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California Second Chance Checking Accounts

California Second Chance Checking Accounts
Advertiser Disclosures

California has multiple banks that offer second chance checking accounts for consumers with past banking issues.

According to a 2019 FDIC Survey, 5.6% of people in California are unbanked. Unbanked consumers in California have numerous options for check cashing, consumer loans, and other financial services. But alternative financial services are going to cost you in fees.

Traditional banking is not only convenient but can save you money.

Get back on track with easy day-to-day banking. Check out our list of second chance checking accounts in California. Many second chance bank accounts run a ChexSystems report.

If your ChexSystems record has unpaid debt, consider options at banks that don’t use ChexSystems or bank accounts for bad credit.

Second chance checking accounts in California

OneUnited Bank

OneUnited Bank’s Online Checking Account is available to people in ALL STATES. We like OneUnited Bank because customers can add cash to the OneUnited Bank Debit Card at over 90,000 locations across the country through a partnership with Green Dot®.

OneUnited Bank offers the Black Wall Street Checking account with no monthly fee. However, if you don’t qualify, they offer the U2 E-Checking Account specifically designed for bad credit.

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 ($25.00 minimum), then complete your identification details (name, address, SSN, and employer).

Black Wall Street Checking Account Features

  • Minimum opening deposit of $25 (can be funded with a credit card).
  • No monthly fee.
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with early direct deposit.
  • Free Online & Mobile Banking.
  • Obtain Cash, Surcharge Free at Over 35,000 ATMs Nationwide.
  • Deposit checks through the mobile app.
  • Free Bill Pay
  • OneUnited also offers a secured credit card that reports to the major credit bureaus.

Fort Sill National Bank

Fort Sill National bank does not use ChexSystems but a credit report will be pulled. They have several checking account packages to choose from but the Basic Checking includes a $5.00 Minimum deposit required to open account, has no monthly fees, unlimited check writing and a Visa CheckCard.

US Bank

Most US Bank branches located “in-store” branches will open a checking or savings account for consumers in ChexSystems but you must not owe US Bank money and fraud cannot be indicated in your ChexSystems record. Some regular branch locations may also open an account but it’s best to call first to inquire. The minimum opening deposit is $25.

Union Bank

Union Bank does use ChexSystems; however, they will open an account for you if the ChexSystems record is 1 year old, has been paid and does not indicate fraud. If the ChexSystems record is 3 years or older, Union Bank will disregard the record as long as it does not indicate fraud. The minimum opening deposit is $100.

Credit Unions in California

There are multiple credit unions in California that offer second chance checking accounts. But unlike banks, credit unions may have restrictions on membership. Potential members have to meet membership requirements that vary depending on the credit union’s objective.

If you are eligible to join a credit union, they typically offer a variety of excellent financial products including second chance checking accounts.

American United Federal Credit Union – Fresh Start Checking

American United Federal Credit Union offers second chance banking with a fresh start checking account even if you’ve been turned away by other financial institutions. In most cases, this option is available to members regardless of past credit problems and issues with bounced checks. The account features free online banking and online bill pay, free mobile banking, direct deposit and a Visa debit card.

California Coast Credit Union – Fresh Start Checking

California Coast Credit Union pulls a credit report and ChexSystems report but offers a “Fresh Start Checking” if the ChexSystems record is paid and does not indicate fraud. There is a $7.50 monthly service charge for the account. The minimum deposit required to open the Fresh Start Checking is $25.

Kern Federal Credit Union – Fresh Start Checking

Fresh Start Checking gives Kern members who qualify a chance to establish a solid checking history. After 12 months of good account management you may be eligible for the Free Checking Account. Outstanding balances on delinquent checking accounts from other financial institutions must be paid in full. There is a $20 monthly service charge, free mobile banking, online banking & bill pay. There is a $25 minimum deposit to open.

Premier America Credit Union – Fresh Start Checking

Premier America Credit Union offers a Fresh Start Checking Account for people with past ChexSystems records. The minimum deposit required to open an account is $25. There is a monthly service fee of $13 but it can be reduced to $10 with minimum of $200 monthly direct deposit. You must open the account in a branch.

Alliance Credit Union – Second Chance Banking

Alliance Credit Union offers a second chance banking. With Alliance Credit Union you get a chance to wipe the slate clean and open a fresh start checking account to re-establish your account management history. The “Fresh Start Checking” is for people who have been restricted from opening a checking account due to a ChexSystems record or previous account mis-management. The account requires a $50 opening deposit along with a $10 monthly service fee. You must complete a Checking Account Management course and score 90% or higher on the quiz.

Los Angeles Federal Credit Union – Second Chance Checking

LAFCU offers a second chance banking for individuals who may not qualify for Regular Checking and only if the ChexSystems records indicates all funds they owed are paid. After the Los Angeles Federal Credit Union Second Chance Checking is kept in good standing for 12 months, it can be converted to a Regular Checking. Anyone can join Los Angeles Federal Credit Union as long as you contribute at least $1.00 to the Los Angeles Charitable Association (LACA).

Mid Cities Credit Union – Second Chance Checking

Mid Cities Credit Union offers a Second Chance Checking Account designed to help members having a difficult time opening a checking account with another financial institution. But fraud must not be indicated on your ChexSystems record. If you maintain your 2nd Chance Checking for 12 months with positive account activity, you’ll automatically upgrade to a regular checking account.

Southland Credit Union – Opportunity Checking

Southland Credit Union offers a second chance account called “Opportunity Checking” to those in ChexSystems. There are strict requirements to open the account. For instance, to be eligible for an Opportunity Checking Account there can be no fraud or suspected fraud reported on ChexSystems, no recent NSFs and no current unpaid items on ChexSystems. The account must be opened in-person at a branch location. The minimum opening deposit is $0 but there is a $15 monthly service fee. Customers get a Visa Debit Card with access to over 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs and one free box of Southland checks.

Alta Vista Credit Union – Opportunity Checking Account

Second chance banking at Alta Vista Credit Union comes in the offer called “Opportunity Checking.” With the opportunity checking account past checking mistakes are forgiven. Customers are given a second chance to establish a checking relationship. The monthly service fee is $20.00. The Opportunity Checking account allows you to have an ATM card with a $65.00 daily withdrawal limit.

Ventura County Credit Union – Second Chance Checking Account

Ventura County Credit Union offers second chance banking if you’re unable to open a traditional account because of ChexSystems reporting. There is a monthly service charge of $5 for the account with direct deposit and $12 without direct deposit.

E-Central Credit Union – E Builder Account

The “E-Builder Checking Account” gives a new start for those who have a ChexSystems history. The account features free overdraft protection that is linked from a Savings Account. The minimum to open an account is $50.00 along with $200.00 pledged into Savings. There is a $10.00 monthly service fee and the account is eligible to upgrade to a regular checking account after 12 months with good history. Other restrictions may apply.

Federal Employees West Federal Credit Union

As with most credit unions, you’ll have to check eligibility to join. But this credit union does not use ChexSystems, they verify accounts through Telecheck. A Savings Account is required to establish credit union membership. After that, you can open more accounts.

Heritage Community Credit Union – 2nd Chance Checking

Heritage Community Credit Union offers a 2nd Chance Checking account designed specifically for members who may have been unable to qualify for a checking account in the past due to a ChexSystems record. The account features no direct deposit or minimum balance requirements but there is a $25 minimum required to open. Account holders get a cash back Visa check card, and free ATM access at over 28,000 CO-OP Network® locations.

Priority One Credit Union – New Leaf Checking

Priority One Credit Union can help you get back on track with the “New Leaf Checking Account.” Start fresh and re-establish your checking privileges. The account features no per-check charges, online access through home and mobile banking, online bill pay and a Visa check card. There is $25 opening deposit required along with a $500 minimum monthly direct deposit and a monthly service fee of $15.00. A credit report will be pulled with a minimum score of 520 required.

Self-Help Federal Credit Union

The Access Checking account may be available to credit union members who had previous difficulties with their prior bank or credit union accounts. The account is free with a $300 combined average daily balance or direct deposit (otherwise there is a $3 per month fee). Subject to approval you will get a Free Visa Check Card or ATM Card. Benefits include surcharge-free ATM access at more than 28,000 CO-OP Network locations.

Final thoughts

Past banking issues along with negative banking records can impact low- and middle-income households. Second chance banking will get you back on track even if you have bad credit.

A negative ChexSystems record can remain 5 years unless you successfully dispute ChexSystems to get it deleted. For consumers with an EWS record, it can last for 7 years unless you’re able to successfully dispute EWS.

Whether you choose a bank or credit union, take the time to build a solid banking relationship that will help you grow your money while maintaining a safe place to conduct daily expense transactions.


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