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 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.
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...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.