It’s difficult to manage your finances without a bank account. Most purchases we make require checks, debit cards, or credit cards.
And if you’ve been effectively banned or blacklisted from the banking system, the alternative (check cashing stores, payday loans, etc.) can cost you hundreds of dollars in fees each month.
Some banks and credit unions offer second chance checking accounts and most have very attractive features such as high approval rates, low or no fees, mobile apps, and no opening deposit to get the account.
What are the Best Second Chance Checking Accounts With No Opening Deposit?
- Best Credit Building Account: Current
- Most Loved App: Chime
- Most Branches: Chase Secure Banking
- Best Business Checking: Lili
- Best Credit Union: Navy Federal lCredit Union
- Best No Fee Account: SoFi
Can I open a checking account with no opening deposit?
Most banks and credit unions require an opening deposit and it’s probably a good business decision. It does cost them money to create and send a debit card, print checks (if applicable), and send monthly statements. Getting a customer to make even a small up front commitment helps them justify that expense while also giving them an indication that you’ll be using the account.
But an increasing number of banks and credit unions — in an effort to grow their business — are doing away with the opening deposit requirement in order to make their account offerings attractive to the widest audience available. If having this feature is important to you, there are several good options we list above.
Can I open a checking account if I have bad credit?
In some cases, a bank will run a credit check through one of the three major credit reporting agencies. However, most financial institutions will instead look at your ChexSystems report, which has information about your banking history.
The majority of banks aren’t too interested in things like your credit card payment history and credit score. Instead, they want to get an idea of your history working with other banks and credit unions.
By looking at your ChexSystems report, the bank can see things like unpaid account fees, negative account balances, and a history of writing bad checks.
What is ChexSystems?
ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency that compiles and maintains a database of checking and savings account activities. This information is used by banks and credit unions to assess the risk associated with potential customers. A negative ChexSystems profile, resulting from issues like bounced checks or unpaid fees, can lead to the denial of a bank account.
However, it is essential to note that ChexSystems itself is not responsible for the decisions made by financial institutions.
Information that appears on your ChexSystems report
Your ChexSystems report contains various types of information that are used by banks to evaluate your eligibility for a checking account. Some of the information that may appear on your ChexSystems report includes:
- Instances of fraud: Any fraudulent activity, such as identity theft or unauthorized transactions, that has been associated with your banking history might be recorded in your report.
- Insufficient funds items: This refers to any checks or electronic payments that you attempted to make, but did not have enough funds in your account to cover them.
- Uncollected overdrafts and unpaid automatic transactions: If you have had overdrafts or automatic payments that the bank covered for you, these activities may be documented in your report.
- Violations of banking regulations or rules: Any instances where you have violated banking regulations, such as engaging in prohibited transactions or being involved in money laundering, could be recorded in your ChexSystems report.
- Abuse of savings account, debit card, or ATM card: If you have misused your savings account, debit card, or ATM card, such as using them for unauthorized transactions or engaging in fraudulent activities, this information may be included in your report.
- Opening an account using incorrect information: If you have provided inaccurate or false information when opening a bank account, it may be noted in your ChexSystems report.
It’s also worth mentioning that some banks may access additional record-keeping companies like Early Warning Services and TeleCheck. Negative marks with these companies could potentially impact your chances of getting approved for a checking account. However, it is important to note that not everyone listed in ChexSystems is also listed in EWS or TeleCheck.
8 things to consider when opening a second chance bank account
The majority of people select a bank account based on how convenient it is. For instance, you might choose a bank down the street instead of one across town. However, there are other things to consider when opening second chance checking account with no opening deposit. Not every bank will have what you need to meet your financial goals.
Don’t be afraid to shop around when choosing a savings or checking account. A few things to consider include:
- No opening deposit – This provides the greatest amount of flexibility as you begin the important step of selecting a bank or credit union.
- ATM access – Look into the location and number of ATMs that you can access when creating an account. You should also think about what fees are associated with using out-of-network ATMs.
- Customer service – Your second chance bank account should provide excellent customer service. Look for features like online chat and 24/7 phone support.
- Fees – Many banks make money through fees, so you want to watch for that. Some of these fees may include foreign transaction fees, ATM fees, overdraft fees, and minimum balance fees. Charging fees isn’t a sign you should avoid a bank but you need to be aware of what to expect moving forward.
- Free debit card – Many checking accounts include a free debit card. However, some banks charge for them or have a replacement fee if you lose yours.
- Mobile and online banking – The best banks will have secure mobile and online banking options, such as account management or mobile deposits.
- Overdraft protection – Most people will want to have overdraft protection. This can save you money if you make a mistake and spend more than you have in an account.
- Rewards program – A rewards program can be useful depending on your needs. For instance, you might get discounts on services or cash back when you use your debit card.
Best Second Chance Banks by State
Some banks and credit unions offer so-called second chance checking accounts to help people rebuild their credit and improve their banking history. The table below will take you through all the various banks and credit unions in your state that offer these types of accounts.
Whether you have some negative banking history or bad credit, you can still open a bank account. All you need to do is select the best second chance checking account with no opening deposit for you.
Before you make a final choice, be aware of the services and products that you need. Take a look at your options and choose the one that best suits your lifestyle. This is the best way to choose a bank account that can help you move forward. The vast majority of the time, you can get a bank account with ALL the features and benefits you need with no fees, minimums, or restrictions. Best of all, many of these banks boast a guaranteed checking account approval!