Sun. May 26th, 2024

Second Chance Checking Accounts – A Layman’s Guide To Getting One

Are you currently looking into second chance checking accounts but are not sure what the process is, or how to get things started? In this article, we will be going over the background of these types of accounts, why they are needed and what type of banks offer them. By the end of this, you will get a clear idea about how this works and what you can do.


If you ever been turned down for a regular checking account, it is likely that you have a negative record in the ChexSystems. Sometimes mis-spelled as the Check System, this is an organization just like a consumer reporting agency.

What Experian is to credit history and credit scores, ChexSystems is to checking account history. Banks that are member organizations of this system will report on to the system if the accounts are closed with fees unpaid and other events that will indicate the quality of the checking account transactions.

Second Chance Banking

All is not lost even if your ChexSystems account has a negative flag. One way is to bypass and go for non ChexSystems checking accounts that are offered by banks that are not a ChexSystems member. This situation is getting less and less common, though.

Most likely, you can still get an account from a bank that is a member of ChexSystems. Banks may see your record and still be willing to offer you a second chance checking account. For example, Joe S, an online forum poster, recently applied to Chase bank for a regular bank account for checking, and was offered the second chance Chase Access account instead.

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Banks That Offer Them

Regular national banks, local banks and credit unions offer second chance banking. Some are offered by financial institutions that specialize in bad credit checking accounts.

Amongst the many choices, you can consider nationwide banks like Chase or USBank, or regional banks like Woodbury bank or Bank of the West. These accounts typically have all the benefits of a regular account, including check writing, online banking and a debit card.

Improve Financial Management And Credit History

This is important as it makes it so much easier to participate in mainstream financial activities and to make payments. Over time, a history of good financial management and the ability to pay bills on time could also contribute to a better credit score.

Be Careful About The Fees And Terms

One catch about second chance bank accounts is that they may also include some fees like an application fee, monthly account fee and transactions costs for writing checks. That is why you need to be careful when choosing the right place to open your new account at. Check out several websites and compare all the charges involved.

Moving Ahead With Life

The good news is that as you establish an account history with the bank, and they see that your account is in good standing over time, they will be willing to upgrade your account to a regular checking account.

Second chance checking accounts are available widely across many states and with different banks and credit unions. If you’ve been denied an account before, all it means is that you have not found the right bank. Don’t settle for the first bank that offers you an account. Instead, research and compare the fees and terms of several banks before choosing one.

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By Miracle