Ohio Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems
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Not having a bank account can make managing your daily finances a lot harder. Unfortunately, it can be hard for those with banking issues in the past to open a new account. This is because negative banking items are usually reflected on your ChexSystems report, which banks pull when you apply for a new account.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has done a study on the unbanked, specifically those in Ohio without a checking or savings account. It found that as of 2019, 4.6% of Ohio residents are unbanked. The good news is that this trend is improving, as the unbanked rate was 7.0% in 2017 and nearly 10% according to a 2012 Policy Matters Ohio release.
While the situation in Ohio is getting better, an unbanked rate of 4.6% still leaves lots of room for improvement. If you are an Ohio resident who’s getting constantly rejected by banks, you can still find great bank accounts offered by non-ChexSystems and second chance banks.
Since there are so many non-ChexSystems banks in Ohio, we’ve narrowed them down to the top 11 best options for you to consider. We highly recommend reading through this list and finding a non-ChexSystems or second chance account that best suits you as soon as possible.
The Best Non-ChexSystems Banks in Ohio
The three best non-ChexSystems and second chance banks in Ohio come down to CIT Bank, Chime, and BBVA (now PNC Bank). Each of these banks offer very competitive products that will give you a solid foundation for rebuilding your banking history.
Even when compared with some of the most popular savings accounts out there, the CIT Bank Savings Connect is one of the best. This account is considered a second chance account, since CIT Bank is often willing to overlook your past ChexSystems records when considering your application.
With Savings Connect, you pay little to no fees. Though it does require an initial deposit of $100, you won’t have to worry about initial setup fees or monthly service charges. Though you may need to pay fees when you use ATMs out of CIT Bank’s network, they do reimburse you up to $30 per month in ATM fees.
The best feature of Savings Connect is the high 0.50% APY you could potentially earn on your savings. You can earn this rate if you deposit at least $200 into your account every month. However, this deposit is completely optional, and you could still earn at least 0.42% APY even if you don’t meet the $200 requirement. These rates are multiple times above the national average, so it’s definitely an account worth strongly considering.
Chime is a financial technology company that offers online mobile banking services. Their core mission is to provide fee-free banking to as many people as possible. As part of that mission, they are a true non-ChexSystems bank that does not pull your ChexSystems record when you apply for their accounts.
Chime has three main accounts to choose from, but we’ll highlight the Chime Spending and the Chime Savings accounts. If you’re looking for a checking account, Chime Spending is the way to go. The account has no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, and overdraft protection for up to $200 with the SpotMe feature.
Chime Savings is a great non-ChexSystems option if you need a savings account. If you use Chime Savings together with Chime Spending, you can direct Chime to round up all your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and deposit that difference into Chime Savings. This is a great feature that can slowly help build up your savings automatically over time.
BBVA (PNC Bank)
BBVA (now PNC Bank) rounds out our top three non-ChexSystems and second chance banks for Ohio residents. PNC Bank has been around since 1983 and is currently one of the largest banks in the US, and they offer a few high-quality products that you should definitely consider.
Even if you have a poor ChexSystems record, PNC Bank may still approve you for the VirtualWallet. The VirtualWallet bundles together their Spend and Growth accounts, which are checking and savings accounts respectively. These accounts come with free online and mobile banking, direct deposit, and the ability to make transfers.
VirtualWallet also has some more advanced features that you can use to your advantage. One feature to highlight is the Calendar feature, where you can get a nice overview of upcoming paydays and scheduled payments. You can also use the Low Cash Mode feature to send you a notification if your balance falls below a certain amount.
Top 8 Local Ohio Non-ChexSystems Banks
You can’t go wrong with either CIT Bank, Chime, or BBVA (PNC Bank). However, outside of these more established national banks, there are a number of local Ohio banks that offer non-ChexSystems and second chance products as well. Let’s dive into 8 of these top local Ohio options.
Antwerp Exchange Bank
Antwerp Exchange Bank is a bank that skips the ChexSystems check and really only asks for your ID and other basic personal information when you apply. Their branch in Payne has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 among 5 Google reviews.
For those needing to rebuild their history, the New Advantage Checking is the account for you. You’ll need a $100 minimum initial deposit, but there are no monthly maintenance fees after that. The account also comes with a free debit card.
- Address: 102 N Main St, Payne, OH 45880
- Phone: (419) 263-2705
Buckeye State Credit Union
Buckeye State Credit Union is a highly-rated local financial institution that offers a second chance to those having trouble finding a banking account. Their Akron location has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 among 173 Google reviews.
At Buckeye State Credit Union, you’ll want to apply for their Second Chance Account. It comes with a free debit card, no minimum balance requirements, and even up to $1,000 in overdraft protection. In order to qualify, you’ll have to pass their account management course.
- Address: 197 E Thornton St, Akron, OH 44311
- Phone: (330) 253-9106
Cortland Bank is based in northeastern Ohio, surrounding the Cleveland metropolitan area. If you’ve been turned down by another bank due to ChexSystems, Cortland Bank’s Second Chance Checking account is for you.
The account comes equipped with most standard banking features, such as a free debit card and ATM access. The account does have a $6 monthly fee that can’t be waived, but this is well worth the benefits of having a checking account.
- Address: 8950 Maple Grove Rd, Windham, OH 44288
- Phone: (330) 326-2340
Fifth Third Bank
As long as you don’t owe money to Fifth Third Bank, they are usually more lenient when considering your past ChexSystems history. Their Kinsman Road location in Cleveland has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 among 6 Google reviews.
The Fifth Third Momentum Banking is a great account to begin rebuilding your banking history with. The account has no monthly service fees, no minimum balance requirements, and no fees at over 50,000 ATMs nationwide. You could even qualify for their cash back rewards.
- Address: 11005 Kinsman Rd, Cleveland, OH 44104
- Phone: (888) 842-6328
First Federal Bank of Ohio
First Federal Bank of Ohio has many locations all around the state. They are one of the oldest institutions in the state, dating all the way back to 1891. They are a non-ChexSystems bank that will not pay attention to your past banking records.
Among their accounts, we recommend The Right Checking account, which has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees. However, you will be limited to online banking only. You can also consider their Thrifty Checking account, which does have a soft $150 minimum balance requirement–you’ll pay a monthly fee of $2.50 if your balance falls below this amount.
- Address: 1728 W 4th St, Ontario, OH 44906
- Phone: (419) 529-4687
For those living in southwestern Ohio near Cincinnati, Forcht Bank is a great option to consider. As long as you don’t owe Forcht Bank any money, they will not check your ChexSystems history and your chances for approval are high.
The Easy Checking account is made for those looking to start over their banking. After an initial $50 minimum deposit requirement, you can enjoy all the benefits of the account, including free online and mobile banking and a free debit card. The account has a soft $100 minimum balance requirement. If your balance falls below this, you’ll be subject to a $6 monthly service fee.
- Address: 3549 Columbia Pkwy, Cincinnati, OH 45226
- Phone: (513) 231-7871
Superior Credit Union
Another great second chance bank in the Cincinnati area is Superior Credit Union. If you’ve had banking troubles in the past, we recommend the Fresh Start Checking account.
Fresh Start Checking has no minimum balance requirements and comes with a free debit card and online banking. The account does have a $5 monthly fee. After one year of good account management, you can upgrade the account to Basic Checking, which has no monthly fees if you enroll in eStatements.
- Address: 4088 Lee Ct, Cincinnati, OH 45248
- Phone: (513) 281-9988
US Bank is one of the largest banks in the nation with a big presence in Ohio as well. They offer second chance accounts to Ohio residents, even if you’ve had past negative ChexSystems records.
US Bank’s Safe Debit Account has all you need to effectively manage your finances. Features include direct deposit, free online and mobile banking, and low balance alerts. The account does have a $4.95 monthly service charge, but also comes with free access to your VantageScore so you can monitor your credit along with your banking.
- Address: 776 S High St, Columbus, OH 43206
- Phone: (614) 493-5865
What Are The Benefits of Having a Checking Account?
Having a checking account is a basic requirement in today’s world. If you’re serious about improving your financial health, getting a checking account shoudl be your top priority. A checking account provides numerous benefits such as the following:
- A safe place to store your money. With a bank account, all of your money is safely secured in a single, centralized location. This money is also usually FDIC-insured, meaning that up to $250,000 of your cash is safe even in the event of a bank failure.
- Easier to make payments. You don’t need to carry cash around everywhere, since your checking account should come with a debit card. You can simply swipe your debit card for payments.
- Overall convenience. With a checking account, you can easily check your balance. You’ll also have access to features like direct deposit and mobile bill pay, which can make it easier to both send and receive funds. Finally, banks will also send you monthly statements, which can make it easier to verify your transactions and do proper budgeting.
In addition to all of these benefits, you can take advantage of more advanced features such as low balance alerts and automatic payments. All of these are great reasons to get a bank account as soon as possible.
Can I Open a Bank Account If I Owe Money at Another Bank?
Usually, banks have a restriction where if you owe their bank money, you cannot open a new account with them. Forcht Bank from our list above is an example of this.
However, if you owe money to a different bank, you might still be eligible to open an account. This can depend on whether the bank uses ChexSystems or not, since your ChexSystems record may still contain information about that unpaid balance. If you’re applying at a non-ChexSystems or second chance bank, they may be willing to overlook this unpaid balance.
Do Banks Require a Credit Check to Open an Account?
Banks usually do not require a credit check as part of their account application process. They’ll usually only perform a ChexSystems pull, unless you’re working with a non-ChexSystems or second chance bank.
Credit unions are a notable exception to this. If you’re applying to join a credit union, they’ll usually perform a credit check at the time of your membership application. If you pass that, they typically won’t check your credit again if you apply for one of their membership-only accounts.
What Is The Difference Between Non-ChexSystems Banks and Second Chance Banking?
On the other hand, second chance banks usually still look at your ChexSystems report. However, rather than immediately disqualifying you based on a bad report, they’re usually still willing to offer you an account, hence the name second chance bank.
In terms of accounts, second chance accounts tend to have a more restricted set of features compared to regular accounts. Typical restrictions include a limit on the number of transactions you’re allowed to make per month, as well as monthly fees that can’t be waived.
Non-ChexSystems accounts, on the other hand, usually don’t have such restrictions from the start. The good news for second chance accounts is that a bank will usually let you upgrade to a regular account after a few months of good account management.
Are There Extra Fees Associated With a Non-ChexSystems or Second Chance Bank Account?
Non-ChexSystems and second chance accounts can sometimes come with a fee. Typically, they can range from $2.50 a month up to around $15. We recommend finding accounts with monthly fees that don’t exceed $10 per month.
When considering accounts, also pay attention to whether the bank has criteria for waiving the monthly fee. For example, some banks will lower the monthly fee if you sign up for eStatements or keep your balance above a certain amount.
Is Getting a Non-ChexSystems or Second Chance Account Worth It?
Yes, getting a non-ChexSystems or second chance account is definitely worth it. As we saw in the list of checking account benefits, having a checking account is always better than not having one.
Even if your account comes with a monthly fee, this is a relatively small cost to pay for all the account management features you get. If you’re currently unbanked in Ohio, we definitely recommend finding a non-ChexSystems or second chance account sooner rather than later.
Conclusion and Next Steps
If banks are constantly turning you down for a new bank account, it’s time to consider a non-ChexSystems or second chance option. We’ve listed 11 banks in this article that offer amazing accounts to help you rebuild your history.
If you’re lost on where to start, we recommend going with CIT Bank. With their extensive list of features and high-interest yield, the Savings Connect account is perfect for building up your banking history and your savings.
Our Top Pick for Banks that Don't Use ChexSystems is CIT Bank.
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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.