If you’ve struggled with bounced checks, regular overdrafts, or closing an account with a negative account balance, you may have run into issues opening a new account.The issue of being unbanked or underbanked can lead to many issues for people who have struggled with poverty, economic instability, or those who tend to use cash to the exclusion of bank accounts.In certain circumstances, some banks won’t allow you to open an account due to a checkered banking history. But if you’re trying to make headway towards economic stability, getting a checking account in place can go a long way towards reducing check-cashing and other nonsense banking fees.In these circumstances, a second-chance checking account may be your best option. Here’s what you need to know about them.
In general, when you get turned down for a new checking account, it is for one of two reasons. The first reason is that you don’t meet basic account requirements. For example, some banks require customers to be 18 (or 19) years old, be a permanent resident or citizen of the United States, and possibly meet some other requirements.Another reason banks may turn you down is based off of your banking history – this is called your banking score. Banks share derogatory banking history using a system called ChexSystems. If you’ve struggled with banking in the past, you may not look like a good candidate for a new checking account.You can look at your checking history report for free through ChexSystems. This is worthwhile if you’ve been turned down for an account. That way, you can know what banks see when they consider you as a customer.
If you’ve been turned down for a checking account, you may still qualify for certain checking accounts called second-chance accounts.In general, you have to pay a monthly fee to maintain one of these accounts, but you may be able to waive the fee by meeting certain criteria. Over time, you may be able to graduate to a fee-free checking account at the same banking institution (or another one).
Looking for a second-chance checking account? Here are some of the best:
is an online and mobile-first bank account that is revolutionizing banking! They advertise themselves as being very friendly for second-chance bank accounts, including no credit check and no ChexSystem (banking score) usage.Plus, you can get $5 free when you open an account!
The BBVA Free Checking account is available in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, California, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas.
The BBVA Online Checking account is available in all states except Alaska and Hawaii.
The Radius Essential Checking account is available in all 50 states.
The Peoples Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking account is available in all 50 states.
The Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking account is available in all 50 states.
Second-chance bank accounts aren’t always a great option, but they are typically better than going without an account. Getting one of these second-chance accounts can help you re-establish yourself financially and build your financial life.