How to Open a Checking Account at a US Bank While in the Telecheck System

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TeleCheck is a database maintained by member financial institutions to reduce the amount of loss due to fraud or poof financial management by customers. Bank customers who write checks with insufficient funds have a flag placed on their banking profile. If you are this customer, vendors send your check through a verification system. Bad checks remain on your TeleCheck file for at least five years or until the debt is paid. Getting a checking account with an active TeleCheck file is difficult, but there are banks that do this.

  • Order your TeleCheck report so you can review the derogatory information. You can obtain one free report annually by contacting the TeleCheck Service. You will need to submit a written request and mail it. You need to include your phone number, a copy of your driver's license, your social security number, a voided check and a copy of either a tax or utility bill that states your current home address.

  • Contact your desired local bank and ask whether they are part of the TeleCheck network. If they aren't, you can open an account by walking in, providing your identification and presenting your initial deposit.

  • Offer to open a non-check writing, checking account if your desired bank is part of the TeleCheck System. A non-check writing account provides you with a debit card and online check issuing privileges but doesn't allow you to maintain a personal checkbook.

  • Obtain a list of banks not on the TeleCheck System. There are many online vendors offering these lists, though some charge anywhere from $30 to $50. If you have gone through all your local resources and still can't find a bank, this might be your last option.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some banks will review the TeleCheck report to see how long ago the derrogatory item was. Since the report stays on file for five years, if you have a clean history for the past four, banks might overlook the report even if they are members of the TeleCheck network.
  • Smaller banks and credit unions are less likely to use TeleCheck.

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