According to FDIC Report, 87% of banks require a third-party screen of account histories prior to opening a checking account.
Early Warning Service is one agency that banks may use to determine if you can open a bank account.
Early Warning Services (EWS) is a consumer reporting agency, just like ChexSystems. You are entitled to a free consumer report from Early Warning Services under the Fact Act every 12 months.
History of Early Warning Services
Owned and governed by five of the largest banks in the U.S., Bank of America, BB&T, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Capital One, EWS makes it possible for banks to easily exchange information between organizations in order to prevent and combat fraud.
Actions that Early Warning Services Screens
EWS reports contain fraudulent activities customers have in their past account history. Banks that use EWS often deny customers a new account when applying. Sometimes customers with EWS reports will be able to open a new account only to have it closed a few weeks later.
That’s because some banks perform EWS screening after an account has been opened.
An EWS report remains 7 years and includes a range of information about your past banking activity, including monies owed and fraudulent activities such as:
- Prior history of fraud
- Account abuse
- Check Alterations
- Check Kiting
- Identity verification
- Account owner authentication
How to order your Free Early Warning Services Report
You will have to contact Early Warning Services for a copy of your consumer report. Unfortunately, at this time there is not a way to order it online like at ChexSystems.
(Complete Online Form) at: Early Warning Services Customer Service
(By Phone) at: (800) 325-7775 Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Arizona Time
(By Mail) at: Early Warning Services, LLC Consumer Services 16552 North 90th Street, Suite 100 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
What you need to order an EWS Report
EWS will try to collect as much information as possible about you. DO NOT help them. While the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives them the right to verify your identity, it does not say you have to disclose current employment, previous address, bank account, voided checks or even telephone numbers to get your EWS Report.
The only information EWS needs to verify your identity is:
- Social Security number
- Photo Identification
- Proof of Address (i.e. utility bill)
If they refuse to provide a copy of your EWS Report file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
How to Get a New Account while in EWS
If you are unable to get a bank account due to Early Warning Services try a second chance checking account to get back into traditional banking.
Your past checking account mistakes does not mean you are shut out of banking. Second chance banking gives you options to start rebuilding your banking history.