15 Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems

If you’ve had bank account troubles in the past, you might want to check out banks that don’t use ChexSystems. After all, a poor bank account history shouldn’t mean that you can’t open a checking account.

In this post, we’ll cover what ChexSystems is, how it affects your ability to own a bank account, and what you can do if ChexSystems gives you a low score. We’ll also provide you with a list of banks that don’t use ChexSystems.

Table of Contents
  1. What Is ChexSystems?
  2. How Does ChexSystems Work?
  3. What Are ChexSystems Scores? 
  4. What Might Affect Your ChexSystems Score?
  5. No ChexSystems Banks Vs. Second Chance Banks 
  6. Best Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems
    1. 1. CIT Bank
    2. 2. Current
    3. 3. Acorns
    4. 4. Chime
    5. 5. SoFi Money
    6. 6. Renasant Bank
    7. 7. FSNB
    8. 8. United Bank
    9. 9. Navy Federal Credit Union
    10. 10. TD Ameritrade Cash Management Account
    11. 11. GO2bank
    12. 12. Varo Bank
    13. 13. First American Bank
    14. 14. Langley Federal Credit Union
    15. 15. Douugh
  7. Final Thoughts

What Is ChexSystems?

In a nutshell, ChexSystems is the bank version of a credit-reporting agency. It operates under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Whereas credit reporting agencies like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion report on your use of credit, ChexSystem reports on your use of deposit accounts at banks and credit unions. 

How Does ChexSystems Work?

ChexSystems monitors your deposit account activity much in the same way that Experian monitors your credit usage. 

The company creates a report for each person who owns a deposit account. Your ChexSystems report might contain items such as:

  • Abusive ATM and debit card usage
  • Bounced check and/or negative account balance information
  • Unpaid negative account balances
  • Information about deposit accounts that are involuntarily closed
  • Fraud and identity theft information

One thing worth noting; unlike other credit reporting agencies, ChexSystems doesn’t include positive ratings about deposit account behavior.

Instead, a ChexSystems report only includes negative behavior. Some entities have criticized this practice in the past, leading to changes in how long ChexSystems keeps negative items on reports. 

If you haven’t experienced any of the bullet-pointed items mentioned above, you’ll have a clean ChexSystems report with a high score. 

What Are ChexSystems Scores? 

As with credit scores, a ChexSystems score can affect your ability to open a deposit account at a bank or credit union.

A ChexSystems score can land anywhere between 100 and 899. However, you have less insight into how that score affects you than a traditional credit score.

Credit bureaus like Experian are very open about where your credit score lands you in terms of how loan and credit card companies view you:

  • Exceptional: 800-850
  • Very good: 740-799
  • Good: 670-739
  • Fair: 580-669
  • Poor: 300-579

Conversely, ChexSystems keeps its score calculating system hidden from the public eye. So, although you can make an educated guess about what a good vs. bad ChexSystems score is, you may never honestly know how ChexSystems ranks deposit account holders. 

What Might Affect Your ChexSystems Score?

You can, however, know what factors might affect your ChexSystems score. Here are examples of some items that may result in a reduced ChexSystems score for you.

  • Negative account balances
  • Unpaid negative account balances
  • Bounced/returned checks
  • Both unpaid and paid non-sufficient funds (NSF) checks
  • Overuse of debit cards
  • Suspected misuse of ATMs
  • Suspected fraudulent activity
  • Discovered false information provided during the account opening process

If you can keep your deposit account record free from these and similar items, you can be pretty confident that your ChexSystems score will be high.

However, if you have instances of the above circumstances in your deposit account past or present, you should expect your ChexSystems score to suffer. 

No ChexSystems Banks Vs. Second Chance Banks 

We’re talking today about banks that don’t use ChexSystems. But is there a difference between a bank that doesn’t use ChexSystems and a so-called “second chance” bank? 

Banks that don’t use ChexSystems have a cut-and-dried procedure; they don’t contact ChexSystems for information on account applicants. 

There is a chance that they’ll use a similar service such as Early Warning Service. However, they don’t contact ChexSystems. 

Conversely, second chance banks often use ChexSystems to research an applicant’s deposit account history; they choose to issue the account regardless of your ChexSystems score.

But the downside of using a second chance bank is that you’ll usually pay for it in the form of higher fees. 

The good news is that most second chance banks will let you upgrade to a more mainstream checking account after you’ve had 12 months of positive account activity. 

Next, let’s share information on the banks we’ve found that don’t use ChexSystems. 

Best Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems

Here is a list of some of the more popular banks that don’t use ChexSystems. See details for each bank to learn more. 

1. CIT Bank

CIT Bank is an FDIC-insured e-bank owned by CIT Group, founded in 1908. This online-only bank has an e-checking account with a variety of attractive features:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Interest-bearing
  • Monthly ATM charge reimbursements of up to $30

CIT Bank doesn’t have any physical branch locations, and they don’t offer paper checks. You can make purchases from the account with your debit card.

Or you can transfer money out of your CIT bank account via ACH, wire transfer, or by using Zelle. 

Read our full CIT Bank Review here.

Learn more about CIT Bank

2. Current

Current is a financial technology company committed to making banking better. You have two account choices with Current: Basic and Premium. 

Here are the features of the Basic account.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Non-interest-bearing
  • Fee-free in-network ATMs

You’ll also get a savings “pod” with your Basic account, Direct Deposit capabilities, and no overdraft charges. 

The Premium account will cost you $4.99 per month, but you’ll get three savings pods, an early Direct Deposit, and a Premium debit card. 

Note: When you open a Current account, you can also open teen accounts for your kids. Each teen account comes with a debit card, savings pod, and parental notifications and controls. 

Read our full review of Current here.

Learn more about Current

3. Acorns

Acorns is a fintech company that lets you round up your expenditures from your checking account and invest them.

You can also put a percentage of your paychecks into your Acorns Invest account as well.

Acorns checking features include:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $3 or $5
  • Non-interest bearing
  • Free in-network ATM usage 

You’ll also get a free Tungsten metal debit card you can use to make point-of-sale purchases and ATM withdrawals. 

There are no paper checks available with this account. Account balances are FDIC insured with Acorns’ partner bank. 

See the Acorns website to learn more about the company’s checking account and investment account. 

Read our full Acorns Review here.

Learn more about Acorns

4. Chime

Chime is a fintech company offering spending accounts, savings accounts, and credit builder accounts. 

They don’t use ChexSystems, and they don’t run a credit check for new customers. 

When you open a Chime spending account, you get a free debit card along with a host of other benefits. 

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Non-interest bearing
  • Free in-network ATM usage

You can fund your Chime spending account via Direct Deposit or by linking the account with your Chime-supported bank account. 

Direct Deposits can come up to two days early with Chime. If you qualify, you can get free overdraft protection for up to $200 as well. 

See the Chime credit builder account on the website if you’re looking to build up a good credit rating. 

Or see our Chime spending account review for complete information about Chime. 

Learn more about Chime

5. SoFi Money

SoFi Money is a cash management account that operates entirely online. You won’t get paper checks with SoFi Money, but you do get a debit card and the ability to pay bills online.

Some of the features of SoFi Money include:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Interest-bearing
  • Fee free at in-network ATMs

SoFi Money funds are FDIC-insured through Program Bank. To earn interest on your account, you need to have at least $500 in recurring direct deposits.

You earn cash back on debit card purchases with qualifying direct deposits as well. And you can deposit paper checks electronically using the SoFi Money app. 

You can read our SoFi Money review here.

Learn more about SoFi Money

6. Renasant Bank

Renasant Bank has nearly 200 locations in the southern United States, including Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee.

With Renasant Bank, you’ve got four checking accounts to choose from, including a Student checking account. 

Features of Renasant Bank checking accounts include:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0 (or higher to waive monthly fee)
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $6 – $10 per month (can be waived in some instances)
  • Interest-bearing (when qualifications are met)
  • Fee free at in-network ATMs

Renasant also has a digital card app you can get. The banking app and the digital card app are both available for Android and Apple iOS. 

And your Renasant account is compatible with Zelle, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay Cash. 

7. FSNB

FSNB (formerly known as Fort Sill National Bank) was founded in 1942 to fulfill the banking needs of military members stationed at Fort Sill. 

Today, FSNB serves both military members and civilians. Some of the benefits of FSNB’s Basic Checking account include: 

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $6 (waived with a minimum balance of $75
  • Interest-bearing (on balances of $500 or more)
  • Fee free in-network ATMs

This account also comes with unlimited check writing and free online banking. You will pay $3.50 per month for statements unless you enroll in paperless statements.

And you can enroll in Savings Roundup, a feature that allows for all card purchases to be rounded up, with the difference going into your savings account. 

8. United Bank

United Bank has been in operation since 1939. They have over 200 locations in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and other states. 

You can bank online with United Bank as well. United Bank’s United Free Checking account includes the following features:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Interest-bearing
  • Fee free in-network ATMs

Note that you will pay overdraft fees and potentially other fees with this account. Compatible with Zelle, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

This account comes with free online banking and Bill Pay too. Other United Bank checking accounts offer additional features such as earned interest on balances, credit protection, and more. 

United Bank offers wealth management services as well. 

9. Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union is open to various eligible people groups, including current and retired military and household and family members of current Navy Federal Credit Union members.

Eligible family members include parents, grandparents, siblings, children (adopted and stepchildren), and grandchildren. 

Some of the features of Navy Federal Credit Union Free Easy Checking and Free Active Duty checking accounts include:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Non-Interest-bearing
  • Limited ATM fee rebates

You can also open a Flagship Checking account, free of monthly fees, as long as you keep a minimum balance of at least $1,500.

The Flagship Checking account pays a higher interest rate than the other accounts too. You can get paper checks with your Navy Federal Credit Union checking account.

They have over 300 branch locations in the U.S., or you can bank online.  

10. TD Ameritrade Cash Management Account

TD Ameritrade offers a Cash Management account that functions as a checking account. However, you’ll need to have (or open) a TD Ameritrade investment account to be eligible for a Cash Management account.

Some of the features of TD Ameritrade’s Cash Management account include:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0 
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Interest-bearing 
  • Free in-network ATM usage 

You get unlimited check writing capabilities with this account too. If you like the idea of a TD Ameritrade Cash Management account but don’t have a TD Ameritrade investment account, now might be the perfect time to open one. 

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11. GO2bank

GO2bank is a division of the fintech company Green Dot. You might remember that Green Dot assists people in making cash deposits to online banks. 

Now they’ve opened GO2bank and offer online checking services through GO2bank. Here are some of the GO2bank features:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $5 (waived if you have monthly Direct Deposit)
  • Non-interest-bearing
  • Fee-free access to over 19,000 ATMs

GO2bank has an overdraft protection program as well. There are a few options for overdraft protection, but the Basic plan allows you to overdraw your account by up to $10 with no fees as long as you have at least one Direct Deposit.  

See the GO2bank website for additional overdraft protection options. 

12. Varo Bank

Varo Bank is an online bank that started as a fintech in 2015 but obtained bank status from the OCC in 2020. That means it’s FDIC insured in its own right. 

The Varo Bank checking account includes the following features: 

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Non-interest-bearing
  • Fee-free in-network ATMs

The account comes with a free Visa debit card and enables you to make instant transfers to other Varo member accounts for free. 

And if you sign up for Direct Deposit with your Varo account, you can get your paycheck up to two days early. 

Note that Varo does charge a $2.50 fee for out-of-network ATM withdrawals.

13. First American Bank

First American Bank, which opened its doors over 40 years ago, is based in Illinois. However, residents of other states can open an account online.

Some of the features of First American Bank’s Free Checking account include:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Non-interest-bearing
  • Fee free at in-network ATMs

First American Bank has several other checking account options, including interest-bearing checking accounts and student accounts. 

You’ll get free e-statements with your account and free access to online banking. They have physical branch locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Florida. 

14. Langley Federal Credit Union

Langley Federal Credit Union was founded in 1936 and is based out of Virginia but is open to customers throughout the U.S. 

Some of the features of Langley Federal Credit Union’s Essential Checking account include:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $5 (reimbursed if you use your debit card at least once a month or log in to online banking at least once a month)
  • Non-interest-bearing
  • Fee free at in-network ATMs

See Langley’s other checking account options if you are looking for additional features with your checking account.

15. Douugh

Douugh is a fintech account that helps you manage your money better. Within your Douugh account, you have access to a Spend jar for miscellaneous spending and a Bill jar to help ensure you’ve got enough money to pay the bills. 

Some of Douugh’s spend account features include: 

  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance requirement: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Non-interest-bearing
  • Fee free at in-network ATMs

Your Douugh account comes with a free Mastercard debit card and a maximum checking account balance of $75,000 with Douugh. All accounts are FDIC insured through Choice Bank.

Final Thoughts

If you have a low ChexSystems score, it’s a good idea to investigate further before exploring other options. For example, you have the right to view a consumer disclosure report if a low ChexSystems score led to you being denied a new bank account. You also have the right to dispute information included in the report.

That said, a low ChexSystems score or negative items on your ChexSystems report no longer means you can’t have a checking account. With the emergence of fintech banking accounts, second chance checking accounts, and some banks that don’t use ChexSystems, you can enjoy the convenience of having your checking account. 

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About Laurie Blank

Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.

She's a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.

She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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