New York Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems
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When a bank rejects your application for a new checking or savings account, this can be extremely frustrating and discouraging. Often, the reason for rejection is due to your past banking history, which is recorded in your ChexSystems report. Banks can pull this report during your application, and immediately reject you if you’re deemed too high-risk.
Because of this, many New Yorkers are left unbanked, meaning they do not have a bank account. As recently as 2017, 8.7% of all New Yorkers were unbanked, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The problem is worse in New York City, where the local government reports that 354,100 households in New York City (11.2% of all households) were unbanked in 2017.
Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem. Unbanked New York residents can apply for a new account at a non-ChexSystems or second chance bank, both of which have much higher approval odds for those with past banking hiccups.
Since there are so many options to choose from in New York, in this article we’ve narrowed them down to the top 10 non-ChexSystems and second chance banks in the state. Towards the end of the article, we’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about ChexSystems and what you should be looking for in a non-ChexSystems account.
The Best Non-ChexSystems Banks in New York
The best non-ChexSystems and second chance banks for New Yorkers are Chime, and BBVA (now PNC Bank). We recommend starting your research with these two, since they offer very competitive accounts with high approval rates.
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 (PNC Bank)
BBVA (now PNC Bank) has great options when it comes to second chance accounts. While Chime is relatively new company, PNC Bank has been around since 1983. They are currently the 7th largest bank in the US, and have many locations all around the country.
As for their products, our top recommendation is the VirtualWallet. By default, VirtualWallet includes both a checking and savings account, though you could also just have one of the two. We definitely recommend having both, since their Spend account is great for handling everyday checking activities, and their Growth account is perfect for storing longer-term savings.
Once you’ve been approved for VirtualWallet, be sure to take advantage of all the features it has to offer. For starters, you can set up direct deposit, as well as automatic payments for recurring subscriptions and bills. After that, you can use VirtualWallet’s Calendar feature to provide an overview of all your upcoming payments and paydays.
Top 7 Local New York Non-ChexSystems Banks
Chime and BBVA (PNC Bank) offer the best overall non-ChexSystems and second chance accounts for New Yorkers. However, you can also visit a number of local banks who provide great products as well. Here are 7 top local New York banks to consider, along with contact info for one of their branches.
Affinity Federal Credit Union
Affinity Federal Credit Union is mainly based in New Jersey, but they have a few locations in Bardonia and Greenburgh. They are a non-ChexSystems option, though they may require a credit check or at least government-issued ID to verify your identity.
The Affinity Cash Back Debit checking account is great because it has no minimum initial deposit and no minimum balance requirements. It also has no monthly fees, and you could earn a bonus 1% back on debit card purchases.
- Address: 35 Bardonia Rd, Bardonia, NY 10954
- Phone: (908) 394-2401
Bank of Richmondville
Bank of Richmondville is great for those in Richmondville, west of Albany. They have been around since 1893, and have since opened two more offices in Cobleskill and Schoharie.
Bank of Richmondville offers a Personal Basic Checking Account, which they advertise as a no-frills account for handling your banking. It only requires a minimum deposit of $25 top open, and has no minimum balance requirements and a low monthly fee of $3. You’ll get a free debit card as well as online banking with Bill Pay access.
- Address: 284 Main St, Richmondville, NY 12149
- Phone: (518) 294-6661
BankUnited is one option to consider for those in New York City. They have two branches in Manhattan, and one in Brooklyn. They can be considered a second chance bank, since they’re often willing to open an account for you if you only have one negative ChexSystems record.
BankUnited’s Value Checking account is the best option for those needing a banking restart. It has a low minimum deposit requirement of $50, and free ATM access. There is a monthly $7 fee, but you can waive this by either maintaining more than $500 in your account, or using your debit card 10 times each month.
- Address: 960 6th Ave, New York, NY 10001
- Phone: (212) 356-7600
Genesee Valley Federal Credit Union
Those living in west New York can consider Genesee Valley Federal Credit Union, which has three locations: Warsaw, Geneseo, and Dansville. They understand you may have had banking troubles in the past.
In particular, their Fresh Start Checking is a second chance account designed to help you rebuild your banking history. It comes with basic banking features and a $6 monthly fee that can’t be waived, but you can upgrade to a Free Quality Checking account after six months of good standing.
- Address: 445 N Main St, Warsaw, NY 14569
- Phone: (585) 786-0170
People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union
People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union (PAFCU) has a handful of branches located on Long Island. Instead of using ChexSystems, they’ll refer to your Telecheck report, mainly to check for past cases of account fraud. This means that they are technically a non-ChexSystems bank.
Once you’ve become a member, we recommend the PAFCU Standard Checking Account, since it has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fees. We also recommend getting a Prime Share Account, which is a savings account that requires $50 to get started.
- Address: 1600 Stewart Ave, Westbury, NY 11590
- Phone: (516) 832-8100
Sidney Federal Credit Union
Sidney Federal Credit Union has multiple locations scattered around southern and central New York. Their Oneonta location has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 among 11 Google reviews.
Members can use their checking account, which has no minimum balance requirements and a very low monthly fee of $2. You can waive the $2 fee by maintaining an average daily balance of $2,500. With your free MasterCard debit card, you’ll also get access to over 30,000 ATMs.
- Address: 75 Oneida St, Oneonta, NY 13820
- Phone: (877) 642-7328
USALLIANCE Financial is another option for those in New York City to consider, and they also have more branches north of NYC as well. Their 179th Street location in the Bronx has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 among 15 Google reviews.
USALLIANCE is a non-ChexSystems bank that doesn’t check your past history when you apply. This makes their MyLife Checking account a great option for starting your banking journey afresh. The account has no minimum balance requirements, no maintenance fees, a free ATM/debit card, and free access to your credit score.
- Address: 20 E 179th St, Bronx, NY 10453
- Phone: (800) 431-2754
Woodforest National Bank
Woodforest National Bank has branches scattered all over New York. They have a presence in 17 states, and offer second chance accounts to those that have been denied at other banks.
They specifically have a Second Chance Checking account that requires a low $25 minimum opening balance to get started. While the account does have a $9 setup fee and a $9.95 monthly service fee, you get a free debit card, online and mobile banking, as well as overdraft protection solutions.
- Address: 6788 NY-31, Newark, NY 14513
- Phone: (315) 331-2790
How Does ChexSystems Work?
ChexSystems is an agency that collects, stores, and reports information about your banking history. Usually, only negative items make it onto your report. These can include the following:
- Bounced checks
- Accounts closed with an outstanding balance
- Account, card, or ATM abuse
ChexSystems compiles all the negative items on your report and generates a score. This score is very similar to a credit score, but reflects only your banking activity. Your ChexSystems score is a number from 100 to 899, where a lower number indicates higher risk.
When banks receive your application to open a new account, they’ll often request your ChexSystems score. If it’s below a certain threshold, they can automatically reject your application. Because as many as 80% of banks in the country use ChexSystems, having a low score can make it near impossible to get banked.
How Do You Get Around ChexSystems?
Negative items on your ChexSystems report can stay there for up to five years. However, you definitely shouldn’t wait passively for five years to get a bank account. To get around ChexSystems, you typically have two options:
- Dispute ChexSystems errors. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are allowed to request a copy of your ChexSystems report once a year. If you notice an error, you can dispute it with ChexSystems, or try to settle the outstanding debt with the bank in question. This process can take a while, so it may not be the best option for everyone.
- Go for a non-ChexSystems or second chance account. As we’ve hinted at multiple times in this article, your approval odds are much higher with a non-ChexSystems or second chance account, even if you have negative marks on your ChexSystems report.
The more practical option for most New Yorkers is to simply apply for a non-ChexSystems or second chance account. We have laid out 10 such banks in this article that have much higher approval rates for those with ChexSystems records.
What Is The Difference Between Non-ChexSystems Banks and Second Chance Banking?
In this article, we’ve introduced both non-ChexSystems banks and second chance banks. Both are excellent alternatives to regular bank accounts, but there are some important differences between the two.
Non-ChexSystems banks do not use ChexSystems when considering your application. Instead, they might use information from another reporting agency, such as Telecheck. Other institutions, particularly credit unions, may simply perform a credit check.
In contrast, second chance banks may still pull your ChexSystems score when you apply. However, they often have more lax requirements in order to get approved. In other words, they’re more willing to forgive your past banking mistakes.
Because of this, second chance accounts often have additional restrictions compared to normal accounts. These can include monthly fees and maximum transaction amounts. However, banks will usually let you upgrade the account after a few months of good standing.
What Should I Look For in a Non-ChexSystems or Second Chance Account?
When considering a non-ChexSystems or second chance account, we recommend keeping an eye on the following features.
- FDIC insurance. Always ensure that your account is FDIC-insured. This means that even if your bank goes bankrupt, you’ll be entitled to up to $250,000 of the funds that you had in the account. This gives your money extra security.
- A debit card. A good bank account always comes with a debit card. This can help you conveniently make payments, as well as give you access to ATMs.
- Low or no monthly fees. There are some non-ChexSystems and second chance accounts out there that have no monthly fees. However, it’s likely that you might have to pay a small monthly fee. Try to target accounts that have a monthly fee of $10 or lower–this is considered reasonable. Also see if there are any conditions you can satisfy to waive these fees.
- Overdraft protection. While you should always avoid overdrafting on your account, sometimes accidents happen. Just in case, it’s always nice to have overdraft protection measures built into your account.
As an additional bonus, consider whether the account earns interest on your money. Some accounts, such as the Chime Savings, earns you multiple times the national average on your savings.
Is Getting a Non-ChexSystems or Second Chance Account Worth It?
Yes, getting a non-ChexSystems or second chance account is definitely worth it. The benefits of having an account will almost always outweigh the costs.
Having a bank account gives you a safe and secure place to store all your money. From there, you can use various banking features to manage your finances. These include being able to set up direct deposit, view your transaction history, and budget your spending properly.
Conclusion and Next Steps
In a high cost of living area like New York, it’s important to get yourself banked so you have all the tools you need to thrive financially. Unfortunately, past ChexSystems records can make it hard for many New Yorkers to get approved for a bank account.
In this article, we’ve provided our top 10 non-ChexSystems and second chance bank accounts in New York for your consideration. We highly recommend starting off your research with the Chime Savings due to their wide range of features and high yield interest rate.
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.