17 Second Chance Bank Accounts to Consider

An imperfect banking history can make it difficult to get approved for future bank accounts. Issues like bounced checks and unpaid fees could result in negative marks on your ChexSystems report, which many banks consider when making account approval decisions. ChexSystems customer service representatives told us that negative reports can remain on your history for up to five years. Fortunately, there are several banks willing to work with customers who don’t have perfect banking history, and some don’t reply on applicants’ ChexSystems reports (as previously reported). We list the best options for “second chance” bank accounts below.

What We Recommend

As a “second chance” account applicant, you’ll likely want to seek out the accounts with the lowest fees and deposit/balance minimums. We recommend Axos Essential Checking, Capital One 360 Checking, Chime Second Chance Banking, Fifth Third Free Checking, and Varo Online Checking. Not only do these accounts have no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, but they also don’t require you to make a deposit to open the account.

When choosing between these banks, select the account with the perks and additional features that best suit your needs — such as overdraft protection (if you have a history of overdrafts) or early direct deposit.

Comparison Table

Use the table below to compare each account’s fees and required deposit and balance minimums, then click any account name or scroll for more details.

Account Name Opening Deposit Monthly Fee Minimum Balance Required Overdraft Fee
Axos Bank Essential Checking $0 $0 $0 $0
Capital One 360 Checking $0 $0 $0 $0 (for auto-decline or savings transfers)
Chime Second Chance Spending Account $0 $0 $0 $0
Fifth Third Free Checking $0 $0 $0 $37 per item
Varo Online Checking $0 $0 $0 $0 if you have at least $1,000 in direct deposits and five debit card purchases monthly
Peoples Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking $0 About $5 $0 About $28 per item
Citibank Access Account $0 $10 $1,500 to waive monthly fee $0
Radius Bank Essential Checking $10 $9 $0 $5 per day
Citibank Basic Banking $0 $12 $1,500 to waive monthly fee $10 per transfer for overdraft protection
CenterState Fresh Start Checking $0 About $13 $0 Up to $35
GoBank Checking $20 About $9 $0 $0
BBVA Free Checking $25 $0 $0 $12 per transfer from another BBVA account or $38 per insufficient funds transaction
USAA Bank Classic Checking $25 $0 $0 $29
U.S. Bank Easy Checking $25 About $7 $0 $0 for a U.S. Bank transfer or $36 per overdraft
Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking via Clear Access Checking $25 $5 $0 $0
Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking via Everyday Checking $25 $10 $0 $35 per item
First American Bank Fresh Start Checking $50 About $10 $0 $10 per overdraft with a linked account

The List

Note: All of the banks we contacted require your current government-issued ID (state ID, driver’s license, or passport) and Social Security number to verify your identity when you apply.

1. Axos Bank Essential Checking

  • Opening deposit: None[1]
  • Monthly fees: None; unlimited ATM fee reimbursement[2]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[1]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: No overdraft fees[2]
  • Online or in-person: One branch in California and one branch in Nevada; otherwise online[2]
  • Additional features: Early direct deposit, free checks, and free Visa debit card[2]
  • Apply

2. Capital One 360 Checking

  • Opening deposit: None, but the account will close if you don’t make a deposit within 60 days[3]
  • Monthly fees: None[3]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[3]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: Free auto-decline or savings transfer; $35 per overdraft for Next Day Grace coverage (replace the insufficient funds within 24 hours)[3]
  • Online or in person: Both[3]
  • Additional features: Early direct deposit, free checks, and a Visa debit card[3]
  • Apply

3. Chime Second Chance (Spending Account) Banking

  • Opening deposit: None[4]
  • Monthly fees: None[4]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[4]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: None[4]
  • Online or in person: Online[4]
  • Additional features: Early direct deposit, Visa debit card, and no foreign transaction fees[4]
  • Apply

4. Fifth Third Free Checking

  • Opening deposit: None, but must make a deposit within 45 days[5]
  • Monthly fees: None[5]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[5]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: Allows overdrafts; $37 fee per item[5]
  • Online or in person: Both[5]
  • Additional features: Zelle for external payments and transfers[5]
  • Apply

5. Varo Online Checking

  • Opening deposit: None[6]
  • Monthly fees: None[6]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[6]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: Allows overdraft with no fee if you make at least five debit card purchases and have at least $1,000 in direct deposits per month; otherwise, will decline overdraft transactions[6]
  • Online or in person: Online[6]
  • Additional features: Visa debit card; no foreign transaction fees[6]
  • Apply

6. Peoples Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking

  • Opening deposit: None[7]
  • Monthly fees: About $5[7]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[7]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: Allows overdrafts; About $28 fee per item[7]
  • Online or in person: Both in Texas; online throughout the rest of the U.S.[7]
  • Additional features: Mastercard debit card and free checkbook[7]
  • Apply

7. Citibank Access Account

  • Opening deposit: None[8]
  • Monthly fees: $10; waived with qualifying bill payment, direct deposit, or minimum balance[8]
  • Minimum balance requirement: $1,500 for no monthly fee[8]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: Auto-declines overdraft transactions[8]
  • Online or in person: Both[8]
  • Additional features: Online bill payment[8]
  • Apply

8. Radius Bank Essential Checking

  • Opening deposit: $10[9]
  • Monthly fees: $9[9]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[9]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: $5 per day that the account remains negative[9]
  • Online or in person: Online[9]
  • Additional features: Debit card; upgrade to Rewards Checking after 12 months of good history[9]
  • Apply

9. Citibank Basic Banking

  • Opening deposit: None[8]
  • Monthly fees: $12; waived with qualifying bill payment, direct deposit, or minimum balance[8]
  • Minimum balance requirement: $1,500 for no monthly fee[8]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: $10 per transfer for overdraft protection[8]
  • Online or in person: Both[8]
  • Additional features: Write unlimited checks[8]
  • Apply

10. CenterState Fresh Start Checking

  • Opening deposit: None[10]
  • Monthly fees: About $13[10]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[10]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: Up to $35 per day[10]
  • Online or in person: Online[10]
  • Additional features: Mastercard debit card; unlimited check writing[10]
  • Apply

11. GoBank Checking

  • Opening deposit: $20[11]
  • Monthly fees: About $9 (can be waived with direct deposits of at least $500 per month)[11]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[11]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: None[11]
  • Online or in person: Online or purchase a starter kit (debit card) for about $3 at a participating retailer like Walmart[11]
  • Additional features: Enabled Apple Touch ID for iOS users[11]
  • Apply

12. BBVA Free Checking

  • Opening deposit: $25[12]
  • Monthly fees: None[12]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[12]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: Link to other BBVA accounts to prevent overdrafts ($12 per transfer) or opt in for overdraft protection ($38 per overdrawn transaction)[12]
  • Online or in person: Both[12]
  • Additional features: Early direct deposit, Visa debit card, and no BBVA ATM fees[12]
  • Apply

13. U.S. Bank Easy Checking

  • Opening deposit: $25[13]
  • Monthly fees: About $7 (waived for customers aged 65 or older, who receive direct deposits of $1,000, or who average daily balance of $1,500)[13]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[13]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: No fees for transfers from another linked U.S. Bank account; otherwise, $36 per overdraft[13]
  • Online or in person: Both[13]
  • Additional features: Send money with Zelle[13]
  • Apply

14. Wells Fargo Clear Access Opportunity Checking

Note: You can’t apply directly for Opportunity Checking — if you are denied a Clear Access account, Wells Fargo will offer Opportunity Checking to you.

  • Opening deposit: $25[14]
  • Monthly fees: $5 (waived for account holders up to age 24)[14]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[14]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: None[14]
  • Online or in person: Both[14]
  • Additional features: Debit card[14]
  • Apply

15. Wells Fargo Everyday Opportunity Checking

Note: As with Clear Access, if you don’t qualify for Everyday Checking, you will be offered the “second chance” Opportunity Checking.

  • Opening deposit: $25[14]
  • Monthly fees: $10 (waived for account holders up to age 24, who have $500 in direct deposits, who complete 10 or more debit card transactions, or who maintain a minimum balance as specified in the account agreement)[14]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[14]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: $35 per item[14]
  • Online or in person: Both[14]
  • Additional features: Debit card[14]
  • Apply

16. First American Bank Fresh Start Checking

  • Opening deposit: $50[15]
  • Monthly fees: About $10[15]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[15]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: $10 per overdraft with a linked account, or you can open an overdraft line of credit[15]
  • Online or in person: Both — the bank has branches in Florida, Illinois, and Wisconsin[15]
  • Additional features: Mastercard debit card[15]
  • Apply

17. USAA Bank Classic Checking

Note: This account is only open to military service members and their spouses. You will be required to list your military service when you apply.

  • Opening deposit: $25[16]
  • Monthly fees: None[16]
  • Minimum balance requirement: None[16]
  • Overdraft protection/fees: $29 per overdraft; if you have another USAA account, you can link it to cover overdrafts at no charge[16]
  • Online or in person: Both[16]
  • Additional features: ATM fee refunds[16]
  • Apply
  1. Axos customer service (888) 502-2967[][]
  2. https://www.axosbank.com/Personal/Checking/Essential-Checking[][][][]
  3. Capital One customer service (877) 383-4802[][][][][][]
  4. Chime customer service (844) 244-6363[][][][][][]
  5. Fifth Third customer service (800) 972-3030[][][][][][]
  6. Varo customer service (800) 827-6526[][][][][][]
  7. Peoples Cash Solutions customer service (903) 783-3800[][][][][][]
  8. Citibank customer service (800) 374-9700[][][][][][][][][][][][]
  9. Radius customer service (800) 242-0272[][][][][][]
  10. CenterState customer service (855) 863-2265[][][][][][]
  11. GoBank customer service (888) 288-1843[][][][][][]
  12. BBVA customer service (800) 266-7277[][][][][][]
  13. U.S. Bank customer service (800) 872-2657[][][][][][]
  14. Wells Fargo customer service (800) 869-3557[][][][][][][][][][][][]
  15. First American customer service (847) 952-3700[][][][][][]
  16. USAA customer service (800) 531-8722[][][][][][]