You might be surprised by the number of people in the U.S. that are not eligible for a regular checking account. According to the FDIC, about 7.7% of American households, or almost 17 million people, are unbanked, and part of the reason involves having bad credit or poor banking histories.
Making mistakes with a bank account, such as not paying overdraft fees, can put you on a list to let other banks know you’re a risky customer, and you might be denied an account because of it. This “list” is a consumer database called ChexSystems, and nearly 85% of all banks in the country use it during the application process.
If you’ve ever searched for “the best second chance banks near me”, this article will answer your questions. We give our highest recommendations for the best-in-class institutions that offer second chance checking accounts.
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 0.50% 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. Finally, Chime just recently launched their Credit Builder credit card with no interest and no annual fee. We don’t think there is another company innovating for their customers like Chime.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
U.S. Bank | Earn Up To $1,000 Cash Bonus
U.S. Bank is the fifth largest bank in the country with the majority of its 2,000+ branches located in 26 states mostly located in the west and midwest.
When you open a U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account and a Standard Savings account, you can earn a cash bonus of up to $1,000. This is one of the most generous checking and savings offers we’ve seen.
U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking at a Glance
A U.S. Bank Visa debit card
Online banking and bill pay
Mobile banking with mobile check deposit
Send money with Zelle®
Access to U.S. Bank Smart Rewards™ to reap additional benefits
No NSF charges for overdraft balances under $50
No fees at U.S. Bank ATMs
No surcharge fees at 40,000 MoneyPass ATMs
States Where U.S. Bank is Available
If you live in one of the following 26 states where this account is available, you can apply online: AR, AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, NV, OH, OR, SD, TN, UT, WA, WI, WY.
Account Details and Costs
To get an account, you’ll need to make an opening deposit of $25. The monthly service fee is $6.95 but can be waived if you maintain a minimum balance of $1,500 or by having a minimum monthly direct deposit of $1,000. You can also avoid the monthly fee if you are 24 and under, 65 and over, or a member of the military or qualify for one of the four Smart Rewards tiers (Primary, Plus, Premium, or Pinnacle).
Earn Serious Bank from U.S. Bank
You can earn up to $1,000 when you open a new U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account and a Standard Savings account and complete qualifying activities. The offer is subject to certain terms and limitations and is valid through October 31, 2023. Member FDIC.
Banking Made Easy
The U.S. Bank Smartly® Checking account comes with one of the best mobile apps on the market. Over one million customers have given the app an overall rating of five stars. You can manage your entire account from a computer or your smartphone.
U.S. Bank repeatedly makes the list of one of the best banks in the country.
Lili was custom made for freelancers and independent contractors who are operating as sole proprietors and single member LLCs and we really like their offering. Lili aims to approve most accounts within 2-3 days, but some accounts are approved in 2-3 hours.
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.
Lili has an optional feature called “buckets” that allows you to set aside money in a savings account. The first of these is called a “Tax Bucket”, where you specify a percentage of your direct deposits you want to be saved for future tax payments. You can easily make adjustments and changes along the way and move the money back and forth from your checking account and tax bucket savings account. That way, you know the money will be there when you need to make tax payments.
The second of these buckets is called the Emergency Savings Bucket. You can automatically transfer at least $1 a day to this savings account to use for any larger purchase or unforeseen expense.
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 1.50% 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!
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% interest on your balance up to $6,000
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.
Current is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Members FDIC.
Chase Secure BankingSM | $100 New Account Bonus
For many people, having access to a local bank branch is paramount when setting up a checking account. With over 15,000 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 minimum deposit to open
NO overdraft fees
FREE access to over 15,000 Chase ATMs
FREE Chase Online Bill Pay
FREE money orders and cashier’s checks
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.
How The Account Works
Opening the Chase Secure Banking account is easy. They verify your name, address, and social security through Experian, but don’t pull a credit report or credit score. Chase doesn’t use ChexSystems for this account, either. Account approval is immediate, there’s no opening deposit requirement, and you’ll receive your Chase Secure card within a matter of days.
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.
If you’re a Walmart shopper, 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
Acorns is making a name as a place to invest money for the long term, but what we really like is that they offer both checking and savings accounts.
That makes Acorns another of our favorite checking accounts. As a company built to compete with the largest banks, Acorns offers some extraordinary 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 not only do you get a checking and savings account, but you also have access to an investment account once you’re ready to consider that. And, it’s free. 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 access to 55,000+ fee-free ATMs
NO minimum balance or overdraft fees
NO credit check
$3 monthly fee
Acorns was built to give everyone the tools to manage their finances which makes it one of our top picks.
NorthOne is a fast-growing company built specifically around business banking solutions for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. In addition to dramatically 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 1,000,000 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.
With NorthOne business banking, you can connect your account to an almost unlimited number of third-party apps. NorthOne integrates with business tools including Paypal, Stripe, Square, Etsy, Shopify, Airbnb, Amazon, Venmo, Toast, Uber, Lyft, Quickbooks, FreshBooks, Wave, Expensify, and many more. Through these integrations, you can sync transaction details, collect payments, see and pay invoices, send payroll, pay contractors, and more.
If creating and sending invoices, quotes, and estimates is critical to your business, NorthOne offers a free stand-alone invoice creator that integrates seamlessly with the banking app. We’ve tried it and think it’s an elegant solution.
NorthOne has created a feature that helps you plan for and manage important expense categories. They call these sub-accounts “Envelopes” and you can set up as many as you want. This allows you to set aside funds you know you’ll need in the future such as taxes or payroll. You can set custom rules for your envelopes and easily move money back and forth as needed.
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.
NorthOne is one of the most competitive business bank accounts for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Their combination of services and offerings, the fast application process, and customer support create an outsized competitive advantage for both the bank and its customers. Every small business owner understands how critical that is for success.
Wells Fargo recently changed the Opportunity Checking account to Clear Access Banking. And we like one change, in particular. Wells Fargo has done away with overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees.
Clear Access Banking is a debit card-only account (no paper checks available) and if you attempt to purchase something without sufficient funds, the transaction will be denied. That’s a lot better than having the transaction approved and then discovering you’ve been hit with a $35 overdraft fee.
There is a $5 monthly fee, but that can 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
Go Further from GTE Financial helps put you on the path to a better checking account. If you don’t qualify for a traditional account, the Go Further account will help you get there in as little as 12 months. We consider this a low-cost second chance checking. As long as you make a total deposit of $500 for the month, opt to receive eStatements and make 15 monthly transactions, the $9.95 maintenance fee is waived.
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
GTE Financial is based in Florida, but anyone in the 50 states can open an account online for free.
No matter your banking past, Navy Federal Credit Union offers traditional checking for all members across the US. With no review requirements of your banking history, NFCU is an excellent choice for active duty or retired US military, family members and government contractors. There are two banking choices to choose from: Active Duty Checking and Free eChecking.
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:
Top 5 Second Chance Checking Accounts in Every State
Unfortunately, most major banks don’t offer second chance checking, but many community banks and credit unions have them under various names, such as Opportunity Checking and Fresh Start Checking.
Here are our top 5 picks for every state in the U.S. that want your business, regardless of your ChexSystems history. Most of them offer second chance checking accounts, while others do not use ChexSystems at all during the application process.
Cadence Bank – My Way Checking
Central State Bank – Central Checking
First National Bank – On Us Checking
UNIFY Financial Credit Union – Right Start Checking
Why Would Anyone Need a Second Chance Checking Account?
When people apply to open checking accounts, financial institutions screen them to determine how much of a risk they’ll be.
About 85% of banks and credit unions in the United States use ChexSystems, a consumer reporting agency that gathers information on closed checking and savings accounts. Consumers with outstanding debts or overdrafts, fraudsters, and victims of identity theft may have records on ChexSystems.
When a person with a ChexSystems record tries to open a checking account, it’s up to the financial institution to determine whether to approve that account. ChexSystems reports may or may not be used, as can credit reports.
When people cannot get bank accounts, their alternatives tend to be prepaid debit cards, payday loans, and check-cashing services, which aren’t always ideal because of transaction fees. They can also be much less convenient, since they may lack features such as online access to funds.
A second chance checking account, however, offers the security of a bank account while letting a consumer rebuild their banking history. After a year or two, an account holder may be able to upgrade to a regular checking account.
If you’ve ever wondered “what are the best second chance banks near me?” We hope we’ve answered your question. It’s extremely frustrating when you are denied a checking account due to past banking mistakes or your ChexSystems history.
Luckily, many banks and credit unions out there are in tune with this problem and are offering a solution through their second chance checking accounts.
Additional Chime Disclaimers:Back to Chime Review
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card issued by The Bancorp Bank 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. See your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Pay Friends Transfers details. 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.