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ChexSystems is a financial database used by some credit unions to determine if a potential customer presents too much risk. It is regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting System. If a person has a history of certain issues—such as overdrafts or bouncing checks—he or she might be reported to ChexSystems. This information can stay on a ChexSystems record for a period of five years.
People who don’t want to wait this long to open a new account can consider credit unions that don’t use ChexSystems.
These accounts are often known as “second chance checking accounts.” They are marketed to people who have been turned down for checking accounts due to past mistakes. These accounts tend to have higher monthly fees and may require consumers to set up direct deposits or complete a money management course.
Credit Unions With No ChexSystems
Navy Federal Credit Union
Membership requirements: You or a family member must be an active duty, retired, or veteran of the armed forces. See here for a full list of those eligible.
Navy Federal Credit Union offers checking and savings accounts, including certificates of deposit, money market accounts, retirement savings accounts, and more. Members will also have access to credit cards and loans, such as auto loans, personal loans, home loans, and student loans. The credit union offers mobile banking, online banking, and has a number physical branches and ATMs.
What you’ll need to join:
- Social Security Number
- Current home address
- Driver’s license or government ID
- Credit card or bank account and routing number to fund your account
Motor City Co-op Credit Union
Membership requirements: A $10 deposit to a savings account and a one-time fee of $3. Must be a Michigan resident.
Motor City Co-op Credit Union offers checking and savings accounts, including certificates of deposit and IRAs. Additionally, members will have access to credit cards, auto loans, home loans, and a student loan that they offer through a partnership with Sallie Mae. Services include financial counseling, personal finance resources, member discounts, auto protection, and more.
Cardinal Community Credit Union
Membership requirements: Must live, work, worship, or attend school in Lake, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Ashtabula, Portage, Summit, Mahoning, Trumbull, or Columbiana counties in Ohio. You will also need a minimum $5 deposit into a Savings Account.
Cardinal Community Credit Union offers checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and multiple loan options. Services available to members include mobile banking, online banking, telephone banking, and shared branching.
Midland Credit Union
Membership requirements: Must live in Polk and contiguous counties, Story, Jasper, Marion, Warren, Madison, Dallas, or Boone in Iowa. For additional qualifications, check out the website, here.
Midland Credit Union offers checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and a number of loan options. Services include e-Services, mobile banking, and more.
State Department Federal Credit Union
Membership requirements: Must be affiliated with the Department of State, have organizational affiliates, have a family relation, or be a member of the American Consumer Council.
State Department Federal Credit Union (SDFCU) offers checking, savings, and youth accounts. Members will also be able to apply for credit cards and loans for various financial needs. It takes $1 deposited into a savings account to start your membership. SDFCU will provide this $1 according to its website.
What you’ll need to join:
- Home address
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s license / identification card
North Georgia Credit Union
Membership requirements: Must be a resident of Stephens, Franklin, or Hart and Rabun counties in Georgia. Also, those affiliated with one of a number of participating employee groups can join. Check out the full list here.
North Georgia Credit Union (NGCU) offers checking accounts, savings accounts, and a number of loan options. NGCU serves over 100 Select Employee Groups.
To become a member, you’ll need a regular share/savings account opened in your name. An initial deposit of $25 is required plus a $5 one-time membership fee. Members must maintain a $25 balance in their savings account to remain a member, as well as demonstrate regular activity.
While having a report in ChexSystems can complicate your ability to obtain a checking account, it is far from impossible. By joining a credit union, you may be able to avoid the ChexSystems database entirely—and work to re-establish your good status in the banking world.
If the credit unions above don’t work for you, consider banks that don’t use ChexSystems.
Author: Dave Rathmanner