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ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency that operates under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
It’s their job to collect information relating to closed checking and savings accounts where reports may include information on bounced or returned checks, overdrafts, and unpaid balances.
If you’ve had these types of issues in the past, it’s not ideal to apply for an account with a ChexSystems bank because it can lower your chances of eligibility.
Fortunately, there are plenty of places to get a bank account without having to deal with ChexSystems.
For this post, we’ll highlight 11 of the top banks that don’t use ChexSystems, along with other financial management alternatives.
First, we need to point out that “Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.”
That said, Chime allows you to conveniently open a checking account or savings account and build your credit.
Here are some of the main perks:
- There’s no minimum balance
- You have up to $200 on purchases with no overdraft fees (there are certain eligibility requirements)
- There’s no foreign transaction fee
- There’s no ATM fee as long as you get money out of 60,000+ in-network stores
- There’s a get paid option by setting up direct deposit, allowing you to get paid up to two days early
- You can instantly pay friends and family with no fee
- There’s no fee for a savings account
- Chime offers Automatic Savings features with a 1.00 APY
- You can set up daily balance notifications and transaction alerts to stay on top of account activity
If you’re looking to open an easy-to-open convenient bank account without drowning in monthly fees and want to establish a banking history, Chime is an excellent option.
“Acorns helps you save and invest. Invest spare change, bank smarter, earn bonus investments, and more!” That’s their motto.
This bank makes it fast and easy to open a bank account (it takes less than five minutes) and allows you to make investments for yourself and your family, for your retirement, and more.
One of the key features is Round-Ups where Acorns automatically invests your spare change for effortless saving. If you’re the type of person that struggles with staying disciplined with your bank account savings, this can be a huge help.
You have access to 55,000 ATMs without a fee that is a part of the AllPoint Network. And, like Chime, you can get paid up to two days early by setting up a direct deposit with your checking account.
There’s also a big emphasis on finance education with Acorns where they’ll teach you about effective money management, investing, and more.
As for fees, they’re minimal and transparent. A personal account costs $3 a month and a family account costs $5 a month.
Here’s what you get with each.
If you’re looking for a solid, non-ChexSystems bank that lets you conveniently invest while continually learning, Acorns is a good choice.
SoFi is an online personal finance company that wears a lot of hats.
They offer multiple credit card and debit card options, personal loans, mortgages, insurance, and now banking.
One of the first things that stand out is that SoFi currently offers 1.50% APY on both a checking account and savings account with direct deposit.
If you’ve been tracking banking account interest rates since the height of the pandemic, you’ll know that’s pretty good in our current economic climate.
Note that without direct deposit, however, you’ll only earn 0.70% APY on a checking account and savings account.
If you already use SoFi money for another area of finance under their huge umbrella, this is probably your best choice if you don’t want a ChexSystems bank because you can conveniently manage everything from one convenient app.
An added plus is that SoFi money offers rewards points that can be redeemed for cash, used toward paying off a credit card, or reinvested. You can get the full details on SoFi’s rewards program here.
Besides that, SoFi money has some nice member benefits like assistance with financial planning, making this an all-around solid bank.
“No hidden fees. No credit checks. No more barriers to building credit.”
Sable has a really enticing value proposition. And they’ve got the clout to back it up.
As of July 2022, they have over 400,000 accounts and have received praise from notable outlets like Forbes, Bloomberg, and Business Insider.
Starting a banking account is simple and straightforward and you can have your own debit card or credit card in as little as five minutes.
There’s no annual fee or minimum deposits, and Sable offers 1% cashback on major brands like Amazon, Uber, and Whole Foods.
They also offer outstanding international rates to over 55 countries, which is why they’ve been called the best American bank for immigrants in the US.
They don’t even require a Social Security number. You just need to have a U.S. address, passport, and U.S. Visa.
So if you’re looking for a fresh start with a checking account, have bad credit, limited credit, or have a limited banking history, Sable is an excellent choice.
5. Axiom Bank
Source: Axiom Banking
While there’s honestly nothing over the top about Axiom Banking that makes it stand out from competitors, it’s a respectable company that doesn’t look at a ChexSystems record when determining eligibility.
And they have a handful of different banking options to fit the needs of most customers.
There’s AxiomGO, a “digital-only checking account with no minimum daily balance requirements.”
There’s Axiom Checking, also with no minimum balance required, and no mobile banking or mobile deposit fees.
And Axiom Senior Checking is a great option for people who are 55 or older, which offers a nice mix of cutting-edge, modern banking along with traditional check writing.
Again, there’s no minimum balance, and you can get three check orders per year for free.
Besides that, Axiom allows you to make a business checking account online with several different account types to accommodate a wide variety of needs.
Source: Axiom Banking
It’s also worth noting that this bank places a high priority on personal relationships for an added touch that many people enjoy.
So if you’re looking for an all-around American bank, Axiom is definitely worth considering.
First off, I have to say that Current understands branding.
The visuals on their website are truly eye-popping, and they have an amazing UX.
Also, they’re technically not a bank but a fintech company that offers banking services.
But the bottom line is that they have a great platform that’s quickly growing in popularity (there are currently four million members).
Perhaps Current’s biggest selling point is that they offer a whopping 4% APY on “savings pods” where you organize your savings into specific goals to grow them 40x faster.
This is head and shoulders above the national average APY that currently sits at 0.07% as of mid-2022. You can get the full details here.
If you’re someone who’s heavily focused on growing your savings account, Current should be on your radar.
- No overdraft fee for up to $200
- The option to get paid quicker by setting up direct deposit
- Up to 15x points when using the Current debit card or credit card at over 14,000 locations
- Robust security, including fingerprint and Face ID lock
Combine that with the ease of signing up (it takes just two minutes to become an account holder), and Current is a top contender on the list of banks that don’t use ChexSystems.
7. Langley Federal Credit Union
Like SoFi Bank, Langley Federal Credit Union is a one-stop shop and offers mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, and much more.
And, of course, to make this list, you can also get a checking account and savings account through them as well.
For checking, Langley has four main options:
- LangleyPays Checking
- Smart Checking
- Platinum Checking
- Essential Checking
While their APY isn’t nearly as good as many other banks (they currently offer 0.35% APY on an average daily balance of $10k), they’re quite lenient with their eligibility standards.
So if you have bad credit or lack a banking history, Langley is a great option to consider.
Their Essential Checking account in particular is designed for people interested in credit repair.
Although it does have a $5 monthly maintenance fee, Essential Checking is perfect for having banking stability and getting your finances back on track.
Essential Checking also offers some great perks like early payday deposits with direct deposit, online banking, and streamlined mobile banking.
It’s also free to use at over 55,000 ATMs across the country that are within their network. Not to mention they’re not a ChexSystems bank.
As for a savings account, Langley has multiple options for this as well, which you can learn about here.
All it takes is a $5 minimum balance.
Originally opened in 1942 to serve the military community of Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill National Bank (FSNB) has since grown exponentially. It still caters to military personnel but also has services for everyday civilians as well.
FSNB offers a wide range of checking accounts, with some being free with a monthly direct deposit and a balance kept above $75.
Basic Checking, for instance, is free as long as you keep at least $75 in your account and costs $6 per month if the balance falls below that.
And Career Checking is completely free with a monthly direct deposit.
There’s no credit check when opening any FSNB checking account and no fees when using FSNB ATMs.
This bank also has several other great features like:
- A free Visa debit card with no monthly or annual fees
- Savings round up
- Free E-statements
- Simple mobile banking
Besides that, all checking accounts offer 0.05% APY as long as the necessary minimum balance is maintained. Here’s what that looks like according to account type.
As for savings, FSNB admittedly won’t wow you with their APY, as it’s only 0.20% for accounts with balances less than $5,000.
That said, they’re one of the more lenient banks that don’t use ChexSystems for a bank account.
And if you’re either an active duty or retired military member, they have plans designed just for you, along with a lot of helpful resources for becoming more “financially fit.”
9. Varo Bank
Source: Varo Bank
“Online banking with no hidden fees.” That’s the main selling point of Varo Bank.
To be more specific, Varo Bank has no monthly fees, overdraft fees, or ATM fees, as long as you withdraw money from Allpoint ATMs within their network.
Also, there’s no credit check, and no minimum balance is required.
Source: Varo Bank
Put that all together, and this makes Varo Bank an appealing option for people looking for simple, straightforward banking without a lot of drama.
And there are some other nice perks, including:
- 24/7 online banking without having to visit a physical branch
- Free money transfers to other Varo users
- Up to 6% cashback when using a Varo debit card or credit card
- Up to two day early payment when using direct deposit
- Automatic saving features to help grow your money
Note that every time you reach $5 in cashback, the money is automatically applied to your bank account with zero hassle.
Also, getting set up is easy, where Varo Bank simply asks you to enter some basic information and verify your identity.
So if you’re looking for a convenience bank that doesn’t look at your credit report or credit score, Varo Bank should definitely be on your radar.
“GoBank is a brand of Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC, which also operates under the brands Green Dot Bank and Bonneville Bank.”
They offer straightforward mobile banking, allowing you to conveniently deposit cash and checks at over 100,000 retailers across the country for a maximum of $4.95.
“Simply ask the cashier to deposit cash directly to your card at the register. Within minutes, your funds will be available in your bank account.”
Another nice feature is bill pay where you can use GoBank to pay any bill or rent online either one time or through recurring payments.
If you want to “set it and forget it” and manage your money through a single convenient interface, GoBank is a good choice.
As for ATM withdrawals, you get up to four each month for free for network locations. After that, however, it’s $3 per withdrawal.
Like many of the other national banks listed here, GoBank also offers early paycheck payments up to two days before payday as long as you set up direct deposit.
Beyond that, GoBank offers free budgeting features that can help you become better with your financial planning.
And of course, they’re an American bank that doesn’t use a Chex System.
11. Navy Federal Credit Union
Source: Navy Federal Credit Union
Formed in 1933, Navy Federal Credit Union currently has over 11 million users and is one of the top national bank account choices for military members and their families.
There are a ton of benefits of opening a checking account with Navy Federal Credit Union.
For starters, there’s no monthly fee for all accounts. There’s zero liability protection for a debit card, ensuring you’re covered in the event of fraud. And mobile deposits and bill pay are a cinch with their simplified digital banking.
For Free Active Duty Checking accounts, there are even more perks like no account balance minimum, 0.05% APY, early access to military pay, and free personalized checks.
When it comes to savings, Navy Federal Credit Union has multiple plans available to match your unique goals, such as having emergency funds available, starting a college fund for your child, building up retirement money, and more.
You can find a full overview of Navy Federal Credit Union’s savings plans here.
Beyond that, they offer comprehensive resources on how to get better at managing your money, including education hubs and how to take control of your credit score.
If you currently serve or have previously served in the military, Navy Federal Credit Union can be a smart choice.
Other Notable Mentions
Some other banks worth mentioning that don’t use ChexSystems include:
- Renasant Bank
- United Bank
- Stride Bank
Note that neither Renasant Bank nor United Bank is a national bank.
Renasant Bank only has locations in the southeast region, while United Bank only has locations in the mid-Atlantic region.
The Difference Between Non-ChexSystems and Second Chance Banking
One question many people have is what makes non-ChexSystems banking different from second chance banking.
The core difference is that a non-ChexSystems bank doesn’t use ChexSystems at all when determining the eligibility of new customers, period.
A second chance bank account, however, may look at your ChexSystems record when making a decision.
A second chance checking account is geared toward giving people with a less than ideal credit score a “second chance” to build or rebuild their banking history. Therefore, many are willing to overlook issues with a ChexSystems record.
But a second chance checking may take your ChexSystems record into account.
Non-ChexSystems banks are different because they won’t look at it at all.
Therefore, this tends to increase your chances of being approved for a checking account or savings account.
So if you’ve had issues in the past with something like bounced or returned checks, overdrafts, or unpaid balances, applying with a national bank that doesn’t use ChexSystems is usually ideal.
But second chance banking may be worth considering.
Alternatives to Banks Without ChexSystems
Besides these lenient banks, there are a few other possibilities for saving and managing your money.
Some can even help improve your credit report when used responsibly.
Prepaid Debit Cards
The purpose of a prepaid debit card is to aid in budgeting where you “load” money onto a card.
Most have minimal fees. And given that no credit check is required, they’re great if you have a poor credit history, and they can easily be found at many retail stores.
A prepaid debit card can be a nice alternative to a traditional bank account, and in some cases can serve as a complete replacement.
Second Chance Bank Account
As we just mentioned, a second chance checking account or savings account can work well for many people.
While a national bank like this may look at ChexSystems, they’re still quite lenient with their eligibility standards, and many offer clear access banking.
One of the top organizations that offers a second chance bank account is Woodforest National Bank.
A Credit Union
Credit unions and banks are extremely similar, but a bank is a for-profit institution, while a credit union is a not-for-profit institution.
In turn, credit unions often have fewer fees and better rates for savings accounts.
A key difference is that credit unions aren’t insured by the FDIC. They are, however, insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for the same amount of $250,000.
We mentioned Navy Federal Credit Union earlier, but several others don’t use ChexSystems.
A Home Safe or Safe Deposit Box
While not recommended for large amounts of money as they aren’t insured to the same standard as a bank account and don’t generate interest, a home safe or safe deposit box is one of the best cash solutions.
If you have bad credit and are struggling to open a traditional checking or savings account, this can offer you a relatively secure place to save money.
What’s the Easiest Bank to Open an Account With?
Pound-for-pound, Chime is our top choice for the easiest convenience bank because you simply enter basic information like your name, email, and Social Security number, and you’re ready to go.
There are no complex steps and needless back-and-forth communications to get started. Just a straightforward application process that can be done in a few minutes.
And in their own words, Chime “won’t check your credit. What’s more, you can rest easy knowing we aren’t looking at your ChexSystems file, which includes information about your past banking boo-boos, such as overdraft and unpaid fees.”
If you want your own debit card without any drama, we highly recommend Chime.
Does Chase Check ChexSystems?
Yes. Chase does look at ChexSystems when determining eligibility.
Also, note that they don’t offer a second chance checking account.
So if you’ve had any issues in the past with your ChexSystems report, Chase most likely won’t be a realistic option.
They do, however, have a prepaid card that allows you to deposit money into an account for better financial management. It has a $4.95 monthly fee.
Does Capital One Use ChexSystems?
While Capital One used to use ChexSystems in the past, they stopped doing so in 2014 according to CNN Money.
Instead, they perform a “soft pull” on your credit to see if there are any risk factors when determining eligibility.
So if you have a decent overall credit score, your odds of being approved are fairly high. If, however, you have a low credit score, your chances are greatly reduced.
Capital One also has some nice perks like no monthly fee, no minimum deposit, and no minimum balance, making them a nice option for those with a solid credit history.
- Can I Open A Bank Account If I Owe Another Bank Money?
- Free Online Checking Account: No Opening Deposit, No Credit Check
- Disputing ChexSystems
- ChexSystems Removal: A Step-by-Step Guide
- How to Get Your ChexSystems Report Online
- 12 Second Chance Bank Accounts
Nick is an author, small business owner, and finance/digital marketing writer. He’s been covering the industry for over a decade and loves exploring topics to help other small businesses succeed. You can connect with him at Nickmannwrites.com.