Trying to get bank accounts with bad credit used to be a challenge. Most big banks did not want your business and smaller, regional banks created second chance checking accounts to fill the void. These second chance bank accounts usually came with monthly fees or account minimums and didn’t offer the features provided in other accounts.
During the past several years, however, new and innovative banks and credit unions have begun to offer checking accounts with no bank fees or monthly minimums and even offer better perks and benefits than the accounts provided by the major banks. These banks and credit unions make it simple to get a no credit check bank account and they don’t use ChexSystems.
Most of these new banks are actually financial technology (“fintech”) companies that have partnered with a bank to offer the new accounts. That means your money is safely held at the bank which is insured by the FDIC while giving those with bad credit or a challenging banking history a fantastic way to get back into banking.
If you have bad credit, there’s no reason to settle for an inferior bank account.
The Best Bank Accounts for Bad CreditOpen an account today!
What Do Banks Check During the Application Process?
Before traditional banks and credit unions approve a checking account, they will oftentimes perform a soft pull of your credit report. They may also check your credit score and if you’ve had past credit report challenges, this may cause your application to be denied.
The more pervasive tool banks and credit unions use is a company called ChexSystems. This is a little-known consumer reporting agency (CRA) that provides information about any past checking accounts which have been closed and the reason for the closing. If you have negative marks on your ChexSystems report, the bank may choose to deny your new account application.
Our list of no credit check bank accounts includes financial institutions that use neither of these ChexSystems or credit checks to approve accounts. These aren’t second-rate accounts by any means. They come with all the bells and whistles of accounts offered by big banks and in many cases, with more attractive account features and benefits.
The 2 Types of Banks That Offer Checking Accounts for Bad Credit
The types of financial institutions that offer consumers bank accounts with bad credit fall into two main categories:
- Large national banks or credit unions – These banks have several thousand branch locations. These companies may not offer as many account features and may also charge monthly fees, but they have a local presence many consumers feel is important to their banking experience.
- Online-only and technology-infused banks – These banks have built their customer base with feature-rich online bank accounts for bad credit. They have no fees and offer smartphone and online apps that make banking from anywhere easy. The lack of an expensive branch network allows them to be focused on meaningful improvements in fees, costs, and service.
What Features Should I Look For in a Bank Account for Bad Credit?
- No or Low Fees. If you’ve had financial challenges in the past, you’re no stranger to extra fees. Even though you’re looking for a no credit checks bank account, you shouldn’t be paying any exorbitant fees for your banking services. The best banks have no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, no ATM fees, and no money transfer fees.
- Minimum Deposit and Balance Requirements. Some of our recommendations require a small initial deposit to get started. Most of the banks don’t require it. But when you’re getting back into banking, we don’t think any of your options should include banks or credit unions that require a minimum monthly balance in order to keep the account open. Full stop.
- Depositing Cash. Many online-only banks have partnerships with large retailers such as Walgreens, CVS, 7-Eleven, and Walmart where you can deposit cash and have it show up in your account immediately. Some retailers charge fees while others don’t and that largely depends on the deal they have with the individual online bank. Large banks with local branches offer access to their own branch and ATM network. A local bank branch might be the best option if you need to deposit large chunks of cash.
- ATM Access and Fees. One of the challenges other online bank accounts for bad credit can present is the lack of an ATM network. However, all of our recommendations have joined national ATM networks with locations in grocery stores, shopping malls, and retailers such as Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and 7-Eleven.
- Mobile and Online Experience. Not all banking apps are created equal. In fact, some are far superior to others. Look for review scores that can provide insight into the quality of the mobile and online banking experience.
- Customer Service. Customer service used to be defined as being able to talk with another human. It has now evolved into live chat, email, robust documentation, and (sometimes) live interaction.
- Interest Rate. One area where new banks have made real progress is paying interest on your balance… no matter what that balance is. And they generally pay an interest amount far above the big banks. On the other hand, most traditional banks do not pay interest on your account balance unless you hold a significant minimum balance.
- Cashback Rewards. It is rare for banks to offer a rewards program tied to a checking account. This is where you either get points or cash back every time you use your debit card. If you plan to use your debit card a lot, look for a bank or institution that offers this kind of program.
Frequently Asked Questions About No Credit Checks Bank Accounts
Here are some of the most often asked questions when it comes to looking for bank accounts with bad credit.
Can I get a checking account with bad credit?
If you couldn’t already tell, the answer is yes! You can still get a checking account with bad credit. In addition to our options above, you can opt for a second chance checking account or a no ChexSystems checking account.
What is a second chance checking account?
A second chance checking account is a type of checking account designed for people with bad credit or a history of banking problems. These accounts often have higher fees and more restrictions, but they can help you rebuild your credit and establish a positive banking history.
What is a non-ChexSystems checking account?
A non-ChexSystems checking account is a type of checking account that doesn’t require a ChexSystems check, which is a report that tracks your banking history. These accounts can be a good option if you have negative marks on your ChexSystems report.
Can I open a checking account online with bad credit?
Yes, many banks and credit unions offer online account opening for second chance checking accounts, non-ChexSystems checking accounts, and obviously online bank accounts for bad credit that are already web-based.
What fees should I expect with a checking account for bad credit?
You may expect higher fees than with a traditional checking account, such as monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, and overdraft fees.
How can I improve my credit with a checking account for bad credit?
One way to improve your credit with a no credit checks bank account is to use it responsibly, which means avoiding overdrafts, paying fees on time, and maintaining a positive balance.
What documentation do I need to open bank accounts with bad credit?
You’ll typically need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and a valid government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, to open bank accounts with bad credit. Some banks may also require proof of income or residency.
Will my no credit checks bank account be FDIC insured?
Need A Local Bank or Credit Union? Here’s The List of Best Second Chance Banking in Every 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.
A bank account is one of those required things in life. You need access to a debit card for purchases or direct deposit from an employer. A bank account is almost the only way to enjoy these basic services. But if you’ve experienced financial challenges or unexpected events — and the ensuing bad credit — it may be difficult to open a new bank account.
The good news is that you can still open free online bank accounts for bad credit with no credit check, no monthly fees, or minimum balance requirements. CheckingExpert has helped tens of thousands of people just like you open no credit check bank accounts… no credit check bank accounts that give you all the checking account features you need and deserve without the exorbitant fees many banks impose.