ChexSystems keeps most information about how a ChexSystems score is determined private, but you do have access to the actual score.
A ChexSystems score is part of the decision-making process, among several other data points used by many banks and credit unions.
Have you ever wanted to know your ChexSystems score? You can check your ChexSystems score free of charge. ChexSystems has a form you must complete in order to get your ChexSystems score. Mail or fax the completed form to ChexSystems.
Once your request has been received, ChexSystems will send a response to you via U.S. mail. It can take up to 15 days to receive your ChexSystems score after the request form is received by ChexSystems.
ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency. That means you are entitled to a free ChexSystems report once every 12 months or if you’ve been denied a bank account based on your ChexSystems report.
How are ChexSystems Scores Determined?
ChexSystems scores are primarily based on the information that exists in your ChexSystems report, plus other data from your credit report, public records, and even payday loan history. The ChexSystems score ranges from 100 to 899, with a higher score representing lower odds of future default.
In general, ChexSystems scores are assigned to consumers based on their estimated likelihood of having their account closed by the bank.
What if you don’t have a ChexSystems Score?
Consumers with a history of good banking habits may not have a ChexSystems score. That’s because ChexSystems only contains negative information.
Here are just a few items contained in a ChexSystems report:
- Involuntary account closure
- Bounced checks and overdrafts
- Unpaid negative balances
- Account, card or ATM abuse
- Suspected fraud or identity theft
- Number of accounts applied for recently
- Number of checks ordered by the account holder
- Number checks bounced at retailers
- Opening an account with false information
How to Remove ChexSystems Records
The Fair Credit Reporting Act says a consumer reporting agency (ChexSystems) must report only accurate information. This federal law allows you to challenge errors and inaccurate information. Once ChexSystems receives a dispute, they have 30 days to investigate. If the information being reported cannot or is not verified by the bank that reported the negative information, ChexSystems must remove the negative information.
When fraud is reported by a bank, this is a very serious issue. The problem with a “suspected fraud” notation is that banks tend to use it when no fraud actually occurred. Challenge fraud notations by disputing ChexSystems. Include any supporting documentation in your dispute. Investigations typically take up to 30 days and if it can confirm your dispute as accurate, the item will be removed.
Consider paying an outstanding debt to the bank in exchange for deletion from ChexSystems.
If you don’t have enough cash to do so, consider asking the bank or collection agency if they would be willing to settle for less than what you owe. Once you’ve paid off your balance, request that the bank or collection agency remove the record from your ChexSystems report.
Once the debt is satisfied, you can file a request with the bank, credit union or collection agency to update or remove the negative item from your ChexSystems report. Alternatively, you can request a receipt for your payment and send it directly to the reporting agency to have your record updated.
How Long Does a Report Stay on File?
It usually takes five years for negative items to be removed from ChexSystems. You may find it difficult or next to impossible to open a new bank account while in ChexSystems; unless you find a non ChexSystems bank or credit union. Many people have resorted to using prepaid debit cards in place of a traditional checking account.
One issue with prepaid debit cards is fees and costs. Prepaid debit cards offer limited banking options and plus they do not help unbanked consumers rebuild their banking history.
It’s best to look for second chance checking opportunities in your state to get back on track. Second chance banks either don’t check your ChexSystems report at all, or they’re willing to look past some negative items.