Arizona Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems
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If you want to start taking control of your finances, having a bank account is a basic requirement. Unfortunately, if you’ve had hiccups in your banking history, you might be blacklisted by ChexSystems. This can make it extremely hard for you to get approved for a new account at most commercial banks.
Those who don’t have a bank account (officially referred to as the “unbanked”) are often at a significant financial disadvantage. Bank accounts offer a secure place to store your funds and a variety of tools to help make managing your money more convenient.
According to a 2017 study done by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), most people in Arizona seem to have access to banking. The unbanked rate improved from 12.8% in 2013, to 8.5% in 2015, and finally 5.4% in 2017, signaling a healthy uptrend.
However, 5.4% still means that nearly 400,000 people in Arizona do not have bank accounts. In this post, we’ll introduce the best non-ChexSystems and second chance banks in Arizona. These are great options for anyone having trouble getting a bank account due to their ChexSystems records.
The Best Non-ChexSystems Banks in Arizona
For the top 3 non-ChexSystems and second chance banks in Arizona, we recommend Chime and BBVA. These banks offer accounts that are widely considered some of the best and most friendly to those rebuilding their banking history.
Chime’s mission is to make banking helpful, easy, and free for everyone. As a result, they do not run your credit or check your ChexSystems report when you apply to any of their checking and savings accounts.
Chime is technically not a bank. Instead, they are a relatively new financial technology company that offers banking services provided through The Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank, N.A., meaning that their products are still FDIC insured. Here’s why you should consider their Chime Checking accounts and Chime Savings accounts.
BBVA (now PNC Bank) offers a few second chance accounts that are designed to help you start your banking journey afresh. They are usually more lenient when considering your ChexSystems history, and offer their VirtualWallet product as their main checking solution.
VirtualWallet is essentially a checking account that comes with many useful banking features. You can avoid missing payments on recurring bills by setting up automatic payments for things such as rent or utilities. Using their Calendar feature, you can easily view all your upcoming payments.
VirtualWallet also comes with an overdraft protection feature known as Low Cash Mode. You can set up Low Cash Mode to send you alerts when your account drops below a certain balance. Occasionally, VirtualWallet may be offering a $200 cash bonus to new applicants, so check if this offer is still valid before applying.
Top 8 Local Arizona Non-ChexSystems Banks
Chime and BBVA (PNC) are three of the top banks for Arizona residents. However, there are plenty of great local options for you to consider as well if you prefer a more personal, in-store experience. Here are 8 more top local Arizona non-ChexSystems and second chance banks.
America First Credit Union
America First Credit Union is one of the nation’s oldest credit unions. They were founded in Salt Lake City in 1939, and have since been offering different types of checking, savings, and retirement accounts to their active members.
Instead of using ChexSystems, America First Credit Union uses your Experian report for screening. If your credit score is not too low, you can easily qualify for their Classic Checking account. This account comes with no monthly fees, overdraft protections, and access to your FICO score so you can keep tabs on your credit as well.
- Address: 6846 E Warner Rd, Mesa, AZ 85212
- Phone: (800) 999-3961
- Email: email@example.com
Bank of the West
Bank of the West is another well-established bank with locations along the west half of the US, Arizona included. For those with past ChexSystems records, they offer their Fresh Start Checking account. It comes with a $12 monthly fee, but you get nearly all the benefits of their standard checking account.
You could also try applying for their Any Deposit Checking account, which has very easy requirements to waive the monthly service charge. As long as you make a deposit of any amount once per month, you’ll pay $0 in account fees. There’s also no minimum balance requirement.
- Address: 2555 E Camelback Rd Suite 160, Phoenix, AZ 85016
- Phone: (623) 334-7170
First Convenience Bank
First Convenience Bank has been around since 1901, helping customers achieve financial wellness. Many of their personal banking products are considered second chance accounts because they’re willing to overlook your ChexSystems history.
The Power Checking account is their most popular account. There are no minimum deposit requirements and overdraft protection features, but the account does have a $12 monthly fee that can’t be waived. If you’re just looking for an account that can handle digital transactions, the eAccount is another great option since the monthly fee is only $5.
- Address: 2003 E Rodeo Dr, Cottonwood, AZ 86326
- Phone: (800) 903-7490
MariSol Federal Credit Union
MariSol Federal Credit Union offers 4 different checking accounts to Arizona residents. For those with past ChexSystems records, the Start Again Basic Checking account is great for rebuilding your banking history.
Start Again Basic Checking does not have minimum balance requirements or a minimum initial deposit requirement. However, it does come with a $10 fee. Once you have a few months of positive banking history under your belt, you can consider upgrading to their Free Kasasa Cash Checking account, which has no fees and earns a great interest rate on your balance.
- Address: 1515 W Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85007
- Phone: (602) 252-6831
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OneAZ Credit Union
OneAZ Credit Union has locations all over Arizona. Instead of looking at your ChexSystems report, they’ll use your Early Warning Services (EWS) record for screening. Their Tempe location has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 among 157 Google reviews.
We like OneAZ’s Free Checking account, which has no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balance requirements, and no hidden fees in general. You’ll also get access to over 41,000 ATMs for free nationwide. There is a $20 minimum deposit requirement to open the account.
- Address: 840 E Southern Ave UNIT 101, Tempe, AZ 85282
- Phone: (844) 663-2928
- Email: email@example.com
Tucson Federal Credit Union
Tucson Federal Credit Union offers Everyday Checking to residents around the Tucson area. You can open an account from one of their locations or use their Video Connect feature to open an account online.
Their Classic Checking account has no monthly service fees, and you must enroll in eStatements. They may be offering Tucson residents a $50 bonus when you open an account and keep it in good standing for 90 days.
- Address: 1160 N Winstel Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716
- Phone: (520) 795-8520
US Bank is a well-known bank across the country. Even if you have negative ChexSystems history, you can open a second chance Safe Debit checking account.
The Safe Debit account comes with online and mobile banking, along with no overdraft fees. The account does have a $4.95 monthly fee, but it also gives you access to your VantageScore so you can also monitor your credit score.
- Address: 12970 W Indian School Rd, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340
- Phone: (623) 536-2407
Western State Bank
Western State Bank is willing to overlook your ChexSystems record as long as your credit score is still fair. Their Chandler location has an average 4.9 out of 5 rating among 15 Google reviews.
Applicants should consider their Free Checking account, which comes with basic banking features and no balance requirements. There is a $50 initial deposit requirement but no monthly maintenance fees. You also get free checks and overdraft protection, so this is a great account to repair your banking history with.
- Address: 976 W Chandler Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85225
- Phone: (480) 855-6287
Why Do I Keep Getting Denied For a Checking Account?
If you’ve had problems with banking in the past, it’s very likely that this information was reported to ChexSystems. From there, other banks can request your ChexSystems history whenever you apply for a new checking account. Most banks will immediately deny your application when they pull your ChexSystems report.
It’s estimated that 80% of banks in the US use ChexSystems. Thus, chances are that when you apply for a new checking account, that bank probably uses ChexSystems. One negative mark on your ChexSystems report can cause you to get repeatedly denied.
How Long Does Information Stay on My ChexSystems Report?
ChexSystems typically retains negative information on your report for five years. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you are allowed to dispute any reporting errors with ChexSystems.
The dispute process can be long and complicated. Since you don’t want to be without a bank account for too long, it’s often better to just apply for a non-ChexSystems or second chance account.
What Is The Difference Between Non-ChexSystems Banks and Second Chance Banking?
A non-ChexSystems bank will not use ChexSystems as part of their screening process. Note that it’s possible that they could still use TeleCheck or Early Warning Services (EWS) to check your history. These are two other reporting agencies similar to ChexSystems.
A second chance bank could still use ChexSystems when considering new applicants. However, second chance banks are willing to overlook poor ChexSystems history and offer you a new account anyway.
Non-ChexSystems accounts tend to have a similar set of features as a regular account. On the other hand, second chance accounts have more restrictions placed upon them, such as a maximum number of monthly transactions.
However, the good news with second chance accounts is that after a few months of good standing, banks will usually let you upgrade to a regular checking account. Both non-ChexSystems and second chance banks are great to help rebuild your banking history, so definitely consider both.
Do Bank of Arizona, Arizona Federal Credit Union, and Other Popular Banks Use ChexSystems?
Unfortunately, yes, Bank of Arizona and Arizona Federal Credit Union do use ChexSystems when considering new applicants. Currently, they are not offering second chance products either, but this can be subject to change.
Note that most commercial banks use ChexSystems. This includes four of the largest banks in the nation:
- Bank of America
- Wells Fargo
The fifth largest bank, US Bank, does offer second chance accounts, as we’ve highlighted in our bank recommendations. Also, while these four large banks do use ChexSystems, some of them may still offer second chance accounts as well. If you prefer signing up with a larger bank, you could visit one of their local branches and talk to a representative.
Do Banks Require a Credit Check to Open an Account?
Most banks do not require a credit check to open an account. They simply pull your ChexSystems report to view your past banking history.
However, credit unions tend to utilize credit checks more often. For example, this is true for America First Credit Union. Even so, credit unions typically only check your credit score when you apply for membership, not every time you decide to apply for a new account. This means that once you are a member, you should have a much easier time signing up for their accounts.
Though most banks don’t require a credit check, it’s still important for you to always keep tabs on your credit score. Having a good credit score is crucial for succeeding financially.
As we’ve seen earlier, the FCRA entitles you to dispute errors with ChexSystems. It also gives you the right to dispute credit reporting errors with credit agencies like Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Start by reading your credit report to see if there are any suspicious-looking items.
If you need help with the credit disputing process, we recommend checking out Credit Saint. In our Ultimate Review Guide for Credit Saint, we show how their credit repair services can help you permanently increase your score by upwards of 60 points after a couple of months.
Best Practices For Managing Your Checking Account
Once you’ve gotten your new checking account, it’s time to implement some habits to keep your account in good standing. We recommend starting off with the following:
- Check your balance often. Being aware of your account balance will help you prevent any overdraft fees. It’s also good to know how much money you have in your account before making any larger purchases.
- Review your bank statements. Bank statements give you an opportunity to review your banking activity and flag any suspicious transactions. You can also use them to get an overall sense of how much your monthly expenses are, and how you can budget for future months.
- Use banking alerts. If your account has overdraft fees, set up banking alerts. They can alert you whenever your balance goes below a certain threshold.
- Keep an eye on that upgrade. A regular account has more features and fewer restrictions than a second chance account. The earlier you can upgrade, the better!
Conclusion and Next Steps
If you’ve been struggling trying to get a bank account, going with a non-ChexSystems or second chance bank is one of your best options. In this article, we’ve shown you 10 of the top banks for Arizona residents.
Among these options, Chime is still one of the best overall banks for those with ChexSystems records. Their Savings account is one of the most popular and competitive accounts on the market that can also help you grow your savings over time.
Our Top Pick for Banks that Don't Use ChexSystems is Chime.
When doing research, Credit Help Info relies on credible and authoritative sites. These research sources are provided so that you can see exactly where we get our information.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.
1. There’s no fee for the Chime Savings Account. Cash withdrawal and Third-party fees may apply to Chime Checking Accounts. You must have a Chime Checking Account to open a Account.
2. Chime SpotMe is an optional service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month. All qualifying members w overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member's Chime Ac deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to may change at any time, at Chime's discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won't c transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.
*The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is accurate as of November 17, 2022. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.
The average national savings account interest rate of 0.21% is determined by FDIC as of November 17, 2022 based on a simple average of rates paid (uses annual percentage yield) by all insured depository institutions and branches for which data are available. Visit National Rates and Rate Caps to learn more.
About the Author
Chris Morgan is a credit expert and founder of Credit Help Info. He has been featured in Addition Financial, GOBankingRates, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, and many other publications. He has read hundreds of books and resources on finance and the credit industry. Because he did this, you don’t have to. As a school teacher for over 20 years, Chris enjoys taking complicated material and breaking it down into manageable information that’s easy to understand.