ChexSystems, a company you’ve probably never heard about until you find your name in it.
Then a nightmare begins where you are ousted from the banking system.
Existing bank accounts are suddenly closed by your bank. Attempts at opening a new bank account at various national and local banks result in flat out rejections.
Welcome to the wonderful world of ChexSystems.
Most banks in the US use ChexSytems to screen new clients. It’s like having horrible credit, except while credit affects only your ability to secure credit products, a bad ChexSystems record affects your very ability to live.
Without a bank account, you are very limited in how you can live life.
- How to you safely stash your money?
- How do you get paid?
- How to you pay for things?
- How to you transfer money to people online?
The answer to all of the above, if you don’t have a checking account, not very easily.
What is ChexSystems
A national database banks use to keep track of banking clients with a bad history at the bank. This ‘history’ may be:
- bad check cashing
- bank fraud
- unpaid owed fees
- account closure
Basically, ChexSystems is like a credit bureau, but instead of tracking credit history, it tracks your banking history.
Unlike credit history, ChexSystems is only negative — if you end up in the database, it’s because of something bad. It’s used to screen new (and existing) banking clients, often by large national banks that want an easy method of screening clients.
Why a Bank That Does Not Use ChexSystems
So what can you do if you can’t open a bank account due to ChexSystems.
The simple answer is to find a bank that does not use ChexSystems to qualify clients for a bank account; or does not weight too heavily on your ChexSystems record, if they use it.
Where to Find Legit Banks That Don’t Use the ChexSystems Database for Screening
You can try searching the web for banks that do not use Chexsystems. But often, this results in some inaccurate recommendations.
These banks are a bit difficult to find. The problem with listing non-ChexSystems banks is that these banks may suddenly switch to using ChexSystems. So any old lists might be outdated.
However, the main problem people encounter when trying to find a bank that does not use ChexSystems is that these banks don’t usually advertise which system they use.
And for security purposes, a bank does not like to advertise this fact to the world. This leaves people who can’t open a checking account because of Chexsystems with a bit of a problem.
10 Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems
If you are looking for banks that do not use ChexSystems, know there are actually a few out there.
We’ve done some research for you in 2017 to find some of the popular, current banks that do not use ChexSystems. This list is prone to change though and we’ve only included some of the major banks. There a host of local banks state banks, credit unions, and other types of institutions that may not use ChexSystems.
So don’t assume this list is definitive!
But it’s a good start.
1. BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass is one of our favorite banks. They have a variety of accounts like free checking, high-interest checking, second chance accounts, savings accounts, and more. It’s easy as pie to apply for a BBVA Compass account online and they are well known for giving out their Free Checking account to people even with ChexSystems problems.
So if you have any problems opening up a bank account due to chexystems and you live in one of the states that have a BBVA bank, try this bank FIRST.
TD Ameritrade has a good reputation for not working with ChexSystems. Note we have had a few comment saying they have closed down accounts because of ChexSystems, so the jury is still out on this. But right now, it seems to be it’s a mixed bag.
The key to getting an account is to open a brokerage account first, then from there adding on a checking account. This lets you skirt around their regular checking account requirements — at least for now.
3. Capital One
One of the more popular banks you see offered online (with online sign ups possible), Captial One is known for being lenient to those with ChexSytems histories. They do look at your ChexSystems report, but will only reject you have been flagged for banking fraud. Note that they may also consider your credit history, so if you have bad credit history and bad ChexSystems record, you may be denied.
Woodforest has had a reputation for a few years now of not working with ChexSystems. Specifically, they offer a special Second Chance Checking account option that you can look at. Unlike some of the other banks on this list, you’ll have to drop in a bank branch in person to apply for an account though.
This is a large national online national bank. They are well known for not looking at ChexSystems, Telecheck, EWS, or Credit history as a prescreening for new clients.
However, they specialize more in a reloadable debit card that functions much like a regular bank account. That is you can add money, spend money, pull out money, and treat the card like a bank account. They used to offer a checking account option, but I’m not sure if this is still offered.
You can read about how their reloadable debit card works here.
So if you have bad banking history and a record with ChexSystems, and you want to give one of the more fully featured prepaid reloadable debit banking cards a good go, this one of the more popular services online that you can sign up for.
And unlike most of the banks on this list, you can apply online from anywhere in the US to get your card.
6. Wells Fargo
This national bank offers a special Second Chance account for people with negative ChexSystems scores. The account is full featured and gives you everything you need such as online banking, debit card access, and in-branch services. However, you’ll have to apply for the account in person — no online signups for you.
7. PNC Bank
PNC is known for their Second Chance Bank account offerings. Like the other banks on this list, this account gives you a new chance at banking. However, you’ll have to jump through some hoops first. Mainly, you’ll need to take a special online money management course offered by the bank AND apply for the second chance account (called Foundation Checking) in person at a branch.
This Texas bank offers a special checkless checking account aimed at clients with bad banking history. As it’s a credit union, it’s more lenient than banks when it comes to banking clients. So give this one a try if you can’t open a bank account with a bank.
9. United Bank
While more limited in location than some of the other banks, United Bank is a good bank for people with ChexSystems IF you live in one of the few states that house this bank.
As of 2017, you can only find this bank in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
If you live in one of these states, drop into one of the local branches in person to apply — you should be able to get a fully featured checking account.
10. Axiom Bank
This Florida bank gives everyone a chance with their bank account. The bank offers a special Opportunity Checking account for people with bad banking history. You’ll have to live in Florida to apply, but if you do, it’s probably your best bet for a bank account.
The Final Word
You don’t have to let ChexSystems or Telecheck interfere with the way you actually live your life. Many people are forced to live without a bank account because of these overbearing credit companies. You don’t have to endure this.
Many people are forced to live without a bank account because of these overbearing credit companies. You don’t have to endure this. You can fight ChexSystems, but this takes a lot of energy (and time).
We feel the easiest method is to simply go do banking with a bank that does not look at your ChexSystems score or a bank that offers clients with bad banking history a second chance through a special account.