Second chance checking accounts are for a range of people. While this article refers to banks, it also stands for credit unions, building societies and any company or institution that offers second chance accounts.

They are for people with a bad credit rating, people that had their other accounts locked, frozen, suspended or closed. If you have bank account problems (i.e. the bank closes your account), your name is added to the ChexSystems database, which is sort of the Equifax of the banking world, but instead of credit, it tracks your banking risk.

Once your name is in the ChexSystems database, you’ll find most banks in the US will deny you from creating new accounts, or straight out close existing bank accounts you have.

The way around this is to open a Second Chance Account.

Credit History and Banks

One myth is that your credit history affects your ability to open a bank account. This is not usually the case. Credit history affects your ability to secure credit products (loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc), but not bank accounts.

However, it still may come into some play, depending. though credit history is not usually used as a prerequisite for opening a bank account, but can be used as part of the EWS score, which some banks might use in lieu of ChexSystems or Telecheck (or in combination) to screen new clients.

What is a Second Chance Account and Who Can Apply?

Second Chance Accounts (or whatever they are called as the name varies from bank to bank) are specifically for people that have been denied bank accounts elsewhere. This can have an affect on your credit rating that actually makes it difficult to open other accounts because banks and such will check your record. Second chance checking accounts usually come with penalties such as maintenance fees, or fewer perks and tools. Sometimes they come with good things that may help people who are bad with money.

This can have an affect on your credit rating that actually makes it difficult to open other accounts because banks and such will check your record. Second chance checking accounts usually come with penalties such as maintenance fees, or fewer perks and tools. Sometimes they come with good things that may help people who are bad with money.

Second chance checking accounts usually come with penalties such as maintenance fees, or fewer perks and tools. Sometimes they come with good things that may help people who are bad with money.

It’s common that these accounts may be called something besides ‘Second Chance’ — but they are the same thing: a special account designed for someone with ChexSystems problems to get a second chance at opening a bank account.

Where to Find a Second Chance Account?

Good news: there are plenty of real physical banks out there that do offer second chance banking options.

My favorite Second Chance current recommendation is to look at applying for the BBVA Compass ClearChoice Free Checking account. BBVA has a reputation for handing out full checking accounts regardless of ChexSytems problems. And if this Free Checking is denied you, they offer you their Second Chance account offering as a backup, which is called the BBVA Compass Easy Checking account.

The bad news is that most of these are smaller banks and credit unions that are not in EVERY state (or only in one state). However, the bad news is tempered with the fact there are a few big bank / national bank chains that do have (as of time of this article updates in 2017) second chance banking.

Below is a list of legit banks and credit unions in the US that offer some form of Second Chance Accounts for people with ChexSystems problems.

Small Banks & Credit Unions Offering Second Chance Accounts

These are the banks and credit unions you go to when you have tried the bigger companies and have been turned down.

You can see that some of them are only small organizations and their websites are not very advanced or sophisticated, but if you get an account with them, then you may start rebuilding your credit rating so that you may go back to one of the larger banks or credit unions in time.

See our full & more detailed list of the Best Second Chance Bank Accounts for 2017.

Many of the listed banks below do not have branches all over the country, with most only having branches in a single state. However, these banks are more likely to give you a second chance account because they need your custom more than the bigger banks and credit unions.

However, these banks are more likely to give you a second chance account because they need your custom more than the bigger banks and credit unions.

Note that this list is fairly old and has been kicking around for a few years — we have NOT specifically verified these banks till offer second chance accounts — so you are best to call them and ask them specifically if you can open a new account with ChexSystems problems.