Chexsystems is a reporting agency that maintains a database of the names of people which banks have to sent them. Then, other banks who are members of Chexsystems, will run a check on a new perspective customer to see if that individual has had: frequent account overdrafts… bounce checks… did something banks consider as an “act of fraud” or otherwise have an unpaid balance owed to another bank on a closed account.
If your name comes back from that ChexSystems check, it is very likely that bank will deny you from opening a new account with them.
Your record stays in Chexsystems for five years and can make difficult getting another checking account during that period. Financial institutions lose billions of dollars every year because of check abuse, and outright fraud. This is why 80% of U.S. banks and credit unions belong to the ChexSystems network.
It is very understandable that if you’ve never before had a problem with a bank account, then you would have never heard of them. Most people have never heard of Chexsystems until that moment they try to open a checking account and are turned down.
It is very important to know that ChexSystems only maintains the database of names! The decision of whether, or not, to deny someone from opening a bank account is strictly up to the individual bank, and their policies.
However, there are also a lot of banks who realize that simply automatically denying everyone who has a Chexsystems file is not really good business. Those banks will make a decision on a case by case basis.
2nd Chance Checking
You might have heard of accounts under the names: 2nd chance checking accounts, fresh start checking accounts, opportunity checking, bad credit checking account, etc. For the most part, these accounts are designed specifically for people who may have past banking issues. The bank already knows that you need help, and that’s exactly what these bank accounts may accomplish.
There are several nationwide banks in the United States that may approve you for a 2nd chance checking account while having a negative item listed on your Chexsystems report.
Directories for 2nd Chance Checking
Chancebanking.com is a free resource that maintains a directory to help people find 2nd Chance Checking.
If you are having trouble opening a bank account, then try browse through their directory to find a local bank in your area that may offer service for people who need a 2nd chance checking account.
Keep in mind that, as always, the final decision is up to the particular bank. This is only a convenient directory to help you locate the bank, their website, and physical location.