The Best Second Chance Banks in the U.S.

Second Chance Banking

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The Best Second Chance Banks. Guaranteed Approval.

It’s not a given that anyone can open a regular checking account. 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.

We give our highest recommendation for the best-in-class institutions that offer a second chance bank account.

The Top Banks For Second Chance Banking

Open an account today!

Chime | Our Top Pick

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

Smart Technology

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.

Customers First

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.

Get a Chime Account Today!

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.

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 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

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.

Get a Chase Secure Banking account today!

NorthOne | No ChexSystems Small Business Banking

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

Banking Services

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.

Integrations

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.

Envelopes

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.

Application Process

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.

Open an account today!

Current | Earn High Interest
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.

Get a Current Account Now!

Current is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Members FDIC.

SoFi Money | Earn a $325 Welcome Bonus
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. There are no monthly fees or overdraft fees. Plus, you earn interest on all the money in the account! The sign-up process can take less than 60 seconds. With over 2.5 million members, SoFi is a bank you can count on!

The $325 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 $300 (depending on the amount of your direct deposit) and bump the interest rate you earn to 1.25% APY. The bonus and interest rate are some of the highest we’ve seen.

  • No account fees
  • No minimum balance
  • No overdraft fees
  • No fees at over 55,000 ATMs
  • Access to SoFi member benefits like career coaching and financial advising
  • Automated bill pay
  • Freeze debit card on-the-go
SoFi Money 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 Checking & Savings seems to be the perfect account.
Kevin M., SoFi Customer

Get a SoFi Account Now!

Acorns

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. Best of all, Acorns doesn’t use ChexSystems or a credit report to approve accounts! That makes Acorns Spend another of our favorite second chance 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 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.

Get An Acorns Account!

Wells Fargo Bank
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

Get a Wells Fargo account

Lili | Quick Approval Small Business Banking
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

Integrated Tools

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.

Buckets

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 Pro

Lili recently announced a new set of features called Lili Pro. The cost is $4.99 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 1.00% 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.

Application Process

You can set up an account online. If you’re a freelancer, you should receive approval and account access almost instantly. If you’re a sole proprietor or single-member LLC, approval can take a couple of days. 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!

GTE Financial
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.

Get a GTE Financial account

Navy Federal Credit Union
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:

  • Free mobile deposits
  • Free bill pay
  • Free traditional name-only checks
  • Dividends credited monthly

Get an account at Navy Federal Credit Union

The Best Second Chance Banks by State

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 his or her banking history. After a year or two, an account holder may be able to upgrade to a regular checking account.

>> MORE: How to Order a Free ChexSystems Report

Unfortunately, some 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.

Some banks and credit unions offer so-called second chance checking accounts to help people rebuild their credit and financial histories. These accounts usually carry monthly fees and come with a few other requirements, such as participating in a financial literacy or money management class. An account holder might also not be eligible for overdraft protection, since second chance banking serves as a way to prevent overdrawing an account altogether.

Here’s an overview of these accounts and where you can find them at branches in your area.

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 November 1, 2021. 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.