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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 Checking Account. They have a reputation for giving accounts to customers with bad banking history (BBVA uses the EWS system for checks.)

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 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 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 to help others do likewise!


  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.

    • 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.

  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.

    • 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

      • tRIsh

        everywhere says that bbva is so great… however I have just had one bad bank account (because a company continuously took out a bunch of unauthorized payment (which in turn cause a bunch of overdrafts (I’ve sent many letters), but)) eventually my count was closed. they told me because of these ‘systems’ they can not offer me an account at this time.???

        • Ash The Great

          We all have our moments with banks. I am a big fan of HSBC, but they are grinding my gears at the moment.
          My internet banking was deregistered to stop a scammer getting access, and to start a new internet banking account I have to go into the branch and prove who I am.
          I took all the stuff they told me to, and the bank clerks told me I need it stamped at a post office.
          I went to the post office and got what I believe they meant me to do, even though it took ten minutes of me explaining what I “think” the bank meant to the Indian woman at the post office.
          Back I go to HSBC and they tell me that I didn’t need it stamped or approved in any way, and that they wanted me to bring in proof of my address, but they couldn’t accept the two that I had brought in because they were more than 3 months old.

  3. Anon

    I literally just opened a boa account and I lost my card and somebody was trying to put in checks at an atm under my name and they were bad checks the checks were returned so boa didn’t lose any money they say but now I’m worried if I will be affected because of this I called collections and risk department and they said that they are in the process of closing my account and that I couldn’t even file a claim cause the checks were returned but they wont reopen my account can they do this ? now I get paid weekly so I went ahead and went to chase to open an account I explained to them what happened at boa and they said they had to check the systems to see what I would get approved for they said I only qualified to get the new chase liquid prepaid card and that in a year or so I could upgrade my account to a regular checking account am I at risk for chase closing my account even if its just a prepaid card because of boa issue?

    • Darcel

      I had this same issue in Jan. with BOA and when they informed me I may be placed in Chexsystems I immediately freezes my report. At the time I also had Wells Fargo & Launch Federal Credit Union which wasn’t affected and I still have them today. But I recently applied to NFCU got approved and 2 days later my accounts were placed on hold because a report from BOA was placed with EWS which I had no knowledge of. Now I have to freeze and dispute with them. The rep I spoke with made it seem like the process would be so much more difficult to resolve than it was with Chexsystems.

    • Ben Todd

      If you are in the ChexSystems system, sadly then yes. If you have problems with opening a new account because of this, look at opening an BVA account. They are pretty friendly to people with chexsystems. And if you can’t open a regular checking account due to chexsystems problems, they give you a limited second chance account offer that still gives you a bank account. You can swap to a regular account after about a year I believe.

      • travis

        Are there banks that do not check EWS? I recently was discharged from filing Bankruptcy and Chexsystems removed my, “Suspicious Fraud Activity” negative remark. I am still waiting to hear back from EWS. I have done some research and have found that people get out of Chexsystems filing BK7 but no luck with EWS. I was denied from US bank because I was in Chexsystems months ago, now that I am out of it, should I try to apply again to US bank for a checking account? Also, say there is no luck with any bank, what is your opinion on Greed Dot Bank/Green dot card? Thank you!

        • Ben Todd

          If banks don’t use ChexSystems, they probably will use EWS or Telecheck. It’s rare that a bank won’t use ‘some’ method of customer ‘banking history’ verification. Your best chance is looking at a credit union or working with a second chance account option (BBVA has a second chance program you can apply for online for example).

    • Tasha

      This is a shame I’m going thru the same thing with BOA and I have a zero balance.

  4. dave

    just do what i did , take good lawyer that deal with credit agency , sue them all include this mafia cheaters early morning ,,,,,and let them to wake up in the morning with 50000$ in your bank , that what they paid for spotting my name

    sue them all transunion , crap equifax and early warning !!!!

    • Tia hill

      What lawyer you used?

    • dezarah

      what lawyer did you use?

  5. Salomeh Moussavian

    so wells fargo recently told me they were clsoing an account ive had with them for over 25 years. Long story short i got no reason and i didnt close account in the time i was supposed to and it went negative because a few transactions were processed. in any case account was completely closed with balance. they reported to EWS. i have tried to talk to them since i attmepted to pay it off in branch several times (long story) however they said they wont take me off EWS. Now i have to decide if i pay the 450 balance i owne thenm so they update the EWS or just not pay it since im reported anyway. ANy advice on that? should i save the money and keep my 450 ? or should i pay it off so at least shows on EWS it was paid? i opened accoutn with boa before the ews reporting. WIll they close that now that im on ews?

    • Bobby

      EWS is joke and a waste of time. They make you jump through hoops and when you finally get finally get the dispute submitted they come back with the same answer that they originally gave you in the beginning. File a complaint with the CFBP. The bank will take notice then. I filed my complaint late one night and then got a call from BOA by the end of the day the next day. I just simply told them Ill pay them whatever I owe them as long as I have something in writing saying that balance is paid and closed in good standing. They have until April 27th to give me an answer or they will not get a single penny as it comes off my record as of august 2019. I have waited this long whats another year of harnessing BOA for another year gonna hurt.

  6. Bobby

    I hate BOA with a passion. I have $250k cash in a bolted safe in my fiance house and keep a minimum of $1k in my Green Dot Prepaid. I have contacted BOA to seek resolution and offered to pay whatever it takes to get me off the “fraudelent report but the lady said they would consider it. Meaning they are just going to take the money and do nothing. I have called EWS and they are not any help either. I was young and stupid and now I have a great job and make good money but I have to keep my money in a safe all because of one bank(BOA). I have paid every other bank off and made amends with all of them but BOA is the only bank that absolutely refuses to work with you. I have finally decided to file a formal complaint with the CFPB and now BOA is supposedly looking into it. They have until April 27th 2018 to come up with a resolution because I will not accept a “maybe” or may Consider form BOA. I want a guarantee that they will remove the negative remark and I can move one and they can continue screwing people around. I pray to God that they dont come back with a bs reply or they will never see a penny from me. EWS is a joke also, you have to go through a dispute process which is the same as filing a complaint with the CFPB(who actually has some kind of power to do something).

  7. dola smith

    This seems like the big monster here is BOA. I literally have the same issue. Chexsystems has deleted them but EWS still has my info. ALL because someone else gave me a bad check! I hope there is some type of class action law suit soon becasue they are literally ruining peoples lives.

    • dezarah

      Me too, I’m in the same boat. I sent in all the important documentation to support my claim and I still am unable to get an account. I’m thinking I’m about to lawyer up, because it’s very unfortunate for us to endure such treatment, especially when you have been a loyal customer for so many years

  8. lisa kleintop

    So my issue is that I tried to open an account with bank of america online – I never paid the opening fee, chose to do this when my debit card came in the mail. HOWEVER, my debit card never appeared in the mail. Upon this me and my significant other chose to open a joint account with my existing bank PNC. With this decision I called BOA and asked to cancel the account I attempted to open. Now, when calling and asking to do this, the lady advised me that it wouldn’t be a problem and that my account would be closed. Never heard anything again, no email, no letter in the mail, no phone call NOTHING. So when going to open this joint account 10/3/18 by 10/4/18 due to early warning they advised that BOA put a consumer report against me — after 3 long hours on the phone with BOA to find out what was going on I come to find out somehow someone got my account information for their bank before it was processed to close and tried to deposit two fraudulent checks into that account THANKFULLY they were returned immediately and no money was lost! HOWEVER, now they are trying to get me for check fraud something I had no parts of nor had any knowledge of until this all happened. I found out 2 months after the fact that this was in my name and going on. I have processed my dispute and filed my police report with BOA but still have not heard anything back. PNC had put my accounts on hold, which by the way has been the worst hassle ever. When this first came to light PNC advised that it would take 15 days to get an email to dispute this, which I should receive then in 3 more days. But also advised that if I did not have that dispute in within 30 days my accounts would be closed. NOW my problem is this, it has not been 15 days yet, I have not had the change to dispute with you people or PNC, nor is it even close to the 30 days and my accounts have already been closed. I do not know what to do, and everything I reach out to BOA, PNC, etc I am getting no answers, keep running into dead ends and it’s like no one wants to even help me! This fraud thing has NOTHING to do with me, let alone I was never even alerted. Granted I am sure they have policies and procedures, but I feel it was completely unprofessional to not even alert me that this was in my name or that this was something within my account! Please help me! 🙁 I just want my life to go back to normal – this is literally ruining my life!


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