If you have been denied a checking or savings account, you are probably familiar with ChexSystems. The good news is that you still have several checking account options available from credit unions that don’t use ChexSystems.
Most accounts come with no overdraft fees, a prepaid debit card, and a mobile app that includes mobile check deposits, among other features.
While you might not qualify for some perks and features, like a credit card or an overdraft, these accounts can help you rebuild your credit. Once you do, you can qualify for a regular account with all of the regular perks and features.
13 Credit Unions That Don’t Use ChexSystems
Here are the top credit unions that don’t use ChexSystems:
- Navy Federal Credit Union
- American Airlines Credit Union
- Hope Credit Union
- Excite Credit Union
- Premier America Credit Union
- Staley Credit Union
- North County Credit Union
- Los Angeles Federal Credit Union
- Foothill Credit Union
- Credit Union One
- California Community Credit Union
- American United Federal Credit Union
- Southwest Financial
1. Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) is a credit union for active-duty military and retired or reserved personnel and veterans.
The credit union was founded in 1933 at the end of the Great Depression. It now has over 10 million members.
NFCU offers a wide range of products and services, including their Free EveryDay Checking, available to all members.
The account comes with no monthly fees and no balance requirements, making it ideal for those looking to rebuild their credit slowly without committing funds to avoid fees.
2. American Airlines Credit Union
American Airlines Credit Union was founded in 1936 by several American Airlines employees and has grown to manage $8.5 billion in assets and a net worth of over $761 million.
The credit union has offices in Texas, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. You’ll find branches in most major airports across the US.
It makes use of the CO-OP Shared Branch Network for more locations and added convenience.
Their Ascend Checking account comes with no checks and no overdrafts – great if you’re looking to rebuild your credit. There is no monthly service charge as long as you meet the minimum deposit requirement of at least $250 through direct deposits each month.
At the moment, the credit union is also running a promotion where you can earn $185 for opening this account.
3. Hope Credit Union
Hope Credit Union is a credit union with branches in Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama (they have some 28 locations).
The credit union is also a member of the Shared Branching Network, offering its members access to an additional 5,000+ branch locations nationwide.
If you’re looking to rebuild your credit, then the Easy Checking account is the one you want. It comes with a monthly fee of $9.95, which is waived if you maintain a balance of $200 or more.
4. Excite Credit Union
Excite Credit Union serves members in several California and North Carolina counties and employees of more than 400 companies and their families.
The credit union is quite involved in the communities in which they operate and even sponsors and supports different events.
Their Fresh Start Checking account can help those who have been denied a checking account in the past to get a fresh start. There is a $15 monthly fee that cannot be waived and a $50 minimum opening deposit requirement.
Once you open the account, you’ll be glad to know there is no minimum balance to maintain, and you also get a free Visa debit card.
Each month you also get four free withdrawals from out-of-network ATMs while there are no ATM fees when using network ATMs.
5. Premier America Credit Union
Premier America Credit Union is a credit union with branches in California and Texas with more than 5,000 shared branch locations.
Shared Branch locations can be handy if you do not work or live near one of their branches. The credit union has over $3 billion in assets and more than 100,000 members.
To join, you need to live, work, or go to school in Los Angeles, Ventura, or Harris counties. You can also join the credit union by joining the Thousand Oaks Alliance for the Arts.
Their Fresh Start Checking account is designed for people who have ChexSystems records and are looking to start again.
There is a $25 minimum opening deposit, while the monthly maintenance fee is set at $13. You can reduce the monthly fee to $10 per month by making at least $200 worth of direct deposits each month.
6. Staley Credit Union
Staley Credit Union is a credit union serving members in several counties in Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee and employees and families of (SEG Select Employee Groups) employers.
Staley is not a federal credit union but is instead charted by the state of Illinois. While this means that there is no NCUA insurance, the credit union insures account holders up to $500,000 through American Share Insurance and Excess Share Insurance Corporation.
If you have struggled with opening a checking account in the past, then you might want to look at their Staley Renew Checking account.
There is a minimum opening deposit requirement of $50, which while higher than what the competition asks for, comes with a lower-than-average monthly fee of just $7.00
7. North County Credit Union
North County Credit Union is a credit union based in California. To join, you must reside, work, study, or pray in San Diego county.
This credit union rewards its representatives for finding members good deals rather than profit, showing you you’re in good hands who’ll look after your interest.
Their Fresh Start Checking Account is the best choice for people denied an account due to bad credit. There is a $25 opening deposit requirement and a $15 monthly service fee.
While there are no minimum monthly deposit requirements, you will need to deposit at least $100 each month into the account.
8. Los Angeles Federal Credit Union
As the name implies, Los Angeles Federal Credit Union is a credit union located in Los Angeles. The credit union boasts some 70,000 members, with membership restricted to anyone living in most Southern California counties.
If you have been denied a checking account, you can ask them about their Second Chance Checking account.
To qualify, you must first make sure that there are no outstanding balances. The credit union also offers the possibility to upgrade the checking account to a Free Checking Account after 12 months.
The account is maintained in good order over that same time period.
9. Foothill Credit Union
Foothill Credit Union is a credit union based in San Gabriel Valley. Only employees of Select Employed Groups they work with can join, along with an immediate family member of someone who qualifies or currently studying at a school served by Foothill.
Their Rebound Checking account is designed for people looking to rebound from bad credit and are looking for a second chance checking account.
The account is not free – and neither are checks. However, you get a free debit card (MasterCard), free online bill pay, and free electronic statements.
10. Credit Union One
Credit Union One is a credit union based in Michigan, where it has some 19 branches. The credit union also uses the CO-OP branch network, giving you more options than physical banking.
Membership is open to residents of Michigan and those who work, pray, or attend school there.
Their Basic Checking Account is ideal for those looking to rebuild their banking history. It comes with an initial deposit requirement of $25 and a monthly fee of $15 – which can be reduced to $10 if you sign up for a direct deposit.
11. California Community Credit Union
California Community Credit Union is a credit union based in California, with its main office being located in Sacramento.
Also known as CACCU for short, they have been serving members since 1939 and have a wide range of eligibility criteria if you’re looking to join.
They offer five different types of checking accounts with their New Beginnings Checking account aimed at those who have been unable to get a checking account in the past.
There is a monthly fee of $15, and you need to deposit a minimum of $25.00 to open the account.
If you manage to keep the account clear of overdraft activity and in good standing for one whole year, you can apply for a free checking account with all of its perks and additional features.
12. American United Federal Credit Union
American United Federal Credit Union is a credit union based in Utah. It has been serving members in both Utah and California since 1952, having reached 25,000 members in 2021.
Their Fresh Start Checking personal checking account comes with quite a few features, including end-of-year reward dividends and overdraft protection.
There is a fee to open the account and monthly fees once the account is open, but you also get access to over 30,000 fee-free ATMs, a Visa debit card, Bill Pay, and many other perks and features.
13. Southwest Financial
Southwest Financial is a credit union based in Texas, serving Kroger employees and those working for SEG (Select Employer Groups) employers and members of their immediate family.
They offer several different checking accounts, including Checkless checking for those who have trouble qualifying for a regular checking account.
Alternatives to Credit Unions That Don’t Use ChexSystems
If you don’t qualify for a credit union near you or prefer a bank account instead, second chance banking might be a great alternative. Also, there are several banks that don’t use ChexSystems, offering second-chance bank accounts that you might be able to open.
In this section, we look at some of the best banks and banking options for non-ChexSystems accounts. All accounts come with FDIC insurance, so your money is very safe. You’ll also get essential checking account features while others such as cashback rewards and unlimited check writing are typically off the table.
Before you sign up for an account, make sure you check if there are any minimum balance requirements, whether it’s a daily balance or a monthly balance, and any applicable monthly fees, as this will help you make sure you get the most out of your account.
1. US Bank
US Bank offers a non-ChexSystems account for those who do not qualify for a regular account. You’ll have to give up on a few things, such as paper checks, but you gain access to other features, including free credit reports through TransUnion CreditView.
U.S. Bank’s Smartly Checking Account earns variable interest and comes with a wealth of benefits to help you manage, move, and spend your money wisely.
Chime does not use ChexSystems when opening an online checking account. While they have no branches, which can be a deal-breaker to some, this does translate to lower or no fees and higher-than-average interest rates on their savings account.
3. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is a large national bank that offers a second chance checking account that doesn’t take ChexSystems reports into account. The account also comes with many tools that can help you rebuild your credit, including budgeting, cash flow management, and spending tools.
4. United Bank
United Bank offers several banking services and products, including a checking account for those with weak credit. You can qualify for a new bank account in 6 months as long as you keep your account in good shape.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ChexSystems?
ChexSystems is a Consumer Reporting Agency (also known as CRA for short) that collects data on bank and credit union customers and members. Specifically, they collect data on how checking and savings accounts are used.
They do this by accepting and retaining records on many irregularities committed by account holders, such as:
- Unpaid overdrafts
- Negative account balances
- Suspicious activity
The information is supplied by the credit unions and the bank themselves. It is accessible by the banks and credit unions that use the service.
The ChexSystems report is different than a credit report, which is generally supplied by one of the credit bureaus such as Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.
It is also separate from Telecheck, which is mainly tasked with check cashing rather than bank accounts.
Why do credit unions use ChexSystems?
Credit Unions, just like banks, may use ChexSystems and your credit report to mitigate some of the risks involved in accepting new customers and extending them credit facilities.
While ChexSystems collect information about checking accounts and savings accounts, it is mainly used for checking accounts.
Checking accounts come with many credit facilities such as overdrafts and checks. Because of this, banks want to make sure, as much as possible, that they’re not going to end up with unpaid bills and negative balances.
They accomplish this by looking at the applicant’s history to understand how they behaved in the past.
While this is not foolproof (someone who always paid overdrafts is not guaranteed to pay them in the future), it gives the credit union peace of mind. The same goes for all of the other irregularities reported through ChexSystems.
I have been denied an account. Now what?
If you have been denied an account due to ChexSystems, know that you’re not alone.
The second thing that you need to be aware of is that there is a way out, which we will be covering next step by step, easy to follow guide.
- Step 1: Ask for a copy of the report. If you have been denied an account due to a ChexSystems report, you can get a free copy of the report under FCA rules. Ask for a copy of the report.
- Step 2: Go through the report. Once you have received the report, go through all of the items listed and make sure they are accurate. The important thing here is to be honest with yourself – if you have made a mistake in the past, the best thing you can do is learn from it. However, if any of the items listed are erroneous, you can open a dispute.
- Step 3: Open a dispute (if warranted) You can open a dispute directly through the ChexSystems website by providing your details and information about the item you want to dispute.
- Step 4: Open a non-ChexSystem account. If the irregularities highlighted in the report are accurate, don’t worry – you can still get a checking account. As we said earlier, you are not alone to fail a ChexSystems report. Many credit unions (and banks) recognize this, which is why they offer special accounts for those who have bad credit.
What credit union does not use ChexSystems?
Several credit unions offer accounts that do not use ChexSystems. Since credit union membership is usually restricted to people working or living in a certain area, it might be worth checking what credit unions near you offer.
You can also check our guide to the best credit unions that don’t use ChexSystems to get a head start.
Do all credit unions use ChexSystems?
No, not all credit unions use ChexSystems. Furthermore, even if they do, they might offer accounts that bypass ChexSystems checks, allowing you to open an account even if your report is unfavorable.
In most cases, these accounts will be referred to as second chance checking accounts or fresh start checking accounts. However, they also go by various other names (like opportunity checking, for example).
What banks do not require a credit check to open a checking account?
Several banks offer checking accounts that do not require a credit check. Keep in mind that a credit check is only one type of check, with ChexSystems, Telecheck, and EWS (Early Warning Services) being some of the other checks banks use.
Keep in mind that CRAs (Consumer Reporting Agencies) must comply with FCRA (the Fair Credit Reporting Act). That means you are entitled to one free report per year as well as a free copy of the report should you be declined an account based on information contained in the report.
You can also open a dispute should any information contained in the report be inaccurate. Procedures vary from one report company to another, so make sure you check their website for all of the procedure details.
Does Members First Credit Union use ChexSystems?
Members First Credit Union offers a Fresh Start Checking account. The account is designed for people who have been denied a checking account elsewhere, helping those who have failed a ChexSystems check open a checking account.
To open an account here, you must work, live, pray, or attend school in Michigan or be a family member of someone who already has an account. There is an initial deposit requirement of $25 that you need to deposit before the account is opened.