A report from ChexSystem might be the reason why you cannot open a regular savings or checking account. This consumer reporting agency is responsible for keeping track of all possible negative banking information from your previous account. Your new bank will then consult this agency to prescreen new applicants like you.
You might be having difficulties now because of certain banking issues, such as unpaid obligations or misuse of the account, which you may have done in the past. If you got denied, don’t fret. Here is a list of attainable alternatives that can help you.
Applying For Second Chance Checking Accounts
Opting to open a second chance checking account is a good way for you to start establishing a better bank history. Second-chance checking accounts acquire most regular checking account features such as the issuance of checks, access to ATM, online bill paying, money transfers, debit cards, and direct deposits.
The principal differences that these accounts have are higher annual or monthly maintenance fees or larger opening deposit. This regulation is observed to protect the bank from losing a hefty amount of money while giving consumers another chance for a fresh start.
There are some banks that no longer check your ChexSystem file. Some will only require you to pay off outstanding balances from your previous bank. Crediful gives you a list of over 200 banks that will aid you in starting over.
If you are bothered with a higher percentage of banking fees that come with opening a second chance checking account, you won’t have to worry any longer. This alternative has a higher chance of leading you to a lower-fee regular checking account within a few months or a year.
Trying A Different Bank
Looking for banks that don’t necessarily require your ChexSystem report may also be a good option for you. Though there is a possibility of you not getting the best account and may be asked for higher maintenance fees, many banks will still accept your account application.
A good alternative to traditional banks may be credit unions. They offer higher interest rates that will suit your needs as a consumer. Credit unions are also known for being community-oriented, but you still have to be qualified in opening a new account.
Each credit union has criteria that need to be met. They look for stipulations such as being a government employee, a veteran, or someone who lives in the area. If your application is still denied, you might want to consider opening a savings account instead. This way, you can gain the bank’s favor again, resulting in finally opening yourself a checking account.
Consider Getting A Prepaid Credit Card
Having a prepaid credit card may be the alternative you’ve been looking for. These accounts allow you to pay bills and make purchases online smoothly, just like a debit card. You can pay a specific amount of money at any retail store in your area and make transactions as freely as you want.
Lucky for you, these cards will not allow their users to spend over the amount of money deposited in them. This perk helps you avoid debts soon. Take note that you still have to pay an additional fee when depositing money into prepaid credit cards. But the amount isn’t too big for the amount of convenience you will be getting along the way.
Switching to Cash
You might want to think of temporarily switching to a cash-only system while waiting for an opportunity to open a checking account. You can start disciplining yourself by carefully planning your expenses to physically see the flow of money. This method allows you to practice wise organizational skills when it comes to your finances.
Clear Up Your ChexSystem Report
It is best to figure out why your checking account application got denied as soon as possible. The Fair Credit Reporting Act commands banks to tell you the reasons why you got rejected for applying to a bank account.
What you need to do first is to request a copy of your ChexSystem report on their official website. This report will give you a context on what is wrong with your previous bank accounts. The report will come to you by mail within five working days.
You can then settle any outstanding fees and disputes to finally open a new checking account. But it might take you months, or even years at maximum, to clear up your ChexSystem report. In the meantime, you might opt to consider the alternatives presented above to avoid difficulties in managing your finances.
Getting denied a bank account because of a low credit score or a negative ChexSystem report isn’t the end game for consumers like you. You only have to get to know what other options you may venture into. And, along the way, you’ll eventually find yourself having a better attitude towards money management.