Georgia Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems
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Often, the reason many people get rejected for a bank account is due to their past ChexSystems history. ChexSystems is a reporting agency that records negative information about your banking, such as overdrafting and involuntary account closures.
Because nearly 80% of banks in the United States use ChexSystems, one critical mistake can make it really hard for you to get approved for a new account. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), 7.4% of Georgia residents are unbanked, meaning they do not have a checking or savings account. This is worse than the national average, which sits around 5%.
The good news is that even if you’re having trouble getting approved for a regular bank account, there are alternative options. Namely, non-ChexSystems and second chance banks can help you rebuild your banking history.
Georgia residents have many non-ChexSystems and second chance banks to choose from. In this article, we’ll share the top 11 banks where you’re likely to get approved. Towards the end of the article, we’ll also ask some frequently asked questions related to ChexSystems and banking in general.
The Best Non-ChexSystems Banks in Georgia
The three best non-ChexSystems and second chance banks in Georgia are CIT Bank, Chime, and BBVA (now PNC Bank). Let’s do a deep dive into each of these banks and the main products you should consider.
The CIT Bank Savings Connect deserves its spot at the top of our list. This is because it’s completely free to use, and offers perks that rival those of even the best regular savings accounts on the market. While CIT Bank may check ChexSystems when you apply, they are often willing to offer Georgia residents a second chance with them.
To open a Savings Connect account, you’ll need a minimum deposit of $100. This is slightly higher than typical second chance accounts, but the advantages are that the account has no setup fees and no monthly service fees. You also get free in-network ATM access, and up to $30 per month in ATM reimbursement fees if you use an out-of-network ATM.
One of the main selling points of Savings Connect is the high interest yield, where you’ll earn 0.42% APY on your savings. This rate is bumped up to 0.50% APY if you’re able to deposit at least $200 to the account every month. Few other second chance accounts offer anything close to this rate, so we highly recommend applying.
Chime is a financial technology company that offers online-only non-ChexSystems accounts. Since they believe that banking should be helpful, easy, and free for all, they do not consider your past ChexSystems history when you apply for their products.
If you’re in need of a checking account, we recommend Chime Spending. The account is FDIC-insured, and has no monthly service fees and no minimum balance requirements. With their SpotMe feature, Chime also spots you up to $200 on debit card purchases if you accidentally overdraft on your account.
To go one step further, you should also consider the Chime Savings Account. This account also gives you up to 0.50% APY on your money, and there are still no fees or minimum balance requirements. You must have a Chime Spending account in order to open a Chime Savings Account.
BBVA (PNC Bank)
Finishing up our top three is BBVA (now PNC Bank), which offers second chance accounts to those with past ChexSystems records. Compared to CIT Bank and Chime, PNC Bank has experience on their side. They were established in 1983 and have grown to become the 7th largest bank in the nation.
If you choose PNC Bank, consider applying for their VirtualWallet product. This is a checking and savings account bundled into one, though you can choose to have just one account if you wish. Their Spend account is designed for handling checking activities such as payments and direct deposit, and their Growth account is designed for holding on to your savings.
VirtualWallet comes with a host of features that make managing your money easy. For example, the Money Bar feature can give you a quick overview of how much money is dedicated to upcoming bills and payments, and how much you have available to spend. VirtualWallet does have a $7 monthly fee, but you can waive this by maintaining a total balance of $500 or higher.
Top 8 Local Georgia Non-ChexSystems Banks
You can apply for accounts with CIT Bank, Chime, and BBVA (PNC Bank) at any time online. However, if you prefer the more personalized experience of opening an account at a physical branch, here are 8 additional local Georgia banks for you to look into.
While Bank OZK is headquartered in Arkansas, they have many branches all over Georgia, including in the major metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Savannah, and Valdosta. They are dedicated to providing banking services to residents in the southeast.
The Pathway Checking account is a second chance account designed to steer you back on track financially. The account has a $50 minimum opening deposit, and has a $10 monthly service fee. You do get a free debit card, and there are no minimum balance requirements.
- Address: 10006 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31406
- Phone: (912) 925-0954
Cadence Bank is another local bank with many locations across Georgia. They are a non-ChexSystems bank that will instead pull your credit to determine your eligibility. Thus, they are a good local option if your credit score is still fair.
Cadence Bank has four main checking accounts, but we recommend the Cadence Blue account to those trying to rebuild their history. It’s the easiest account to use since it only has an $8 monthly fee that can be waived if you maintain a balance of $250 or more. You’ll also get free online and mobile banking, a debit card, and eStatements.
- Address: 614 Shurling Dr, Macon, GA 31211
- Phone: (478) 796-6500
Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank is a national bank with a large presence around the Atlanta area, including in Loganville, Lawrenceville, Marietta, and Powder Springs. Their Loganville location has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 among 14 Google reviews.
Fifth Third Bank offers a second chance through their Express Banking and Momentum Banking accounts. Both accounts have no minimum balance requirements and no monthly service fees. Note that the Momentum Banking account has all the features of Express Banking, but also comes with check writing and online Bill Pay access.
- Address: 4753 Atlanta Hwy, Loganville, GA 30052
- Phone: (678) 381-0380
Georgia United Credit Union
Georgia United Credit Union is a very popular local credit union that you should also consider. Their Tilly Mill Road location in Atlanta has an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 among 26 Google reviews. Georgia United Credit Union lets you open a second chance account as long as you only have one non-severe record on your ChexSystems report.
We recommend applying for their Restart Checking Account, which only requires a minimum opening deposit of $25. There is a $12 monthly fee that can’t be waived, but you can upgrade the account to their Unified Checking after months of good standing.
- Address: 4448 Tilly Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30360
- Phone: (770) 452-8233
MyGeorgia Credit Union
MyGeorgia Credit Union is a smaller local credit union with a handful of branches in Georgia. They have some products that are considered second chance accounts that you should definitely apply for.
In particular, your odds of getting approved for a Secured Checking account is high, even if you’ve made banking mistakes in the past. The account requires an opening deposit of at least $100, and has a $10 monthly fee. While this is relatively steep, MyGeorgia Credit Union will convert your account to a Free Checking account after a six month probationary period.
- Address: 205 Collins Ind Blvd, Athens, GA 30601
- Phone: (706) 613-1644
Peach State Federal Credit Union
Peach State Federal Credit Union is another highly rated credit union serving Georgia residents. Their main Augusta branch on Tobacco Road has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 among 14 Google reviews.
Their Fresh Start Checking is a perfect second chance account to anyone with ChexSystems records. The account has a $9 monthly fee, but you’ll get all the standard banking features and a free debit card. You can also upgrade to Basic Checking after 12 months of good standing.
- Address: 2048 Tobacco Rd, Augusta, GA 30906
- Phone: (855) 889-4328
Renasant Bank has multiple branches in many Georgia cities, including near Atlanta, Statesboro, and Macon. They are one of the more lenient banks when it comes to considering your ChexSystems history, so consider them a second chance bank.
The Renasant Checking account comes with online and mobile banking, Bill Pay, and a free debit card. It does have a $10 monthly fee, but you can waive this by maintaining a balance of $1,000 or more. There is also a $50 minimum deposit required to open the account.
- Address: 3328 Peachtree Rd Suite 150, Atlanta, GA 30326
- Phone: (770) 963-9224
The Heritage Bank
The Heritage Bank is a non-ChexSystems bank that is primarily based in southeastern Georgia. This is a great option to pick if you live in Brunswick, Savannah, Hinesville, Jesup, or St Marys.
Both their Quest Checking and Select Checking are good accounts to consider. If you’re simply trying to rebuild your history, Quest Checking is a basic account with all the tools you need with no monthly fees. Select Checking allows you to earn some cash back on your debit card purchases, but comes with an $8 monthly service fee.
- Address: 103 Scranton Connector, Brunswick, GA 31525
- Phone: (912) 279-2300
What Are The Benefits of Having a Checking Account?
Not having a checking account can have severe consequences. According to Bank On Atlanta, being unbanked can cost you $40,000 over a lifetime. This is due to the use of costly alternatives, when simply applying for a non-ChexSystems or second chance account could save you a lot of money and trouble.
Simply having a checking account gives you plenty of advantages when it comes to managing your money. Here are some of the most common benefits to having an account:
- It’s a safe place to store your money. These days, it’s not practical to keep your money in cash stored in a safe or underneath your mattress. Cash is easily lost or forgotten about. Putting your money in a bank account keeps it secure, and you’ll always know exactly how much money you have. Your money is also FDIC-insured at most banks.
- Easier to make payments. Because a checking account almost always comes with a free debit card, you can simply swipe your card to make payments. This is a lot easier than having to pay exact amounts in cash.
- Overall convenience. Checking accounts provide a variety of features that make your daily life more convenient. For example, you’ll be able to set up direct deposit for your paychecks. You can also make payments for bills like rent and utilities through an online transfer or check.
Why Do I Keep Getting Denied For a Checking Account?
Most people get denied for a checking account due to their ChexSystems history. ChexSystems is an agency that collects and reports information about your past banking accounts. The catch is that they only record negative items such as the following:
- Bounced checks
- Accounts closed with an outstanding balance
- Account, card, or ATM abuse
Based on the severity of these items, ChexSystems generates a score for every consumer. This score can range from 100 to 899, where a lower number indicates higher risk. Many banks have a threshold where they automatically reject you if your ChexSystems score is too low.
Since most banks (around 80%) in the country use ChexSystems, getting denied at one bank means you’ll likely get denied at another. However, since you should never stay unbanked for too long, we highly encourage you to apply for one of the non-ChexSystems or second chance accounts on our list.
What Is The Difference Between Non-ChexSystems Banks and Second Chance Banking?
You should consider both non-ChexSystems and second chance banks in your search. However, there are slight differences between the two that you should be aware of.
During the application process, non-ChexSystems banks will completely ignore your ChexSystems history. In contrast, second chance banks may still view your ChexSystems history, but be willing to give you an account even if your score is too low.
Account-wise, second chance accounts often come with additional restrictions, at least compared to normal accounts. This can come in the form of monthly fees that can’t be waived, as well as stricter transaction limits. Non-ChexSystems banks may or may not have these restrictions.
However, the good news is that most second chance banks will let you upgrade your account to a regular account after a few months of good standing. This is why you shouldn’t count out second chance banks as an option.
Do Georgia United Credit Union and Other Popular Banks Use ChexSystems?
Georgia United Credit Union is a financial institution that does use ChexSystems, but is more lenient when evaluating your history. Because of this, they are considered a second chance bank.
A number of other popular national banks in Georgia also use ChexSystems, but are not as second-chance-friendly. These include:
- Bank of America
- Capital One
Of course, it’s still possible that one of these banks offers second chance products from time to time. However, you’ll definitely have better odds applying for one of the non-ChexSystems or second chance banks from our list.
Do Banks Require a Credit Check to Open an Account?
No, banks usually do not require a credit check to open an account. Credit unions, on the other hand, usually do perform a credit check when you apply for membership.
If a low credit score is preventing you from accessing the financial resources you need, you may want to sign up for credit repair. Consider reading our Ultimate Review Guide for Credit Saint for more information.
Conclusion and Next Steps
All in all, non-ChexSystems and second chance banks are the perfect way for you to begin rebuilding your banking history. Throughout this article, we’ve highlighted 11 banks that Georgia residents can contact today for an account.
Specifically, the CIT Bank Savings Connect remains the best overall option for providing a free and secure place to store your money. The account also comes with an industry-leading interest rate that can help you quickly build upon your savings.
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, who 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.