Texas Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems
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Are you having trouble getting approved for a bank account in Texas? More often than not, the reason for this is due to past banking mistakes, such as overdrafts and involuntary account closures. These are reflected on your ChexSystems report, which banks can view when you try to apply for a new account.
Not having a bank account, also known as being “unbanked,” is an especially large problem in Texas. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), 7.7% of households in Texas are unbanked, which is one of the highest percentages in the country. This amounts to about 2.2 million unbanked people in the state.
If you are among the 2.2 million Texans without a bank account, a great solution would be to look for a non-ChexSystems or second chance bank. You’re much more likely to get approved for one of their accounts, since they’re more willing to overlook your ChexSystems history.
In this article, we’ve narrowed down all the non-ChexSystems and second chance bank accounts in Texas down to the 11 best options. We recommend starting your research with this list and getting yourself banked with one of these accounts as soon as possible.
The Best Non-ChexSystems Banks in Texas
Among all the non-ChexSystems and second chance banks in Texas, CIT Bank, Chime, and BBVA (now PNC Bank) are our top picks. Each of these banks feature competitive accounts that you can conveniently apply for on their respective websites.
For those who have been constantly denied a savings account, the CIT Bank Savings Connect is the best account for you. Though CIT Bank does check your ChexSystems record when you apply, they are often more lenient and willing to offer you a second chance.
The Savings Connect does require $100 to open. However, after that, you’ll enjoy a top-tier savings account with zero setup fees, zero monthly service fees, and zero ATM fees. If you happen to use an ATM outside of CIT Bank’s network, you can still receive up to $30 per month in ATM reimbursement fees.
What makes the Savings Connect one of the most competitive accounts on the market is its high-yield interest rate. If you’re able to deposit at least $200 to your account every month, you’ll earn 0.50% APY on your money. This can help encourage you to build great savings habits. However, even if you can’t meet this requirement, you’ll still earn around 0.42% APY, which is still many times above the national average.
Chime is a financial technology company whose core mission is to provide basic banking services that are helpful, easy, and free. Chime is a non-ChexSystems bank, meaning they will completely ignore your ChexSystems history when you apply for their accounts.
Chime has two accounts of note. The first is their Chime Spending account, which is a great option for those who need a checking account. Chime Spending is a great option because it truly is a free and easy-to-use account: it comes with a debit account, no monthly service fees, no minimum balance requirements, and overdraft protection measures.
The other account is the Chime Savings account, a savings account that works great with Chime Spending. Every time you swipe your Chime debit card, you can round your purchase up to the nearest dollar and transfer this round-up to Chime Savings. This can help you subconsciously save more money over time.
BBVA (PNC Bank)
BBVA (now PNC Bank) rounds out our top three non-ChexSystems and second chance banks for Texans. Established in 1983, PNC Bank is one of the oldest banks in the country, and is also the 7th largest bank in the US in terms of total assets.
We highly recommend PNC Bank’s VirtualWallet, which is a checking and savings account bundled into one. Specifically, the checking account is called the Spend account, and handles typical checking activities such as day-to-day payments and direct deposit. The savings account is called the Growth account, and is designed to hold funds that you don’t intend to spend in the short-term.
VirtualWallet comes with a variety of banking features to help you take better control of your finances. For example, one basic functionality is the ability to set up automatic payments for recurring bills. Once you’ve set this up, you can then get a great overview of all your upcoming automatic bills with VirtualWallet’s Calendar feature.
Top 8 Local Texas Non-ChexSystems Banks
In general, you can’t go wrong with CIT Bank, Chime, or BBVA (PNC Bank). However, Texas also offers many great local non-ChexSystems and second chance options as well. Here are 8 additional local banks for you to consider.
Alliance Credit Union
If you live in Northwestern Texas, Alliance Credit Union is a great option for you to consider. If a member of your family is already a member of Alliance Credit Union, they will extend membership to you as well, making it a great way to gain access to their banking products.
Alliance specifically has a Second Chance Checking account to give your banking a fresh start. The account has a $50 minimum opening deposit, and comes with a free Visa debit card and free online & mobile banking. The account also has a $10 service fee.
- Address: 2224 34th St, Lubbock, TX 79411
- Phone: (806) 798-5554
Associated Credit Union of Texas
The Associated Credit Union of Texas is one option to consider if you live around the Houston metropolitan area. They are known to be more lenient with their ChexSystems considerations compared to other commercial banks.
Specifically, you’ll want to ask about their 180 Checking account, which is designed for those who have had banking troubles in the past. We like that the account only requires an opening deposit of $25, and has no minimum balance requirements after that.
- Address: 1095 W League City Pkwy, League City, TX 77573
- Phone: (409) 945-4474
Bank of Texas
Bank of Texas is a highly rated local bank with locations all over the Lone Star state. Their Dallas location on Live Oak Street has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 among 47 Google reviews.
If you live near a branch, definitely consider their Opportunity Banking account. This second chance account gives you a free debit card, access to over 32,000 ATMs nationwide, and even one free overdraft refund per year. If you have $50 to make an opening deposit, you could also try applying for their Free Checking account.
- Address: 4262 Live Oak St, Dallas, TX 75204
- Phone: (214) 515-1743
Frost Bank is a local bank headquartered in San Antonio. Even if you’ve had ChexSystems troubles, they may be willing to offer you a second chance at banking with them.
We recommend looking into their Frost Personal Account, which can allow you to receive your direct deposits up to two days earlier. The account does come with a $8 monthly service charge, but you can waive this by depositing at least $100 into the account every month.
- Address: 3803 Northwest Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78229
- Phone: (210) 220-4011
Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union offers second chance banking for active or retired members of the military and their family members. They have a few branches located in all the major metropolitan areas in Texas.
If you’re currently a member of active duty, the Active Duty Checking account can help you receive your military pay earlier and earn you dividends on your money. If you’re a retired veteran, Free eChecking is another great option which comes with free Bill Pay, mobile deposits, and dividends as well.
- Address: 4500 Waxwing Dr, Arlington, TX 76018
- Phone: (888) 842-6328
If you live near the southern tip of Texas, Rio Bank is one option to consider. They have a few branches scattered around the San Juan, Brownsville, and Rio Grande City areas.
Their Fresh Start Checking account is designed to be a second chance option for those recovering from ChexSystems records. While it does have an $11.76 monthly fee that cannot be waived, it does come with online and mobile banking and the chance to upgrade the account.
- Address: 401 State Hwy 495, San Juan, TX 78589
- Phone: (956) 781-2265
Texas Bay Credit Union
Texas Bay Credit Union is a local Houston-based credit union. They are a non-ChexSystems institution, opting instead to use your Telecheck report during the application process. This means that if you haven’t had cases of fraud reported to Telecheck, you’re likely to get approved for an account.
Their Simply Free Checking account is exactly as the name suggests: no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. Of course, you’ll also get standard banking features such as mobile banking, budgeting tools, and online eStatements.
- Address: 12611 Fuqua St, Houston, TX 77034
- Phone: (713) 852-6700
Woodforest National Bank
Last but not least, Woodforest National Bank is a local Texas bank that has since expanded to 17 states. For those struggling to find a bank account, Woodforest Bank can offer you a second chance.
With a low $25 minimum opening balance requirement, Second Chance Checking can help you get back on your feet financially. The account has a $9 setup fee and a $9.95 monthly fee if you sign up for direct deposit. Though fees are quite high, you do get free online and mobile banking, along with a free debit card.
- Address: 1030 Norwood Park Blvd, Austin, TX 78753
- Phone: (512) 834-1900
What Is The Difference Between Non-ChexSystems Banks and Second Chance Banking?
Non-ChexSystems banks and second chance banks are both great options for those having trouble getting a regular bank account. There are some small differences between the two to consider.
A non-ChexSystems bank completely ignores your past ChexSystems history. They will not pull your ChexSystems report when you apply for one of their accounts. They may use other methods to verify your history such as your Telecheck report, which is what Texas Bay Credit Union from our list above does.
On the other hand, a second chance bank may still pull your ChexSystems history. Instead of holding bad banking history against you, they’re willing to forgive you for past mistakes and let you open a second chance account with them anyway.
A second chance account may have more restrictions compared to normal and non-ChexSystems accounts. For example, second chance accounts may put a cap on how much money you’re allowed to transfer in a single transaction. However, since most banks let you upgrade a second chance account after a few months of good standing, it’s still well worth it to apply for one.
When Should I Consider a Non-ChexSystems or Second Chance Bank Account?
If you’re being regularly denied a checking or savings account at commercial banks, it’s time to consider a non-ChexSystems or second chance bank account. Getting banked is always better than staying unbanked, since you’ll have much more flexibility when it comes to managing your finances.
However, you might still be wary of the banking system, particularly if you’ve been hurt by commercial banks in the past. In fact, according to this Comptroller article, 16.1% of Texans don’t get banked because they simply don’t trust banks. An additional 29.1% of Texans cite not having enough money to meet the minimum balance requirements as their primary reason.
We understand these concerns. However, that’s why we’ve handpicked the non-ChexSystems and second chance banks in this list to have fewer minimum balance requirements, lower fees, and more overdraft protection measures.
What Should I Look For in a Non-ChexSystems or Second Chance Account?
Considering the main concerns from Texans in the previous section, here are some key features to look out for when choosing a non-ChexSystems or second chance account.
- FDIC insurance. For maximum security of your funds, you’ll want to make sure your account is FDIC-insured for at least $250,000. This entitles you to your money in the event of a bank failure.
- A debit card. Any reasonable account will come with a free debit card. This makes it much easier for you to make payments quickly and withdraw cash from ATMs.
- Low opening balance requirements. An opening balance requirement of $50 or lower is considered low. A requirement of $100 is reasonable, but on the high end.
- Low or no monthly fees. Of course, you should try to avoid fees wherever possible. However, some non-ChexSystems and second chance accounts have unavoidable monthly fees. If you must pay a fee, make sure it’s around $10 or lower per month.
- Overdraft protection. Just in case you overdraft on your account, it’s nice to have protections in place to help you avoid additional fees.
An additional consideration is whether or not the account is interest-bearing. Some of the most lucrative accounts, such as the CIT Bank Savings Connect, have extremely high interest rates designed to help you build your savings quickly over time.
Do Banks Require a Credit Check to Open an Account?
No, banks don’t usually require a credit check when you apply for an account. However, credit unions will almost always run your credit before granting you membership. Keep this in mind if you choose the credit unions from our list above.
If your credit score is low, you might be denied membership from these credit unions and face significantly higher rates whenever you apply for a loan. Consider reading our Ultimate Review Guide for Credit Saint if you need help with credit repair.
Best Practices For Managing Your Checking Account
Once you’ve managed to get a checking account, it’s time to start building good banking habits. We recommend starting off with the following.
- Check your balance often. Always be aware of your balance. This can help you avoid overdrafting on your account, which can help you avoid many of the fees that others fall victim to.
- Review your bank statements. Each month, you should receive an eStatement from your bank (always sign up for eStatements if possible). Review this carefully, and notify your bank immediately if any transaction appears fraudulent. You can also use this statement to review your monthly expenses and take note of where you can cut spending.
- Use banking alerts. We recommend setting up alerts whenever you make a transaction with your account. This can help you prevent fraud. It’s also an additional way to keep tabs on your balance.
Conclusion and Next Steps
In this article, we’ve explored how a non-ChexSystems or second chance account could help you start your banking afresh. We’ve also introduced 11 top banks in Texas that you could contact right away to get started.
In particular, the CIT Bank Savings Connect stands out as one of the top second chance options. Not only do you get a complete savings account with no monthly service fees, but you also get one of the best interest rates on the market.
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.