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If you've come up short when looking for a bank account for bad credit, it's not surprising. Bad credit has wide-reaching consequences, even on your ability to open a bank account.
Thankfully, no-credit check banks offer people with bad credit a safe and convenient way to save and manage money at a traditional bank.
Banking for bad credit opens the door to a variety of financial products to help improve your financial health.
No credit check bank accounts have the same features and benefits as traditional bank accounts. Check them out:
OneUnited Bank's Online Checking Account is available to people in ALL STATES. As one of a few online banks that accept bad credit, OneUnited customers can add cash to the OneUnited Bank Debit Card at over 90,000 locations across the country through a partnership with Green Dot.
To get started go to the “Get the Card” button, enter your name, email address and cell phone number. Choose the Black Wall Street Checking account option along with the opening deposit, then complete your identification details (name, address, SSN, and employer).
»See Full OneUnited Bank Review
People looking for online banks that don't use ChexSystems should put Upgrade at the top of the list. With free checking, no overdraft fees and fee-free ATMs, Upgrade's checking account offers attractive benefits to step back into banking. Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus best features:
Upgrade is a financial technology company, not a bank. Checking and savings accounts provided by Cross River Bank, Member FDIC.
Consumers Credit Union is a credit union based in Illinois with membership open to anyone regardless of where they live or work. Financial products and services include checking, savings, CDs, personal, auto and mortgage loans, small business banking, investments and financial education. The monthly free checking account is called Rewards Checking with the following features:
With Albert, people looking for a second chance banking opportunity can open an account with no minimum deposit requirement. The Albert Genius feature analyzes your income and spending to find extra dollars to save automatically. All funds are insured up to $250,000 through federally backed FDIC protection. Albert will spot you up to a $250 cash advance with no credit check, interest or late fees.
Albert is not a bank. Banking services provided by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC
Go2bank provides a range of financial services, including a checking account, savings account, and debit card. Go2bank also offers various features like early access to paychecks, cashback rewards on certain purchases, and the ability to deposit checks remotely using your mobile device.
Acorns is primarily a money app that helps you invest and save. Acorns offers an FDIC-Insured Checking Account that does not use ChexSystems or pull a credit report. The Acorns app has tools to benefit your overall financial well-being by investing your spare change, managing everyday banking transactions, saving for retirement, and growing your wealth building knowledge.
Acorns is not a bank. Acorns Visa™ debit cards are issued by Lincoln Savings Bank or nbkc bank, Members FDIC for Acorns Checking account holders
Novo offers digital banking for businesses that integrates with additional business tools. Novo's free business checking account offers no monthly fees and unlimited refunds for ATM charges. Customers get immediate access to funds with The Novo Virtual Card.
Novo is a fintech, not a bank. Deposit account services provided by Middlesex Federal Savings, F. A.; Member FDIC. FDIC Insurance through Middlesex Federal Savings and virtual cards provided by Patriot Bank, N.A.; pursuant to Mastercard International.
A checking account for bad credit is a type of bank account designed specifically for people who have a poor credit history or prior banking issues that led to negative records in ChexSystems.
It's not uncommon to have both bad credit and ChexSystems records. The two often go hand-in-hand.
One reason is that a bank can report an unpaid negative account balance from an overdraft to ChexSystems, then later the bank can sell that debt to a collection agency.
The collection agency can then report the debt to the major credit bureaus – causing bad credit.
The main advantage of bad credit checking accounts is that it allows people with poor credit to have access to a safe place to deposit money, manage finances in one place, cut check-cashing and money order fees, use online tools to pay bills and easily transfer money.
Just like you can rebuild credit, banking privileges can be restored by responsibly managing a checking account for bad credit.
Having the ability to conduct financial transactions quickly and securely is vital in a largely mobile society.
Whether you need to pay a utility bill, quickly transfer money to friends or family members, or make an online purchase, you need the ability to conduct financial transactions fast and securely.
Avoid overdrafts with your new account by keeping track of your money. Most bank accounts, if not all, allow online access and apps that offer up-to-date account information and alerts.
Bank accounts for bad credit and second chance banking accounts are typically not free. But, most banks and credit unions will give you an opportunity to upgrade to a free account or at the very least, an account that offers more benefits after a 12-month proof of good account management.
Your new account is more than likely to be monitored by the bank. If you’re prone to overdrafts, you need to be conscious of your balance at all times and open a bank account that offers overdraft protection or an overdraft line of credit.
Bad credit doesn't mean you can't open a checking account. Here are workarounds to open a checking with bad credit.
If bank accounts for bad credit are not an option, the next best alternative is banks that don't use ChexSystems. These accounts are very similar to bank accounts for bad credit but the main difference is they don't use ChexSystems to verify new accounts.
When banks open a checking account for bad credit customers, they may use ChexSystems to verify new account openings but decide to give customers a fresh start.
On the other hand, banks that don't use ChexSystems never see your negative banking records at all, which might be a better option for consumers with multiple ChexSystems records.
ChexSystems does not operate as an unregulated company. Because ChexSystems is considered a consumer reporting agency, they are subject to federal laws, in particular, the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
You have the right to challenge errors on your ChexSystems report the same as you can with your credit reports.
Federal law entitles you to a free ChexSystems report once every 12 months under federal law. If you are denied a bank account or job due to entries on your ChexSystems report you can get a free report within 60 days of the denial.
After reviewing your ChexSystems report online, you can dispute any mistakes or inaccuracies. You have the option to use the online dispute form to submit your dispute online, by mail, or via fax.
Here is what to review on your ChexSystems report:
Supporting documentation should be submitted with ChexSystems disputes if it exists. If you are unsuccessful in the dispute process with ChexSystems, dispute directly with the bank that reported you.
Banks that report customers to ChexSystems must adhere to the same dispute requirements under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
ChexSystems or the bank generally must investigate the dispute within 30 days of receiving it. The dispute will either be verified as accurate or not. In some instances the bank or ChexSystems will not complete the investigation in 30 days, in such case, the account must be deleted.
ChexSystems or the bank will have 5 business days after completing an investigation to notify you of the results.
If you have the funds, try negotiating a settlement with the bank or collection agency for the debt in exchange for getting the negative information removed from your ChexSystems report, essentially similar to a credit account pay for delete.
Just like you can request reconsideration when denied for a credit card, you can ask a bank to take another look at your account application.
With instant approval bank accounts, the automated process can overlook compelling hardships that may have caused a negative banking record.
A denial may be overturned with a manual review of your application. If you can show that your negative banking history is an anomaly caused by emergency circumstances, the bank might reverse its decision.
If bank accounts for bad credit don't fit your needs, find a local second chance bank or credit union near you that offers second chance banking accounts.
These types of accounts let you enjoy the perks of a bank account while restoring your banking history plus you get to know the bank's representatives to form a more personal banking relationship.
I know we said, “dump your prepaid card.” But if you have exhausted all options, temporarily using a prepaid debit card will at least offer a limited form of banking. Card issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A offers prepaid cards with early direct deposit.
This account is good for people with bad credit because there is no credit check or ChexSystems to open. Check out our review of Card with a variety of designs to fit your personality.
Card issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A Features
Now that you know the ins-and-outs of checking accounts for bad credit, it's time to find one that fits your financial needs. Here are four features to consider before opening a new account.
The last thing you want is money eaten up in bank fees. But unfortunately, when you have bad credit, a monthly service fee may be mandatory unless you meet certain criteria. For example:
Avoid accounts that require a minimum balance. Look for a bank that does not require you to keep a certain amount of funds in your checking account.
That way, you won’t have to worry daily about dipping below the minimum and getting hit with fees.
Banks want your business and are willing to compete for it with free checking account perks. Cash-back checking accounts are an excellent perk some banks offer for purchasing everyday items like gas and groceries.
Many online only banks offer ATM reimbursements is another excellent perk offered by some banks. That means you can count on getting your money back for practically any ATM charge.
Mobile banking gives customers a convenient way to connect with their bank. Mobile banking also gives banks an opportunity to create a closer banking relationship with their customers. If you're one of the 85 percent of people across the world who own a smartphone, you could probably benefit from mobile banking.
Having the ability to see your account in real-time, receive account alerts and deposit checks can be a big help in successfully managing a checking account.
Never ignore bad credit. Without a banking relationship, you're stuck using money orders or cashier's checks to pay bills or using check-cashing services to access the funds in your paycheck. Ignoring bad credit only makes it worse.
But without good credit, you're stuck using high-rate personal loans or payday if you need to borrow money. Paying an extra deposit if renting an apartment, or flat-out being denied.
Bad credit can make it harder to get car and home loans, and to qualify for credit card accounts. Plus people with lower credit scores generally pay more for auto, renter’s, and homeowner’s insurance.
1. Secured Credit Cards. Credit cards managed the right way can boost your credit scores in less than 6 months. Make only small purchases and pay them off immediately, before the due date.
That means if you normally use cash for things like groceries or gas, use the secured credit card for those items then pay the credit card in full.
2. Credit Builder Card. The Extra Debit Card is designed to help consumers build or rebuild credit. Extra is not a credit card. At the end of every month Extra totals up all of your debit card purchases and payments and reports them to credit bureaus to build your credit. Extra is linked to your checking account and your spending limit (Spend Power) based on your bank balance and other factors with no credit check.
Extra Debit Card makes qualifying simple:
3. Personal Loans. Unsecured personal loans for bad credit may cost you more due to higher interest rates; but, having a personal loan on credit reports can improve scores. Personal loans can enhance your credit history and your credit mix.
A blend of installment debt (personal loan) and revolving debt (credit cards) can benefit your credit scores. Personal loans for bad credit can also be used to pay down debt.
4. Credit For Utilities. Experian Boost lets consumers get a positive payment history from accounts that don't normally appear on your credit report. The types of bills reported with Experian Boost include:
Experian Boost makes it possible to add monthly utility, rent, streaming service and other bills to your credit report. While Experian Boost only works for your Experian credit report, letting you benefit from additional positive payment history that can improve at least one of your credit scores.
5. Credit-Builder Loans. Credit builder loans are designed to help people establish or improve their credit score. These loans are typically small, ranging from $300 to $1,000.
The lender will hold the loan funds in a savings or Certificate of Deposit account, and you'll make monthly payments on the loan for a set period of time.
Your payments are reported to the credit bureaus and once the loan terms end, you'll get the money, sometimes with interest.
6. Debit card that builds credit. Building credit can take on many forms, there are a few debit cards that can help build credit by reporting monthly transactions to the credit bureaus.
This type of debit card that builds credit is typically linked to your regular checking account and charges a monthly fee for the service of positive credit bureau reporting.
There's no reason to pay a check cashing store or pay prepaid debit card fees when bank accounts for bad credit are available throughout the United States.
Mistakes happen. Many people don’t know how to manage a checking account until they make a mess of it. Who you’re banking with matters to your overall financial health.
But learning how to manage a bank account responsibly can save you money and time, but most of all help you build wealth.
1 Active Accounts with a monthly direct deposit of $1000 are eligible for additional benefits on Rewards Checking Plus such as additional cash back rewards, ATM fee reimbursement, and more. See the Active Account page for more information.
2 Rewards Checking Plus customers who set-up monthly direct deposits of $1,000 or more earn 2% cash back on common everyday expenses at convenience stores, drugstores, restaurants and bars – including deliveries – and gas stations, as well as recurring payments on utilities and monthly subscriptions including phone, cable, TV and other streaming services, and 1% cash back on all other debit card purchases. 2% cash back is limited to $500 in rewards per calendar year; after $500, customers earn 1% cash back on all eligible debit card purchases for the remainder of the year. Rewards Checking Plus accounts with less than $1,000 in monthly direct deposits 60 days after account opening will earn 1% cash back on common everyday expenses and 0.50% cash back on all other eligible debit card purchases. Some limitations apply. Please refer to the applicable Upgrade VISA® Debit Card Agreement and Disclosures for more information.
3 The 1.5% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) for the Performance Savings account is effective as of June 1, 2023. The APY for the Performance Savings account is variable and may change at any time. Active Accounts qualify for 5.07% APY with monthly $1000 direct deposit. The APY for Active Accounts is effective as of September 1, 2023, is variable, and may change at any time. Please refer to the applicable Cross River Bank Performance Savings Deposit Account Agreement and Truth in Savings Disclosure. To earn APY, you must open and fund a Performance Savings account. Rewards Checking Plus accounts do not earn APY.
4 Early direct deposit requires set up of recurring electronic direct deposit from your employer, payroll, or benefits provider and is limited to direct deposits under $5000. Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing in which we receive notice of impending direct deposit, which is generally up to two days before the scheduled deposit date.
5 There are no overdraft fees or annual fees associated with Rewards Checking Plus accounts. Rewards Checking Plus charges no ATM fees, but third-party institutions may charge you a fee if you use their ATM/network or if you use your Upgrade VISA® Debit Card internationally. For Active Accounts, Upgrade will rebate ATM fees charged by another institution for debit card withdrawals in the United States, up to five times per calendar month. To be eligible to receive third-party ATM fee rebates in any calendar month for eligible ATM withdrawals made during that month on a Rewards Checking Plus account, the account must be an Active Account in the prior calendar month. See the Active Account page for more information. As a courtesy to new customers, Upgrade will provide third-party ATM fee rebates for 60 days after account opening regardless of account user status. Some limitations apply. Please refer to the applicable Cross River Bank Checking Deposit Account Agreement and Upgrade VISA® Debit Card Agreement and Disclosures for more information.