Florida Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems
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If you’re looking for a checking account in Florida and have been rejected by commercial banks, it may be due to your ChexSystems record. ChexSystems carries negative information about your past negative banking history and shares it with banks, making it hard for you to get a bank account anywhere in Florida.
Having a checking account is vital to your financial wellbeing. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), 3.8% of Floridians do not have a bank account, meaning that they don't have access to many of the basic common banking features that can help you get ahead financially (like money security and direct deposit). 3.8% is lower than the national unbanked figure of 6.5%, but this is still a significant number for Florida’s large population of over 21 million.
The best solution to this problem is to look towards non-ChexSystems or second chance banking. These banks are there to help you get a checking account despite having a poor banking record. The good news is, there are many such banks in Florida.
In this article, we’ve chosen 11 of the top non-ChexSystems and second chance banks in Florida. These banks are willing to forego ChexSystems screening or overlook your banking history to help you get back on your feet financially. We’ll also cover some frequently asked questions about ChexSystems and second chance bank accounts.
The Best Non-ChexSystems Banks in Florida
For the best non-ChexSystems banks in Florida, we’ve narrowed down your choices to three nationally-acclaimed banks: CIT Bank, Chime, and BBVA (now PNC Bank). Here is a closer look at each one.
CIT Bank offers an extremely competitive non-ChexSystems savings account: the Savings Connect. Along with standard account features, Savings Connect comes with high-yield interest rates that currently pay you up to 6 times the national average on your savings. This is a great way to help your savings multiply over time.
CIT Bank has zero setup fees and no monthly maintenance fees. They also offer up to $30 per month of ATM reimbursement fees, which is great since CIT Bank doesn’t have their own ATM network.
Savings Connect awards you their maximum interest rate (currently 0.50% APY) if you deposit $200 per month into the account. Just to be clear, it’s completely optional to deposit these amounts of funds every month. Doing so simply unlocks a higher interest rate on your money. We highly encourage signing up for CIT Bank for their competitive products with industry-leading interest rates.
Chime believes that a bank account shouldn’t cost you money, even if you’ve had a history of negative banking. Thus, their flagship product is their Chime Spending Account, which does not require ChexSystems screening for you to get approved for.
The Chime Spending Account comes with no monthly service fees, no overdraft fees, and no minimum balance requirements. In addition, your funds are FDIC insured up to $250,000. Having all of these features together is extremely rare among non-ChexSystems banks.
To experience the full benefits of Chime’s products, it’s also a good idea to use their Chime Savings Account together with Chime Spending. The Chime Savings Account also comes with a high 0.50 APY that allows you to build up your savings faster than most other non-ChexSystems banks can.
BBVA (now PNC Bank), offers customers who may have had poor banking history a second chance at a bank account. Their main checking solution is a product called VirtualWallet, which is designed to provide a convenient overview of your finances.
VirtualWallet contains a variety of budgeting tools, such as a Calendar that shows you upcoming paydays and automatic payment days, as well as Money Bar, which shows you how much you have left to spend after considering upcoming bills. They also have a Low Cash Mode feature that lets you set alerts when your account drops below a certain balance.
Currently, PNC is offering a $200 bonus when you sign up for VirtualWallet. In addition, you’ll earn a competitive 0.40% APY on funds in your checking account.
Top 8 Local Florida Non-ChexSystems Banks
CIT Bank, Chime, and BBVA (PNC) are three great options to get you started. If you prefer going to a local bank in Florida instead, here are 8 additional non-ChexSystems and second chance banks.
Addition Financial offers checking and savings accounts to local Florida residents in 22 select counties. They offer four main types of personal checking accounts:
- Choice Checking is their main checking account with all standard banking features.
- Vibrant Checking is designed for those aged 13-17 to prepare them for financial independence.
- Aspire Checking is targeted at college students.
- Opportunity Checking is a unique account designed to also help rebuild your credit.
Addition Financial is considered a top second chance bank in Florida by many, so whatever your past banking circumstances, don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
- Address: 1823 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32826
- Phone: (407) 896-9411
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bank OZK has over 25 branches in major Florida cities. They are willing to overlook bad ChexSystems records in an effort to give you a second chance at a checking account.
They offer three main checking accounts to Florida residents, and we personally recommend the regular OZK Checking account because it has the easiest requirements to waive the monthly fee. Opening an account requires just $50 as a minimum deposit, and you can avoid the $7 monthly fee by maintaining a $500 average daily balance or higher.
- Address: 550 S Andrews Ave 120, Ft Lauderdale, FL 33301
- Phone: (954) 767-9991
Centennial Bank is another local Florida bank that offers a variety of checking account options. For those looking to repair their banking history, consider their Opportunity 100 Checking account.
The main benefit of Opportunity 100 is that there is no minimum balance required, so it’s perfect for those who need a fresh start. However, there is a mandatory monthly charge of $9.95 and a minimum deposit of $100 to open the account.
- Address: 4600 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609
- Phone: (813) 287-0500
Florida Credit Union
Florida Credit Union is a bank that does not use ChexSystems, but may use other agencies like TeleCheck along with a credit check. They offer competitive checking accounts to Florida residents.
Florida Credit Union’s Value Checking account is great for starters, since it comes with no minimum balance and no monthly fee. Eventually, once you’ve built up some more savings, you might consider the Interest-Bearing Checking, which offers a competitive interest rate but requires a minimum balance of $10,000.
- Address: 3720 NW 13th St, Gainesville, FL 32609
- Phone: (352) 377-4141
- Email: email@example.com
Renasant Bank is a bank open to five main states in the south, including Florida. They are a true non-ChexSystems bank, and their only requirement for opening an account is that you currently don’t owe them any money. This almost guarantees your chances of getting an account!
The Renasant Checking is simple and straightforward, and requires a small opening balance requirement of $50. There is a $10 monthly fee on the account, but you can waive this fee is easy--just enroll in eStatements.
- Address: 463 West Duval St, Lake City, FL 32055
- Phone: (386) 752-6339
South Florida Federal Credit Union
South Florida FCU is a division of Guardians Credit Union, which has been open since 1978. South Florida FCU does not use ChexSystems screening and offers their Share Draft checking account and Aspire Checking second chance checking accounts.
With Aspire Checking, you get free online and mobile banking. You can also avoid the $10 monthly maintenance fee by enrolling in payroll direct deposit. After 12 months of clean banking history, you’ll be able to upgrade to their full-fledged Share Draft checking account.
- Address: 1902 NW 14th Ave, Miami, FL 33125
- Phone: (800) 992-3808
Synovus Bank is dedicated to serving communities in the southeast. Their Free Checking account is perfect for those with ChexSystems records, as they don’t check this during your application.
Free Checking has no monthly service fees, regardless of your account balance. All you need is $100 to satisfy the initial minimum deposit, and you’ll get access to all the regular banking features of the account.
- Address: 4003 W Neptune St, Tampa, FL 33629
- Phone: (888) 796-6887
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
United Bank is an Alabama-based bank with locations in the northwestern part of Florida. They are willing to offer second chances to those with ChexSystems records into their family of Val U Checking products.
The regular Val U Checking account has a monthly maintenance of $5, and comes with online banking and online bill pay features. Val U Checking Plus is great for those with higher balances, as you can avoid the monthly fee of $15 by maintaining a $2,500 minimum daily balance.
- Address: 5907 Berryhill Medical Park Dr., Milton, FL 32570
- Phone: (850) 981-3352
When Should I Consider a Non-ChexSystems or Second Chance Bank Account?
If you are getting repeatedly denied for a regular checking account, you should definitely consider a non-ChexSystems or second chance alternative. Having a checking account is always better than not having one.
Among other things, a checking account gives you a safe place to keep your money and access to a variety of useful banking features. For example, a checking account makes it a lot easier to receive your paycheck via direct deposit, as well as make payments via your debit card.
What Is The Difference Between Non-ChexSystems Banks and Second Chance Banking?
A non-ChexSystems bank is exactly what it sounds like: the bank does not use ChexSystems while considering your application. On the other hand, second chance banks may still look at your banking record, but they are willing to overlook it and offer you an account anyway.
This distinction is important, because while non-ChexSystems banks don’t use ChexSystems, they may still use other agencies like TeleCheck for screening. If you have negative information on your TeleCheck report, you might still be denied an account.
Thus, many people consider it “easier” to get a second chance bank account. The tradeoff is that second chance accounts usually have more restrictive features than other accounts. For example, you might have mandatory monthly fees and a limited number of transactions per month.
Practically, however, your end goal should just be to get your hands on a checking account. It’s best to just apply to both non-ChexSystems banks and second chance banks. Even if you do get a second chance account with many restrictions, you should be able to upgrade it to a regular account after 12 months of good standing.
What Should I Look For in a Non-ChexSystems or Second Chance Account?
There are a few key features that your non-ChexSystems or second chance account must have.
- FDIC insurance. FDIC insurance protects your money in the event of a bank failure. Usually, this is up to $250,000.
- A debit card. This allows you to easily make payments, and acts as a way for you to use ATMs fee-free.
- Low or no monthly fees. Bank accounts ideally should not cost you anything, but if there is a mandatory fee, make sure it is no more than $10 per month. Sometimes, banks will have some criteria you can satisfy to waive these monthly fees.
- Overdraft protection. Banks should have some way to prevent you from spending more than you have. Some banks have digital alerts that you can set up to notify you when your account drops below a certain balance.
In addition, you might consider high-interest yields and account opening bonuses. For example, CIT Bank is known for offering industry-leading high-interest yields on your balance. BBVA (PNC Bank) also offers a sign-up bonus of $200 on their accounts. Choosing either of these banks can help put a little extra change in your pocket.
Do Banks Require a Credit Check to Open an Account?
If you’re simply applying for a checking or savings account, banks usually will not run your credit. Instead, approximately 80% of banks check only your ChexSystems record for your past banking history. The other 20% are considered “non-ChexSystems” or “second chance” banks which are highlighted in this post.
That being said, some non-ChexSystems banks may still run your credit instead of your ChexSystems record. Florida Credit Union is one such example (usually, credit unions are more likely to check your credit).
In general, you won’t have to worry about a credit check when opening a checking account. Very few banks will consider your credit score as a major factor in their decision.
However, your credit score can still dictate many areas of your financial life. For this reason, it’s best to start looking into ways to improve it sooner rather than later. We’ve compiled a list of the best credit repair companies in Florida for you to consider while you search for a checking account.
Best Practices For Managing Your Checking Account
Once you get your new checking account, you’ll want to start learning some new habits. Doing the following will set you up for future financial success:
- Check your balance often. Always be aware of your account balance. This will help you avoid overdrafting, and can help you budget and save more of your money.
- Review your bank statements. Banks send you statements every month for a reason. They want you to verify your transactions and notify them if anything looks suspicious. It also provides a great overview of your monthly income and spending, so use it to your advantage.
- Use banking alerts. One requirement many banks have to avoid their monthly maintenance fees is to simply keep your balance above a certain amount. Thus, you can use banking alerts to notify you when your balance is approaching that amount.
- Keep an eye on that upgrade. If you have a second chance account, know when you’ll be eligible for an upgraded regular account.
Conclusion and Next Steps
Non-ChexSystems and second chance banks can give you another shot at rebuilding your banking history, regardless of past mistakes. This is especially true in Florida, where there are a ton of online and local banks who are there to help repair your financial life.
In this article, we took a look at 11 of the top non-ChexSystems banks in Florida. In particular, CIT Bank stands out as one of the best, as their accounts offer all the features you’d expect from a bank account, along with an industry-leading interest rate on your balance. If you’re in need of a non-ChexSystems account, we highly recommend contacting CIT Bank today.
Our Top Pick for Banks that Don't Use ChexSystems is CIT Bank.
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.
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.