How to Open a Checking Account When You Are on ChexSystems

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Almost anyone who has ever written a bad check in the past is most likely in ChexSystems. ChexSystems is a database that houses information about mishandled checking and savings accounts at member financial institutions and they share that information with other member financial institutions so they can better determine how much risk you pose when opening a new account. This sharing of information has led many people to not have bank accounts, because ChexSystems is not required to remove any derogatory entries even after they have been paid in full.

Things You'll Need

  • ChexSystems report
  • Paid in full statements
  • Request a copy of your ChexSystems report. You are entitled to one free report a year unless you have been denied an account from a bank or credit union that used your ChexSystems report as a reason for denial.

  • Pay off any checks you have outstanding if you can. Request a paid in full statement from the places you owed money. Make sure you make an extra copy of these statements and file them away in case one is lost.

  • Contact banks in your area. Smaller banks have a greater chance of working with you. Ask to speak with the new accounts manager. This is the person that will most likely be able to override bank policy.

  • Explain your situation to the new accounts manager. Provide a copy of your ChexSystems report and a copy of your paid in full statements to the manager to verify.

  • Ask the bank whether its offers a "fresh start" or "second chance" checking account if it is unwilling to open a normal account for you.

Tips & Warnings

  • Continue searching until you find a bank willing to work with you.

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