

There are also some credit unions with relaxed membership requirements that may be open to anyone. These relaxed requirements often have to do with charitable donations or charity organization memberships..

Some examples of these types of open credit unions include:

  • Alliant Credit Union: Membership is open to anyone who donates $10 to Foster Care for Success, as well as those who meet standard membership requirements.
  • Mountain America Credit Union: Membership is open to anyone who is a member of the American Consumer Council ($5 to join; $15 for lifetime membership), as well as those who meet standard membership requirements.
  • PenFed Credit Union: Membership is open to anyone who is a member of Voices For America’s Troops ($17 annually) or the National Military Family Foundation ($17 donation), as well as those who meet standard membership requirements.

What Is ChexSystems and Why Should You Be Aware of It?

ChexSystems is similar to a credit reporting agency, but rather than your credit, it focuses on your banking activity — specifically, your checking and savings accounts. Banks and credit unions use ChexSystem to screen people who want to open checking and savings accounts to help them assess the risk of extending financial services and/or credit to these customers.

This reporting agency uses a scoring system similar to a credit report. Scores can go up to 100, with higher scores representing more positive banking activity and a better chance of being approved for opening an account.

ChexSystems simply focuses on the negatives. Negatives include excessive numbers of bounced checks, accounts that have been closed owing money to the bank, any fraudulent activity, and opening accounts under assumed names.

A low score with ChexSystems may make it difficult to open a new checking or savings account at most financial institutions. If you’ve been denied an account due to ChexSystems, you can obtain a copy of your consumer report from ChexSystems’ Consumer Disclosure page.

You can dispute your ChexSystems report if you don’t believe the information is complete or accurate. Visit the Dispute Information page on the ChexSystems website to learn more about the dispute process.

What Are the Credit Unions That Don’t Use ChexSystems?

Not all credit unions use ChexSystems. So, if you suspect you might be denied an account with ChexSystems, it’s useful to know which credit unions do NOT pull a ChexSystems report on new customers. The following credit unions do not use ChexSystems to process new checking and savings account members:

1. Consumers Credit Union

  • Membership eligibility: Must live, work, worship, or attend college in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula
  • Annual fee: None
  • ATM withdrawal fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $33
  • Minimum balance requirements and monthly fee:
    • Simple Checking: No minimum, but a $2.50 monthly fee is charged for paper statements (accounts receiving eStatements are free)
    • Interest Checking: $1,000 minimum to avoid $10 monthly fee
  • Source: Your Choice Checking page and call to customer service
  • Locations: MI. Find a Consumers Credit Union near you.

2. Corporate America Family Credit Union (CAFCU)

NOTE: CAFCU offers the Fresh Start Checking program that does not use ChexSystems, specific for those with poor checking account histories. All other checking account types require sufficient ChexSystems scores. The following information applies to Fresh Start Checking accounts.

  • Membership eligibility: CAFCU is employer-based and has 700 member companies nationwide. Apply to CAFCU online to see if you qualify.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • ATM withdrawal fee: Free for the first seven withdrawals per month; $2.50 per withdrawal thereafter
  • Overdraft fee: $39
  • Minimum balance requirements: $100 minimum required; $10 monthly fee, regardless of account balance
  • Source: CAFCU Fresh Start Checking and call to customer service
  • Locations: AZ, CA, CT, GA, IL, KS, NC, OH, PA, TX, VA. Find a CAFCU near you.

3. Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Membership eligibility: Available to active duty Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard personnel; Delayed Entry Program members; Army and Air National Guard members, Department of Defense (DoD) Officer Candidate/ROTC members, civilian and government employees, retirees, and annuitants; all veterans, military retirees, and annuitants; and their family members.
  • Annual fee: None
  • ATM withdrawal fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $20, except on amounts of $5 or less, or if the total amount overdrawn is less than $15 at the close of the business day
  • Minimum balance requirements and monthly fee:
    • eChecking: No minimum, but there is a $5 monthly fee which is waived for members with direct deposit or with 20 or more Visa Check Card transactions per month
    • Flagship Checking: $1,500 to avoid a $10 monthly fee
  • Source: Member Services Fees & Charges page and call to customer service
  • Locations: 276 branch locations in 30 states. Find a Navy Federal Credit Union near you.

4. Unify Financial Credit Union

  • Membership eligibility: Unify offers a wide range of geographic and work criteria. Fill out Unify’s online application to see if you quality
  • Annual Fee: None
  • ATM withdrawal fee: No fees for withdrawals from Unify or Co-op Shared Branch ATMs; first three withdrawals per month from non-Unity or Co-op ATMs are free, with fees of $1 for each withdrawal per month thereafter
  • Overdraft fee: $30
  • Minimum balance requirements and monthly fee: No minimum to avoid monthly fees, but Premier Checking Accounts must be opened with $2,000 minimum
  • Source: Unify Disclosure of Fees and Charges and call to customer service
  • Locations: AZ, CA, CO, UT, NV, TX, AR, MS, AL, GA, TN, KY, MI, VA, WV, NY, and DC. Find a Unify Financial Credit Union near you.

Which Credit Unions Do Use ChexSystems?

These credit unions use ChexSystems to verify potential members’ banking activity history before making a membership decision. If you have a good ChexSystems score, you have nothing to worry about. If you score is less than stellar, these credit unions may deny you an account.

1. Alliant Credit Union

2. Chartway Federal Credit Union

  • Membership eligibility: Open to anyone who makes a $10 donation to the We Promise Foundation or lives, works and/or worships in one of their main branch service areas. Learn more on the Join Chartway page.
  • Annual fee: None
  • ATM withdrawal fee: Free at Chartway ATMs; $1 at non-Chartway ATMs
  • Overdraft fee: $30
  • Minimum balance requirements and monthly fee: $500. Monthly fee of $10 is also waived for members who set up a direct deposit or make at least 10 debit card purchases per month.
  • Source: Chartway Disclosure of Account Fees and call to customer service
  • Locations: FL, NC, RI, TX, UT, VA. Find a Chartway Federal Credit Union near you.

3. Connexus Credit Union

4. Mountain America Credit Union (MACU)

  • Membership eligibility: Open to anyone who is a member of the American Consumer Council ($5 to join; $15 for lifetime membership) or who lives in Salt Lake County, Duchesne County, and select areas of Wasatch and Uintah Counties in Utah. Learn more about MACU membership requirements.
  • Annual fee: None, but there is a $2 fee to receive paper statements (fees waived for members receiving e-statements)
  • ATM withdrawal fee: No fees for MACU or Co-op Shared Branch ATMs; $2.50 fees for non-MACU or Co-op ATMs
  • Overdraft fee: $20
  • Minimum balance requirements and monthly fee:
    • MyFree Checking: No minimum requirements
    • MyStyle Checking: $2,500 to avoid $4 monthly fee. The fee is also waived for members who make at least $1,000 in direct deposits per month or have at least 10 debit or credit card transactions per month.
  • Source: MACU checking account pages and call to customer service
  • Locations: AZ, ID, NM, NV, UT. Find a MACU near you. (Click on Branch Locator at the top of the page)

5. PenFed Credit Union

  • Membership eligibility: Open to anyone who is a member of Voices For America’s Troops ($17 annually) or the National Military Family Foundation ($17 donation); who is a member of the U.S. Military or federal government employees; or who lives in select areas or works for select organizations. Learn more about PenFed membership requirements.
  • Annual fee: None
  • ATM withdrawal fee: Free for PenFed ATMs; $1.50 for non-PenFed ATMs
  • Overdraft fee: $30
  • Minimum balance requirements and monthly fee: $500 daily balance or $500 in monthly direct deposits required to avoid $10 monthly fee
  • Source: PenFed Service Fees (link to PDF download) and call to customer service
  • Locations: CA, DC, FL, GA, HI, KY, MD, NC, NE, NM, NY, PA, TX, TN, VA. Find a PenFed Credit Union near you.

In Summary

Do credit unions use ChexSystems? While non-ChexSystems credit unions exist, many do use ChexSystems. This means it can be challenging to gather a list of credit unions that don’t use ChexSystems to verify new members. If you don’t meet the membership requirements for credit unions near due to ChexSystems, you can dispute the consumer information found in your ChexSystems report to get your record cleared — which would allow you to join the bank or credit union of your choice.

Suggested article: Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems

Similar Articles

Leave a Comment

Terms of Use

1 Comment