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How to Beat the EWS (Early Warning System)

Compared to TeleCheck and ChexSystems, EWS is young. It stands for Early Warning System, and it allows banks, credit unions and other businesses to check up on new clients to see if they are viable account holders/customers. It is new, but it was formed by large companies, so it is going to be on the scene for a while. It was formed/created by Wachovia, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, BB&T Corporation and Wells Fargo. If you bounce a check and/or overdraw, then it may be recorded on your EWS report if the company uses EWS and reported it to EWS.

(Also See how to fix a ChexSystems Record)

Why Are More And More Banks/Companies Using It?

The trend is growing because it is saving banks and companies a lot of money. The idea of a bank/company using just one credit scoring company is dying out. There are banks/companies that use EWS, TeleCheck and ChexSystems because it adds evidence and justification to their decisions. Why double check when they can triple check?

Scam Alert – Many People Want You To Spend Money

Before moving on to ways you may beat the EWS, or improve your standing with EWS, you need to know that EWS has been targeted by parasites trying to exploit desperate people. Please note that the EWS Company doesn’t charge a fee for investigating information and/or for disputes. They also offer a free EWS report once per year. If they refuse to give you your free report, say you will file an FTC complaint report, and then file one and show them the evidence if they still refuse.

There are hundreds of websites that sell EWS services. They claim they will help you gain access to your EWS and credit reports for a fee. Be very careful whom you buy these services from because most are selling you flavored paint. The EWS Company should give you a free report every year. It is the law in the US that a genuine credit scoring company should give you at least one free report every year. Companies that are offering to sell you a copy of your report are probably ripping you off.

There are also debt collection scams that claim they are collecting debt money for EWS. They are scammers and you should consult the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website if somebody claims to be collecting debts on behalf of the EWS.

There are companies that claim they can get blemishes removed from your EWS report. They are fraudsters. The best-case scenario is that they raise a dispute with EWS and get something amended, but you can do that yourself without having to pay another company to do it for you. If you are lucky, the fraud company will charge you money and “try” to have your blemishes removed by filing disputes. In most cases, the company will promise to have blemishes removed, and then fail miserably, after which, you lose your money.

As a side note, from a writer by profession–stop believing testimonials where the pictures are of beautiful/handsome people. Most people are ugly (look on Facebook), yet testimonials rarely show the old man with bags under his eyes, or young women with scruffy hair or too much blusher on. Most website testimonials are fake anyway, and when the testimonial people look like models, you can be sure they are fake.

How to Fix an EWS Record

You don’t want your name to be flagged  via an EWS check. You’ll find yourself having serious problems opening back accounts, renting apartments, or getting any credit based product. EWS is not the same as Telecheck, ChexSystems, or a Credit Check, but it does incorporate some of the same signals. Chances are if you are flagged in the EWS, you may also be flagged by  the other credit reporting agencies (but not always).

Here’s how you can get rid of an EWS Record…

1. Check To See If EWS Is The Problem

There are many people that call EWS on the number on their website and the customer service department claims they have no marks on their EWS record. Either the EWS doesn’t have a file on them, or there is nothing negative on the file. If this is the case, you may need to press the company or bank that refused you an account and find out if there were any other reasons why you were refused.

If you want an EWS report, then call and ask for one. There are some people that say you should get it by writing to them, but calling is usually better. The reason that line is qualified with “usually” is because there are people that call and claim it is difficult to get the customer support member to agree to send one. Nevertheless, as a credit scoring company, they should be willing and able to send you your EWS report.

2. File A Free Dispute If You See An Inaccuracy

When you get your report, you may see elements that are inaccurate. If you do, you may have that blemish removed if you file a dispute. For example, you may see a blemish that claims you bounced a check when you didn’t, or that is the result of fraudulent activity. Dispute something that is inaccurate or seemingly unfair, and maybe they will remove the blemish.

If there has been fraudulent and/or illegal activity, then you may have to have the issue resolved firstly with the police and any other interested parties before you are able to file a dispute. It is often better if you file the dispute after the police have dealt with it as it makes the whole dispute process easier and quicker.

3. Open a Second-Chance Bank Account

If you are unable to remove the blemishes from your report, then there are two other options. You can wait it out until your blemishes disappear, or you may open a second chance account with a bank that offers one.

A second-chance account is a bank account that despite the fact you have a negative or poor EWS report you can still open.

There are usually drawbacks to having a second-chance account. The most common drawback is that they usually charge you a fee for having your account. Many of them have limited or very unfair lending policies and rates. Many second-chance banks will also limit the number of features your bank account has.

Often these are bank accounts offered by well known banking organizations.

They are often called ‘Second Chance Checking’ accounts or some variation of that name. The key thing to note here is that these accounts are designed for the same thing: to allow you access to a new bank account despite having an EWS, telecheck, or chexsystems record.

We recommend trying to apply for the BBVA Compass ClearConnect Checking Account. They have a reputation for giving accounts to customers with bad banking history.

You can also see our list of Best Second Chance Accounts, which are accounts for people with EWS, Telecheck, or ChexSystems records.

4. Waiting It Out Is An Option

The EWS Company keeps your blemishes on file for seven years. That may seem like a long time to wait it out while staying on your best behavior, but you rarely have to wait seven years to start getting bank accounts again.

Most people rarely have a terrible banking experience in one big go; their misbehavior is often spread over a number of years. Your EWS profile may look bad now, but in a year, the negative things you did seven years ago will drop from your EWS profile.

Need a Bank Account but have ChexSystems problems or Bad Credit?


Try opening a BBVA Compass Free Checking Account! BBVA is one of the more forgiving banks and may give you a full-fledged REGULAR bank account when you apply online...even with bad banking and credit history.

And if you don't qualify for the regular BBVA checking account for some reason, you'll then be given the option of opening the special BBVA Compass Easy Checking Account, an account designed specifically for those with banking problems.

...learn more about BBVA Second Chance Banking here


In addition, the more years you spend behaving yourself, then the better it looks on your EWS profile. A company may see that you had a rough time over the last seven years, but if they see that you have no blemishes over the last two or three years, then it may help nudge them towards a yes rather than a no.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. 'He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could.And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created echeck.org to help others do likewise!

4 Comments

  1. Jay

    I am so sick of every company that can charge you a fee using credit reports and stuff. I have a perfect driving record, have driven nearly 40,000 miles a year yet, because of a broken neck my credit sucks. That’s all folks, my insurance rates are high even though, I have a better driving record than the president. lol. But, that’s how they get more of our money every month. Those Yacht’s cost a lot of green.

    Reply
    • admin

      Look at using CreditKarma or CreditSesame (or both at once, since they each offer slightly different takes on the credit reporting). These products don’t charge you to see your credit score and don’t require a credit card to sign up. The score is not exactly the same as your FICO score, but it’s pretty darn close.

      If you really need to see your exact FICO score, you can always get a credit card that offers a free credit score reporting (as part of the credit card) or order a free annual report from the credit companies, as is your right.

      Reply
  2. ANON

    Its seems that I got blacklisted on EWS over a small mistake i did a year ago. I’m a foreigner who was in the states for medical student rotations back in 2015. I opened an account with bank of America and in the last day of my stay in the US I took all the money left in my account through an ATM leaving a -7$ balance as ATM only gives minimum 10$ notes. I never though that not closing the account will harm me in any way. after arrival to my country, i started receiving Emails that I am being charged over draft fees.. my account started showing -72$ which i completely ignored and after a while BOA sent me an Email telling me that they closed my account.

    Anyway I’m back to the US now to do medical residency!! and when I tried to open a bank account with PNC they told me sorry you are blacklisted on EWS! I was in total shock! a 7$ mistake caused me a huge huge problem.

    My question now is: I don’t know how they identified me, maybe through my passport number because I dont have a SSN. Will getting a SSN get me a new clean start or their system is smart and can detect my name and my new address which was entered by PNC?

    Is being blacklisted by EWS automatically means being blacklisted by Checkxsystems? as the report that was given by PNC only shows a mark next to EWS with no mark next to Checkxsystems but I’m not completely sure.

    Reply
    • admin

      No, EWS and ChexSystems are different systems and look at different things. EWS, for example, may look at credit history while ChexSystems does not.

      If you can’t open a regular bank account with a national bank (try Bank of America or Wells Fargo say), then you might look at a smaller local banks or credit unions. Another option is to look at opening a BBVA account as they have a stated goal of giving people with bad credt / chexsystems / ews problems another chance. Read about their Second Chance Banking Policy

      Reply

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