Texas continues to lead searches for “Second Chance Banks in Texas” primarily because there are almost 1 million households in the state that do not have a bank account. Texas has one of the highest “unbanked” rates in the country and exceeds the national average by 23 percent.
This means several hundred thousand Texans are probably utilizing high-cost alternatives such as payday loans, check cashing companies, and prepaid cards. These are some of the worst financial products available to consumers.
Several hundred thousand Texans are also impacted by a little-known company called ChexSystems. ChexSystems aggregates data from the vast majority of banks and credit unions in the state. This data details if a consumer has had excessive bounced checks, unpaid checking account fees, or even fraudulent transactions.
If a consumer has had some bad luck and ended up on the ChexSystems blacklist, it’s almost impossible to get a checking account at any bank or credit union in Texas. And the rest of the country, for that matter! ChexSystems retains records on over 300 million people in the United States in every single state. Even worse, the black mark remains in the ChexSystems database for up to 5 years.
But there is hope. There are a few banks and credit unions that do not use ChexSystems to screen applicants for their bank accounts. Instead, they may use other services like Early Warning Services (EWS) or Telecheck. If you’ve ended up on the ChexSystems blacklist, applying for a checking account at a No ChexSystems Bank is the way to go.
There are also banks and credit unions in Texas that offer so-called “Second Chance Bank Accounts”. These banks and credit unions will probably check your ChexSystems record, but as long as fraud has not been committed or you don’t owe their bank or credit union money, they will approve you for an account.
CheckingExpert has helped thousands of people open second chance bank accounts. We’ve selected the best accounts in Texas based on acceptance rates, checking account features and benefits, and the accounts with the lowest fees. Best of all, you can open an account today!
Second Chance Banking in Texas for June 2023Open an account today!
Chime® is a fast-growing internet-only financial company and our top choice for a second chance bank account.
And, best of all, Chime accepts almost all customers who apply. Even if you have bad or poor credit or have been blacklisted by ChexSystems or the credit bureaus.
Features include mobile deposits, direct deposit, online bill payment, NO monthly or annual fees, NO overdrafts fees1, NO credit check, and NO CheckSystems. Opening an account is super easy. It takes about 2 minutes and you don’t have to make an initial deposit. Here’s what we like:
No Monthly Fees
For the past couple of years, Chime’s huge growth has come at the expense of the big banks and their outrageous fees. And it’s one of the best features of a Chime account. There are no monthly or annual service charges, no minimum balance requirement, no foreign transaction fees, no fees at over 60,000 ATMs2, and no fees for mobile and online bill pay.
Deposit Cash for FREE at Over 8,500 Walgreens
Having access to a physical location for cash deposits is important to Chime members. And now it’s easy. All you have to do is go into a Walgreens store, hand the cashier the cash you want to deposit along with your Chime card, and the deposit will show up in your account immediately. This offers Chime members more walk-in locations than any other bank in the U.S. With over 78% of the country within 5 miles of a Walgreens, this is a significant benefit for millions.3
Unlike big banks, Chime was created during the smartphone era and, therefore, features an app that is more than just a way for customers to review their bank accounts.
You can transfer funds to friends and family, Chime members or not… and they can claim their money instantly4 without any additional apps. The Chime app also has a series of notifications that you can turn on or turn off so you stay in complete control. Misplaced or lost your card? You can instantaneously turn off your card using the app. No wonder over 300,000 customers have given the app a 5-star review.
Chime was one of the first to offer a “round up” option. If you use your Chime card on a purchase of $10.65, Chime gives you the option of automatically rounding up to $11.00 and putting the remaining $.35 in your free Chime savings account. And that adds up over time! Plus, Chime pays 2.00% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)5 in interest on that savings account.
If you use direct deposit with your Chime account, you can get your paycheck up to 2 days early6. And Chime is just saying no to big bank NSF charges with a fee-free overdraft program up to $200. We don’t think there is another company innovating for their customers like Chime.Get a Chime Account Today!
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. See additional disclaimers below.
Lili offers a checking account and Visa debit card with no initial deposit or minimum balance requirement, no hidden fees, no credit check, and no ChexSystems. Lili makes getting your account easy! Here’s more of what we like:
- FREE business VISA debit card
- FREE (and very user-friendly) mobile app
- NO minimum balance
- NO NSF charges or fees
- NO credit check or ChexSystems
- Receive direct deposit funds 2 days earlier than many banks
- Mobile check deposit
- Unlimited fee-free transactions
- Takes 3 minutes to apply
The Lili smartphone app gives you access to tools to manage your expenses and taxes. You assign a category for each expense by swiping left for “life” or personal expenses and right for “work” or business. You can also add receipts to transactions, download quarterly and annual expense reports, and track spending in real-time. Lili will automatically assign an expense category based on the merchant, but allows you to edit the category as needed.
Robust for Most
Lili is best for small business owners who want a no-frills, no cost, no minimum balance bank account. You can run all your business and personal expenses through the account and can easily identify and separate them out for accounting and tax purposes. After your account is set up, you can add a business name or DBA name to the account. And you manage everything from the touch of your smartphone.
But there are some limits, too. Lili doesn’t offer checks and you can’t set up your account with an employer identification number. Depositing cash at Green Dot locations can cost up to $4.95 and mobile check deposits are limited to $6,000 per month.
Lili recently announced a new set of features called Lili Pro. The cost is $9 per month and includes a no-fee overdraft up to $200 on debit card purchases and a robust and unlimited invoicing capability built into the smartphone app. On top of that, users receive 2.00% APY on savings account balances and a more robust expense tracking capability. The Pro version also offers cashback when you make purchases at over 14,000 merchants. If you’re not sure you want to sign up for Lili Pro, get Lili Standard (no cost) and you can upgrade later.
You can set up an account online. If you’re a freelancer, you should receive approval and account access almost instantly. All others (Sole Proprietor, Single-Member LLC, Multi-Member LLC, General Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, or S Corp) can take a couple of days to get approved. You can fund your account using a mobile check deposit, direct deposit, ACH transfer, or by linking your Venmo, PayPal, or Cash App account.
Lili is open for business. Anyone who is their own boss: a sole proprietor, gigsters (ie. Uber and Lyft drivers), contractors, freelancers, or part-time entrepreneurs – you all qualify! Whether you opt for the fee-free Lili Standard account or the upgraded Lili Pro account, we think you’re going to like the way Lili helps you manage your growing business!Open a Lili account now!
For many people, having access to a local bank branch is paramount when setting up a checking account. With over 16,000 ATMs and 4,700 branches across the country, the Chase Secure Banking account might be the perfect fit.
Here are some of our favorite features with this account:
- NO credit check
- NO ChexSystems
- NO minimum deposit to open
- NO overdraft fees
- FREE access to over 16,000 Chase ATMs
- FREE Chase Online Bill Pay
- FREE money orders and cashier’s checks
What to Know About the Approval Process
Opening the Chase Secure Banking account has some important qualifiers. First, Chase verifies your name, address, and social security through Experian, but doesn’t pull a credit report or credit score. Chase doesn’t use ChexSystems for this account, but the bank does use Early Warning Services (EWS). Additionally, if you’ve had an account closed by Chase in the past, your application will not be approved. Past account closures can include missteps such as non-payment of fees, excessive overdrafts, or suspected fraud.
Finally, Chase gives you the opportunity to open your new account online or by taking a printable coupon to a branch location. We strongly recommend you apply online as branch locations have been known to use ChexSystems during the approval process.
Highly Rated Mobile App
Available for iOS and Android, the Chase Mobile app offers 24/7 access to your account. The app is highly rated, earning 4.8 stars out of 5 on the App Store and 4.4 stars out of 5 on Google Play.
You can transfer funds, deposit checks, send money with Zelle, set up account alerts and notifications, and lock your card if it’s been lost or stolen.
The app also has incredibly helpful budgeting tools, personalized insights, and the ability to check your credit score for free.
Chase doesn’t offer overdraft services with this account as you can only spend the money you have available and the account does not include paper checks. You should also know that using non-Chase ATMs can cost from $3.00 to $5.00 per transaction.
Chase Secure Banking carries a $4.95 monthly service fee that cannot be waived. But combined with all the free services and the $100 cash bonus when you use the card for 10 purchases within 60 days, the monthly fee doesn’t pose a problem for most customers. And, you’ll have peace of mind with Chase’s Zero Liability Protection if you detect and report unauthorized transactions.
Banking With A Leader
Chase claims to be involved with 40% of Americans in some way or another. There can be comfort in size, reach, and stability. Chase has all of that and the assurance they will be there for a long, long time.
If you’ve wanted to bank with Chase and wondered if you’d qualify, we think you’re going to be really happy with the Chase Secure Banking account.Get a Chase Secure Banking account today!
The SoFi Checking & Savings account is offered by SoFi Bank. It’s a checking AND savings account on steroids and we love that. Plus, they don’t use ChexSystems to approve accounts.
You get a debit MasterCard and a very slick smartphone app. You can make deposits, write checks, utilize electronic bill pay, and transfer money. You don’t need to make an opening deposit to get an account and SoFi never charges monthly maintenance fees. You’ll have access to a large and fee-free ATM network along with a generous cashback program.
Using the SoFi direct deposit option unlocks additional benefits. First, if you overspend a bit, SoFi will cover up to $50 with no overdraft fees. Second, you’ll receive a much higher interest amount of 4.20% APY on savings account balances and 2.50% APY on checking account balances. If you decide not to utilize direct deposit, you’ll receive 1.20% APY.
The $275 bonus comes in two parts. When you deposit at least $10, SoFi will credit your account $25. When you set up direct deposit from an employer, SoFi will credit your account up to $250 (depending on the amount of your direct deposit) and bump the interest rate you earn to 4.20% APY. The bonus and interest rate are some of the highest we’ve seen.
The sign-up process can take less than 60 seconds. With over 4 million members, SoFi is a bank you can count on!
SoFi has been great! The account was easy to open and I got my debit card a few days later. The smartphone app is easy to use and I can check everything from my computer, too. I’ve had some issues with ChexSystems in the past and SoFi seems to be the perfect bank.
Kevin M., SoFi CustomerGet a SoFi account today!
Want to earn cash back on Walmart purchases – up to $75 each year? Then you might love the Walmart MoneyCard. It’s a debit card that has some strong features such as cashback on Walmart purchases, overdraft protection, interest on your savings, and a mobile app that lets you track your purchases and deposit funds into your account.
Our favorite features include:
- Easy approval: no ChexSystems or credit check
- No initial deposit is required and there are no monthly minimums
- Deposit cash for free at any Walmart store and it shows up 10 minutes later
- Deposit checks using the Walmart MoneyCard smartphone app
- Easily request multiple cards for family use1
- Manage your account from your computer or the smartphone app
- 3% cashback on Walmart.com purchases, 2% cashback for Walmart fuel stations, and 1% cash back for use in-store2
- Earn 2.00% APY on money you set aside in a free savings account3
- With qualifying direct deposits4, you can opt-in and enjoy overdraft protection of up to $200 on eligible purchases5
- No monthly fee when you direct deposit $500+ in the previous monthly period. Otherwise, there’s a $5.94 monthly fee.6
The Walmart MoneyCard is available in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.Open an account today!
Few things are guaranteed in life, but the company behind the Zolve Azpire Credit Builder card is changing that. Part checking account and part credit card, the Azpire card helps customers use their account for everyday purchases and the payments are reported monthly to all three credit bureaus. Here’s what the Azpire account offers:
- No-hassle 2-minute application process
- Apply with SSN, ITIN, or Passport number
- No credit check
- No monthly or annual fees
- No minimum balance and no overdraft fees
- No security deposit
- Free withdrawals at over 67,000 partner ATMs
- Free smartphone app where you can manage your account
- Free international money transfers
- Free rewards and cashback program
- FDIC insured account up to $250,000
How Does The Azpire Credit Builder Card Work?
Getting started is easy. You can add money from an existing checking account, PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, or any other account that allows you to transfer money to a bank account. The money you add to your Zolve Account becomes the credit limit on your Azpire card. You then use this for making everyday purchases like any other typical debit card or credit card. You can direct deposit your paycheck or add more money when your account balance gets low.
You’ll never be charged minimum balance or maintenance fees and there are no late fees or interest charges. And, if you use the Azpire card responsibly, you may qualify for a credit card with a limit of up to $5,000 in as little as four months.
The brilliance of the Azpire credit builder card is that it guarantees people will get a credit builder card and an FDIC-insured checking account while also reporting their daily transactions as positive credit-building history to all 3 credit bureaus. No regular checking account can do that. Plus, you get zero liability fraud and theft protection through Mastercard.
Azpire is a great way to give your aspirations a boost!Get an Azpire account in 2 minutes!
By opening an eAccount in person, no minimum deposit is required. Opening purely online requires a simple $20.00 minimum deposit. In addition, 1st Convenience Bank offers a plethora of features to their eAccount owners including:
- A debit Mastercard for purchases and payments
- Free Gold Key ATM withdrawals
- A monthly maintenance fee of only $5.00 with E-statement enrollment
- Bill pay and money order services
You can find 1st Convenience Bank locations inside of Walmart, H-E-B, Kroger, and Joe V’s stores across the state of Texas. They also have a few free-standing branches located in Conroe and Copperas Cove.
Fresh Start Checking requires a $25 opening deposit and a $10 monthly service fee that is reduced to $7.50 if you enroll in direct deposit. Although this account doesn’t include overdraft protection, you are eligible to switch to their Free Checking account after 12 months of good standing.
4U CU extends membership to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Cooke or Grayson Counties. You can also join if you have a family member who has already gotten an account. Visit their website or one of their branches in Gainesville, Lake Kiowa, Whitesboro, and Collinsville to apply!
We like Restart Checking because it only has a low $5 monthly service fee. You also get a free debit card, access to over 30,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide, and overdraft protection services. After 12 months of responsible management, you’re able to upgrade to their Everything Checking account which is fee-free.
To join Abilene Teachers FCU, you must live, work, worship, or attend school in Taylor or Callahan Counties. You can also join if you have a family member who is eligible, regardless of if they are a member or not. They have five branches that are all located in Abilene.
Acorns doesn’t use ChexSystems or a credit report to approve accounts and offers some strong benefits.
We love the heavy metal tungsten Visa debit card and the world-class smartphone app that allows you to manage every aspect of your new checking account such as budgeting, spending, and security.
Another nice option is the ability to round up on every purchase and Acorns will take that money and automatically put it in a savings account. This really helps build a nest egg.
It takes about 2-3 minutes to sign up and you get both a checking and savings account. Here’s more:
- FREE Visa® debit card
- FREE bank-to-bank transfers
- FREE physical check sending online or through the mobile app
- FREE mobile check deposits
- FREE or reimbursed ATM withdrawals nationwide
- NO minimum balance or overdraft fees
- NO credit check; ChexSystems OK
- FDIC insured
There is a $3 monthly fee that is easily covered by the ATM fee reimbursement and other goodies included with the account.
If you’ve struggled with poor credit or ChexSystems, Acorns might be the perfect account.Learn More
With this account, your money goes toward the things you need—bills and other essentials like groceries or other purchases. We like this account because you won’t be required to keep a minimum monthly balance, and there is no monthly service fee. You can also get paid early if you take advantage of direct deposit services.
There are several ways to join AFFCU. If you have an association to certain areas of San Antonio or Del Rio and the surrounding counties, you’ll be able to join. You can also make a one-time donation of $10 to one of their partner foundations. To learn more, visit their website or one of their branches in the greater San Antonio area.
Second Chance Checking comes with a free Visa debit card that can be ready to use almost immediately, access to online banking with bill pay, and a financial tool called iSave to help you build up your savings. It’s important to note that there is a $50 minimum opening deposit and a moderate $10 monthly service fee.
To become a member at Alliance FCU, you must have a connection to Lubbock, Hockey, Lamb, Hale, Floyd, Crosby, Garza, Lynn, or Terry counties. You can also join if a close relative is already a member. Visit their website or one of their several branches in Lubbock to apply for membership!
Fresh Start Checking comes with an instant issue Visa check card and access to 28,000 fee-free ATMs. There are also some standard perks as well like mobile banking with bill pay and free eStatements. It’s important to note that there’s a $10 monthly service fee with this account.
To become a member at Allied FCU, you have to have an association with the communities of Arlington, Mansfield, Pantego, or Dalworthington Gardens. You can also join if you have a family member who has already joined. Once you deposit $25 into a savings account you will be able to access everything the Fresh Start Checking account has to offer!
Once the account is opened, there is no minimum balance required to maintain the account. We like this account because it comes with unlimited check writing privileges, access to online and mobile banking, and access to thousands of surcharge free ATMs. There’s a moderate $15 monthly service fee that can be reduced to $10 if you sign up for direct deposit.
If you or a family member live, work, worship, or attend school in Dallas, Collin, or Rockwall County, you’re eligible to join America’s CU. To open an account, visit their website or one of their branches located in Dallas, Garland, Lancaster, and Mesquite.
Ascend Checking comes with access to online banking with bill pay, a Visa debit card, and 24/7 debit card fraud monitoring. There is a $5.75 monthly service fee that can easily be waived by enrolling in direct deposit. The account also comes with access to a financial wellness program that can help you stay on track.
To get started, you can become a member by visiting their website and filling out an online application. American Airlines CU has branches conveniently located in most major U.S. Airports.
We like their Access Checking account because it provides all of the banking necessities while remaining affordable. The account comes with digital banking access, free eStatements, a free Visa debit card, and overdraft protection services. To waive the moderate $10 monthly service charge, you just need to enroll in direct deposit.
To get started, all you will need is $25 for an initial deposit. As the name may suggest, Armed Forces Bank offers accounts to anyone who is actively enrolled or retired from the U.S. Army. You can find their Texas branches located in the East Bliss and Fort Bliss areas.
180 Checking comes with the basics like a free debit card, access to online banking, and unlimited check writing. To open the account, you will need $25 as an opening deposit as well as $10 each month for the service fee. After 30 days of the account being opened, you will also get access to courtesy pay services to help you avoid expensive overdraft fees.
To join ACU of Texas, you need to have some connection to one of 17 eligible counties located in Southwest Texas in and around Houston. Their branches are located in cities including Pearland, Pasadena, Deer Park, League City, Santa Fe, and several others.
With this account, you’ll also be eligible to level up to a regular checking account in as little as 12 months as long as no more blemishes pop up. This account costs only $5 monthly and requires a $25 deposit to open the account.
With plenty of locations, it will be easy to find a branch when needed. BancorpSouth has dozens of convenient locations in Texas. You can find them in cities including Goldthwaite, Kingsland, Marble Falls, Temple, Georgetown, and many others.
Although you don’t have access to checks, Opportunity Banking provides easy access to your money through a free Visa debit card. The account has no overdraft or insufficient fund fees and you can keep track of your account online and through a convenient mobile app. BOK Opportunity Banking features:
- Free direct deposit
- Free mobile deposit
- Access to more than 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs
- $25 opening deposit and a $5 per month maintenance fee
Bank of Texas has a bunch of branches located across the state. You can find them in most major cities including Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, and Dallas. They also have dozens of branches in smaller cities and towns, so visit their website to find a branch nearest you!
There is a minimum opening balance of $50 and a $10 monthly service fee. However, there is no minimum balance requirement. Pathway Checking includes:
- Free debit card
- Free online and mobile banking
- Free telephone banking
- Free online bill pay
- Unlimited check writing
Bank OZK has 20 locations in Texas alone. You can find branches in cities including Fort Worth, Cedar Park, Austin, Keller, San Antonio, Dallas, and many others.
The Draft Builder account comes with an ATM card, as well as access to online banking and free eStatements. It’s important to note that this account does not come with overdraft protection and has a $10 monthly service fee.
Baptist Credit Union extends membership to anyone associated with at least one of their eligible Baptist organizations in and around the San Antonio and Dallas areas. Visit their website or one of their branches in the aforementioned cities to see if you’re eligible!
Fresh Start Checking comes with a free Visa debit card, unlimited check writing capabilities, and access to several online banking tools to help you keep track of your money. To open the account, you can either deposit at least $100 or set up direct deposit. There is a monthly service fee of $10 and an additional $6 fee if your balance falls below $200.
Barksdale FCU is Louisiana-based but extends their services to honorably discharged or retired veterans. Those who work at one of their 1000+ partnered employers are also welcome to join. Visit their website or their Texas location in Longview to see if you’re eligible!
Second Chance Checking comes with a free debit card, access to online banking with bill pay, and direct deposit services. There’s also a free Debt in Focus program you can take advantage of to learn some helpful tips. It’s important to note that there is a $25 minimum balance requirement and a moderate $12 monthly service fee.
To join Beacon FCU, you must have some association with East Harris County. Their services extend to the cities of La Porte, Baytown, Seabrook, Pasadena, Deer Park, Clear Lake, South Houston, Friendswood, Webster, and Pearland, as well as cities that share those same zip codes.
My Way Checking is their most basic account that comes with a bunch of additional services for a low cost. There is a $50 minimum opening deposit as well as a low $8 monthly service fee that can be waived if you keep an average balance of $250 or more. We like this account because it comes with unique benefits like cell phone protection, buyers protection, and ID theft aid.
Cadence Bank has over 10 branches located in Texas. Visit one of their convenient branches in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Sugarland, and The Woodlands to get started!
The Kasasa Cash Back account is the most popular option and gives you a percentage of your money back on debit card purchases up to $90 per year! They also refund you up to $25 monthly on ATM withdrawal fees nationwide. You’ll also get the basics like a free debit card and access to online banking with bill pay.
ChemCel FCU extends membership to anyone who has a connection to Jim Wells, Kleberg, and Nueces Counties. You can also join if you work for a partnering employer or have an immediate family member who is an account holder. Visit their website or one of their branches in Bishop, Alice, Bay City, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Kingsville, or Pasadena to see if you qualify!
The account includes a MasterCard debit card, free eStatements, and unlimited check writing. We like this account because it has a low monthly service fee of only $5. You also get access to money management tools that can help you stay on track.
To join Chocolate Bayou, all you’ll need to do is provide a valid form of ID as well as $5 to deposit into a savings account to establish your membership. Visit their website or one of their branches in Alvin and Pearland to get started!
We like their Basic Checking account because it is hassle-free and affordable. You get all the basics like a MasterCard debit card, online banking with bill pay, and a smartphone app that allows you to monitor your account from anywhere at any time. We especially like that there are no monthly service fees!
To open the account, you will need to make an initial deposit of at least $25. They have several branches conveniently located in and around Dallas.
Current is another web-only national bank that has some really great features… and has become one of the fastest-growing checking accounts for consumers who want it all without all the costs and hassles.
Why are we featuring Current on our website? It’s simple: they don’t use ChexSystems or your credit report to open a new account. Sign-up takes about 2 minutes and Current has extremely high acceptance rates. But what’s really cool are the incredible features offered with this account:
- NO minimum balance
- NO deposit required to open an account
- NO overdraft fees when you overdraw by up to $100 with Overdrive™
- NO fees at over 40,000 ATMs in the U.S.
- Get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit
- Earn 4.0% APY on your balance up to $6,000 with direct deposit; earn 0.25% APY without
- Earn points for unlimited cashback at participating retailers
- Send money instantly for free
- An elegant but simple smartphone app
- 24/7 member support
Current offers a really unique service it calls Gas Hold Removals. What’s a gas hold? Some gas stations may apply a hold from $50 to $100 when you use a debit card to pump gas. If you only pumped $10 of gas, but the gas station places a $100 hold on your funds, you won’t have access to the $90 difference for up to 3 business days! The Current debit card will immediately refund the hold so you have access to all your funds. We haven’t found that benefit anywhere in the marketplace.
Here’s what’s really important, though. Deposits are FDIC-insured up to the highest possible amount allowed: $250,000. We love the features, we love the smartphone app, and we love Current. That makes us think you’ll love them too.Learn More
Encore Checking offers features like free eStatements, online and mobile banking, and an ATM/Debit Mastercard. There’s a $10 monthly service charge that can be reduced to $8 if you sign up for direct deposit. There are also some cool features like unlimited bill pay and person-to-person pay options.
To open an Encore Checking account, visit Diamond Bank’s website to learn all the details or go into their Texas branch located in Texarkana!
The account comes with a Visa debit card, digital banking, and 24/7 mobile deposits. There’s no minimum balance and no monthly fees if you’re enrolled in paperless statements.
The Free Checking account allows you to send and receive money with Zelle® between friends, family, and people you trust no matter where they bank in the U.S. You can also link your debit card to digital wallets like Apple Pay® and Samsung Pay®.
Setting up an account is easy and you will need to make a $50 minimum initial deposit to get started.
To open a Fresh Start Checking account, all you need is a $25 initial deposit. For a moderate $9 monthly service fee, you get all of the necessities like a free Visa debit card with unlimited transactions and access to online banking. After only six months of good standing, you will get the chance to upgrade to one of their traditional checking accounts!
First Service CU is located in the Houston area of Texas. You’ll find some of their branch locations in cities including The Woodlands, Katy, and Humble. You can apply for an account easily online or in person.
All you need is $5 to open an account at one of 5 Arkansas branch locations. The Basic Checking Account comes with:
- A free Visa CheckCard
- Unlimited check writing
- Surcharge-free ATM withdrawals at FSNB locations
- Access to the Savings Round-Up program
- Online, mobile, and text checking options
You can find FSNB branches located in Wichita Falls and on Sheppard Air Force Base.
One significant drawback to many online-only bank accounts is that they have no way to accept cash deposits. But GO2bank accepts cash deposits at over 90,000 Green Dot locations nationwide. However, participating retailers may charge you a fee.
If you direct deposit over $500, your monthly maintenance fee of $5.00 is waived. And, they offer a pretty sweet overdraft protection program, but it has a gotcha charge of $15 if you don’t replace the funds within 24 hours.
Account-holders will appreciate the ability to budget their money with the help of a mobile app, budgeting tools, and a savings vault. In fact, they pay 4.50% on all money in the savings vault up to $5,000.
Second Chance Checking comes with all the basics like online banking with bill pay, 32,000 surcharge-free ATM locations, and a free debit card. There are no daily balance requirements, but there is a moderate monthly service fee of $15.
To become a member at GECU, you will need to meet some requirements. If you work or reside in El Paso, Hudspeth, or Dona Ana Counties, or within a 25-mile radius of their branch in El Paso, Texas. You can also join if you have a family member who is already a member or if you work for an eligible employer. Visit their website to see if you can apply!
When opening an Essential Checking account, you must deposit $25. Once the account is open, you get access to mobile and online banking, automatic payments and withdrawals, overdraft privileges, and a VISA debit card. Unlike many other second chance checking accounts, there is no monthly fee for the Essential Checking account!
Opening a checking account is as simple as visiting their website or stepping into a branch. Locations are available in Austin, Cedar Park, Manor, Kyle, Bastrop, San Marcos, San Antonio, College Station, Bryan, and other places throughout Texas.
GTE Financial is one of the largest credit unions in the US. Membership is open to anyone through easy requirements and an online application process. The Go Further account includes:
- Free EMV-equipped debit card with built-in rewards
- Online and mobile banking tools
- Free bill pay service
- Easy money transfers through the Popmoney service
$mart Choice Checking comes with a MasterCard debit card and access to online banking. It’s also important to note that there is a moderate $8 monthly service fee. After 12 months of responsible use, you’re eligible to apply for one of their traditional checking accounts!
Kelly Community FCU extends services to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, or attends school in Smith County. You can also join if you have a family member who is already an account holder. To apply, visit their website or one of their two branches in Tyler.
To open an Opportunity Checking account, you only need to deposit $25 initially. You will get a free debit Mastercard, access to online and mobile banking, and unlimited check writing. We like this account because it comes with automatic approval for a Share Secured Loan, which can boost your credit and banking history!
When you sign up for direct deposit, the monthly service fee is waived. After a year of good standing, you’re able to graduate to a traditional checking account. To see if you’re eligible for membership at Members Choice CU, visit their website or one of their many branches in Houston or Katy to get started!
New Start Checking comes with overdraft protection to help you avoid expensive overdraft fees. However, it will take you 6 months of maintaining a positive account balance to be able to apply for a Visa check card. This account also requires an initial $50 deposit.
Members Trust FCU is primarily based in the Houston area and offers services to those that live, work, worship, or attend school in certain eligible counties and zip codes. Visit their website or one of their branches in Houston and Stephenville to see if you’re eligible for membership!
Select Checking comes with access to online banking with bill pay, a Visa debit card with unlimited transactions, and a moderate $12 monthly service fee. To open the account, all you will need is a $25 initial deposit. Although overdraft privileges are not available with this account, you can link your savings account to avoid expensive overdraft fees.
To join MemberSource Credit Union, you are required to have a connection to Fort Bend County or live in one of over fifty eligible zip codes. Visit their website or one of their branches in Houston, The Woodlands, or Sugar Land so see if you qualify.
We like this account because it only requires $5 as an opening deposit! You also can enroll in overdraft protection services and monitor your balance 24/7 through online and mobile banking. It’s important to note that direct deposit into a savings account is required prior to account opening. There is also a moderate $10 monthly service fee.
Memorial Credit Union offers services to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Harris County. Memorial Hermann Healthcare system employees and affiliates are also welcome to join. To get a complete breakdown of their eligible communities, visit their website or one of their branches located in Houston.
Both account options come with a free NFCU debit card. There is no monthly service fee with direct deposit. Your account is protected from overdrafts with free savings transfers, a checking line of credit or an optional overdraft protection service. You also receive:
- Free mobile deposits
- Free bill pay
- Free traditional name-only checks
- Dividends credited monthly
Fresh Start Checking comes with access to online and mobile banking, fee-free ATMs, and cash back rewards. They also require that you complete a financial educational course called CheckRight. The main drawback to this account is its steep monthly service fee of $20.
To join Neighborhood Credit Union, you’re required to have some connection to Dallas, Denton, Ellis, or Collin Counties. You can also join if you have some connection to Arlington, or if you live within 10 miles of any branch. You can find branches located in Anna, Arlington, Coppell, Dallas, Grand Prairie, and several other cities and towns in Texas.
NorthOne is a fast-growing company built specifically around business banking solutions for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. In addition to streamlining the application process, NorthOne doesn’t check your credit and doesn’t use ChexSystems. Here’s a recap:
- FREE business Mastercard debit card
- FREE access at over 40,000 ATMs nationwide
- FREE online and mobile app
- FREE live chat (not a chatbot), telephone, or email support
- FREE in-app invoice creator
- NO minimum monthly balance requirement
- NO NSF fees
- NO ACH transfer fees
- NO credit check or ChexSystems
NorthOne doesn’t require a minimum account balance and charges a $10 monthly fee that includes unlimited transactions in your account. These include ACH payments, bill pay, debit card usage, mobile deposits, and transfers. The only other fee is $15 for wire transfers.
You can also grant read-only access to employees or your accountant or bookkeeper. This keeps your account safe while also giving access to those who need it.
NorthOne targets account approvals within one to two business days. Information required to open an account includes name, address, and social security number or tax identification number. If applicable, NorthOne may ask for a copy of your business license and business formation documents. After you’re approved, you’ll need to make a $50 minimum opening deposit.Learn More
One of the most important steps to taking your business to the next level is the need to set up a business bank account. And if you get the right business account, it can give your growing business all the tools much larger businesses enjoy… without all the big business costs.
Novo understands small business owners and makes it easy to open and manage an account. As an online-only bank, you’ll find Novo strikes the right balance between technology, human touch, and real-world benefits. Here are some of our favorite features for Novo Business Checking:
- NO monthly fees
- NO minimum balance requirement
- NO ATM fees
- NO credit check or ChexSystems
- FREE Mastercard debit card
- FREE mobile app
- FREE transfers, mailed checks, and incoming wires
- FREE invoicing to create, send, and track invoices
- FREE mobile check deposit
It takes about 10 minutes to sign up for a Novo account. You’ll need personal and business information, which may include a social security number, business tax ID, and business formation documents. They do not check your credit or use ChexSystems.
Novo is growing quickly. Their offering is popular with small business owners. The account approval process is currently taking 1-2 business days and once you’re approved, you can get full access to your account with a simple $50 deposit.
We like Novo. We think you’ll like it, too.Learn More
They offer one general checking account that comes with all of the basics while avoiding unnecessary fees. You’ll get access to online and mobile banking, overdraft protection options, and even be able to earn interest on your balance! This account requires a $50 opening deposit, but after that point you will not need to worry about monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements.
Pantex FCU extends membership to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Hutchinson County or the Pampa area of Texas. Visit their website or one of their branches located in Borger, Fritch, and Pampa to open an account.
No minimum balance is required with the Second Chance Checking account, and there are no added fees for deposits or check writing. Users have access to free mobile banking, online banking, and bill pay functionality. In addition, account holders are eligible for an ATM/Mastercard debit card.
Peoples Bank in Texas has two physical locations where you can speak with an agent about opening this account. Both are located in Paris, Texas, for convenience. All other account maintenance can be done online.
To open the account, all you will need is $25 for an opening deposit. The account comes with all of the basics like a smartphone mobile app with mobile check deposit and free eStatements. There is a monthly service fee of $13 that can be reduced to $10 if you direct deposit $200 or more each month.
You will need to visit one of their branch locations to apply for this account. There are a number of ways to join Premier America CU, so visit their website or one of their branches in Houston to get started!
The account comes with a free Visa debit card, unlimited check writing capabilities, and no minimum balance requirements. If you enroll in a qualifying direct deposit, your monthly service fee is discounted from $15 to $10. We like this account because it allows you to upgrade to a traditional checking account after only six months of responsible use!
Prestige Community CU offers an interactive experience called CheckRight to help you select a checking account that is suitable for you. Visit their website or one of their branches located in Dallas and McKinney to start improving your financial future.
This account is designed for those who want an easy way to manage their money while avoiding unnecessary fees. All that is needed at the time of opening is a $25 deposit. After that point, there are no monthly service fees or balance requirements. You also get the basics like online and mobile banking as well as fee-free ATMs.
Primeway FCU extends membership to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in the city of Houston, parts of Harris County, Washington, or Fort Bend Counties. You can also join if you have a family member who is already an account holder or if you are an employee of one of their partnered companies. Their branches are located in and around Houston, Texas.
Benefits include a free Visa debit card with purchase alerts, access to online banking, and a reasonable maintenance fee of $10 a month. This account also offers money management tools that can help you stay on track with your finances.
To become a member of RRCU, you must live, work, worship, or attend school in one of thirteen eligible Texas counties. You can also join if you have a relative who is already a member. To see if you’re eligible, visit their website or contact one of their branches in Atlanta, Texarkana, New Boston, Wake Village, Clarksville, Marshall, Paris, or Sulphur Springs!
Fresh Start Checking comes with access to online banking with bill pay, mobile banking with a check deposit feature, and access to thousands of fee-free ATMs nationwide. There is a required opening deposit of $100, a moderate monthly service fee of $11.76, and a monthly debit card fee of $1.76.
Rio Bank has several locations mostly located in southern Texas. You can find them in cities including Harlingen, Mercedes, Brownsville, Weslaco, and many others. Stop by a branch nearest you to get started!
All you need to get started is a $25 deposit. The account also includes all of the necessities like a free Visa debit card and a smartphone mobile app that allows you to monitor your account 24/7. We like this account because it only has a service fee of $5 each month!
You will need to visit a branch in order to open this account. River City FCU services the San Antonio area and has four branches all located within the city limits. Visit a branch nearest you today!
We like this account because it only requires a small $25 deposit to open. From that point, there is a $10 monthly service charge to keep the account open. In addition, you can gain access to online and mobile banking, fee-free ATMs, and a free notary service.
Select FCU has an application for membership on their website. You can also visit one of their branches both located in San Antonio and apply in person.
To open a Boost Checking account, you only need to make an initial deposit of $1.00! The account comes with a free debit card, free digital banking, and even free overdraft protection. There is a moderate $10 monthly service fee to keep the account open.
On their website, you’re able to request to be contacted by a Shell FCU representative to help answer any questions that you may have. They have branches conveniently located in Deer Park, Pasadena, La Porte, Houston, Spring, Humble, Katy, and Baytown.
The eChecking account comes with a few basic features like access to online banking, a Check card, and free eStatements. There is no monthly service fee unless your account is inactive for 90 days or more. We like this account because you’re able to conveniently apply for it online instead of having to visit a physical branch.
Southside Bank has locations in and around Dallas in cities including Irving, Frisco, Gun Barrel City, Fort Worth, and many others. Visit their website or a location nearest you to get a head start on re-establishing a positive banking history!
Fresh Start Checking does not require an opening deposit. In addition, this account does not have any monthly service charges or minimum balance requirements! This is incredibly unique when it comes to second chance accounts. You’ll also get a free MasterCard debit card, overdraft protection from savings, and unlimited check writing.
If you are eligible to join Tarrant County’s CU, all you will need to do is deposit $5 into a savings account to establish your membership. They have branches located in Fort Worth, Arlington, Hurst, and Lake Worth.
We recommend their Simply Free Checking account because it comes with all of the necessities while remaining affordable. To get started, you will need to make a deposit of $50 or more. From that point, there are no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. The account also includes overdraft protection services, free eStatements, and free budgeting tools.
Texas Bay Area CU offers membership to anyone who has a connection to Harris, Montgomery, or Fort Bend Counties. You can also join if you live, work, worship, or attend school within a ten-mile radius of any branch location. Their branches are located in Houston and the surrounding cities including Pasadena, League City, and a few others.
Their simplest account option is called Portside Checking. There is a steep $100 opening deposit and a moderate $7 monthly service fee. If you maintain a daily balance of $700 or more, the service fee is waived. The account also includes features like unlimited check writing, a Visa debit card, and free online bill pay services.
Texas Gulf Bank is primarily located in and around Houston, but offers services to those outside of the area as well. You can find additional branches located in Angleton, Freeport, Lake Jackson, West Columbia, Clute, and Friendswood.
To open the account, there is a one-time $25 fee and a required deposit of $100 or more. Opportunity Checking comes with all of the basics like a free debit card and access to online banking. It’s also important to note that there is a $7 service fee each month.
To join Texas People FCU, you must live, work, worship, or attend school in one of 16 eligible zip codes in Tarrant County. Immediate family members of existing account holders and employees of partnered organizations are also welcome to join. Visit their website or their branch in Fort Worth to get started!
All UNIFY checking accounts offer:
- No monthly service fees or per-check fees
- Free online eBanking
- Free Visa debit card
- Free UNIFY ATM access
- Free online eStatements
UNIFY Financial CU has one branch in Texas located in San Antonio. They’re also in-network with dozens of shared co-op branches across the state for your convenience.
We like their Choice Checking account because it is designed for members that have had financial issues in the past but are working on rebuilding a positive financial standing. The account only requires $20 to open and has a moderate $10 monthly service charge. You can also enjoy features like unlimited check writing, unlimited deposits, and access to online and mobile banking.
United Heritage CU has branches located in cities including Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Kyle, Georgetown, and Tyler. Visit their website or a branch nearest you to join!
Clean Start Checking has no minimum balance requirements and a moderate $10 monthly service fee if you enroll in direct deposit. You will also gain access to over 30,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide as well as 5,000 co-op branches where you can fulfill most of your in-person banking needs.
After 12 months of good standing, you can apply for a Best Free Checking account. To get started, you will need to contact Unity One CU. Their branches are located in cities including Fort Worth, Richland Hills, and Keller.
Opening an account is easy and Varo doesn’t check your credit or use ChexSystems. Varo doesn’t even require an initial deposit to open an account, either. There are never any monthly maintenance fees, account balance minimums, overdraft fees, foreign transaction fees, transfer fees, or debit card replacement fees.
Varo’s recent bank charter has them innovating more than ever. They have a very strong cashback program, a payroll advance option, and have started to offer their customers a secured credit card called Varo Believe.
Finally, if Varo receives a payroll notification before your payday, it can deposit your money more quickly than many banks.
There is a $5 monthly fee, but that is be waived for account holders 24 years old and younger. This account is available to residents in all 50 states.
- The largest number of branches in the U.S.
- Minimum deposit of $25 to open an account
- Online bill pay and smartphone app
- Mobile check deposit
- Includes a Visa debit card
- Send and receive money through Zelle
- Additional features include account alerts, 24/7 fraud monitoring, and zero liability protection for your debit card
You can lower your monthly maintenance fee from $11.95 to $9.95 by setting up monthly direct deposit. Woodforest offers:
- Online and mobile banking
- Woodforest Debit Card
- Overdraft solutions
- Additional financial services to meet your needs
All services are easily managed online or in person at branches across the US. Woodforest National Bank has many locations in cities across Texas including Houston, Austin, Big Spring, Conroe, La Marque, and several others.
Did we leave your financial institution off this list of The Best Second Chance Banking in Texas? Has there been a change in any of the listings? Please let us know.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.
1Eligibility requirements apply. Overdraft only applies to debit card purchases and cash withdrawals. Limits start at $20 and may be increased up to $200 by Chime. See chime.com/spotme.
2Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM. Cash deposit or other third-party fees may apply.
3Customers are limited to three $1,000 cash deposits at Walgreens each day and $10,000 each month.
4Sometimes instant transfers can be delayed. The recipient must use a valid debit card to claim funds. Once you are approved for a Chime Checking Account, see your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Pay Anyone Transfers details. Please see the back of your Chime debit card for your issuing bank. See Terms and Conditions.
5The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of May 22, 2023. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.
6Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
1Family Accounts: Activated, personalized card required. Other fees apply to the additional account. Family members age 13 years and over are eligible. Limit 4 cards per account. See Deposit Account Agreement for details.
2Cash back, up to $75 per year, is credited to card balance at end of reward year and is subject to successful activation and other eligibility requirements. Redeem rewards using our website or app. You will earn cash back of three percent (3%) on qualifying purchases made at Walmart.com and in the Walmart app using your card or your card number, two percent (2%) at Walmart fuel stations, and one percent (1%) on qualifying purchases at Walmart stores in the United States (less returns and credits) posted to your Card during each reward year. Grocery delivery and pickup purchases made on Walmart.com or the Walmart app earn 1%. For the purposes of cash back rewards, a “reward year” is twelve (12) monthly periods in which you have paid your monthly fee or had it waived. See account agreement for details.
3Interest is paid annually on each enrollment anniversary based on the average daily balance of the prior 365 days, up to a maximum average daily balance of $1,000, if the account is in good standing and has a positive balance. 2.00% Annual Percentage Yield may change at any time before or after account is opened. Annual Percentage Yield is accurate as of 3/1/2022.
4Direct Deposit: Early availability of direct deposit depends on timing of payroll’s payment instructions and fraud prevention restrictions may apply. As such, the availability or timing of early direct deposit may vary from pay period to pay period. Make sure the name and social security number on file with your employer or benefits provider matches what’s on your Walmart MoneyCard account exactly. We will not be able to deposit your payment if we are unable to match recipients.
5Opt-in required. $15 fee may apply to each eligible purchase transaction that brings your account negative. Balance must be brought to at least $0 within 24 hours of authorization of the first transaction that overdraws your account to avoid the fee. We require immediate payment of each overdraft and overdraft fee. Overdrafts paid at our discretion, and we do not guarantee that we will authorize and pay any transaction. Learn more about overdraft protection.
6No monthly fee with qualifying direct deposit, otherwise $5.94 a month. Waived when $500+ is loaded in the previous monthly period. First monthly fee occurs upon first use, the day after card activation or 90 days after card purchase, whichever is earlier.