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Alternate Banking Options

Bank accounts are a necessity in today’s world and trying to navigate without one may seem impossible. What do you do if you are unable to get approved for a bank account? Read on to learn why you may be getting denied and some available alternatives to a traditional bank account.

Negative Remarks

Financial institutions consider several things1 when considering an applicant for an account. They may review account overdrafts, bounced checks, or instances where an applicant has broken the terms of their account. Some of these terms may include a daily ATM limit, or limits on how often a person can transfer money from their savings account. If the financial institution sees an applicant has had several violations, it could lead to denial of an application.


Many financial institutions use ChexSystems to make decisions2 when considering an application for a bank account. If you’ve never heard of it, ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency which maintains records of banking history and is subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Negative marks on a ChexSystems report may be the reason for the denial of a bank account application. Just like your credit report, you are entitled to one free copy of your ChexSystems report each year and can dispute any discrepancies you may find.


Bank accounts not only house our hard-earned money, but they are used for most of our daily transactions. If getting a traditional bank account has not worked out for you in the past, these alternatives may be good options for you.


Insight is one option you can consider if you are getting denied for a traditional bank account. Insight has a couple options available offering both mobile banking and prepaid cards. Both options give you a routing and account number and offer direct deposit through your employer. Depending on when your employer submits your check you may be able to get paid up to two days sooner. Community Choice Financial has many store locations offering insight cards and offers a one-stop-shop with services such as bill pay, tax services, and more. Check out ccfi.com to see if there is a store near you.


Chime is an online banking system that offers spending accounts with an associated debit card, savings accounts, and secured credit cards. Chime boasts of having no deposit requirements, no monthly fees, no minimum balance fees, and no overdraft fees. It almost sounds too good to be true! The best part, though, is that Chime does not use ChexSystems to make application decisions, so this will not hold you back from getting an account.


BBVA is another banking system that offers online banking. While BBVA does check your credit report when applying for a bank account, if you are denied they have other options from which to choose. BBVA offers Second Chance Banking accounts which are aimed at customers who may need to repair their credit or past financial mistakes. The account does have a monthly service fee of $13.95, but after a year of positive activity you can request to upgrade to a Free Checking account.


1Gravier, Elizabeth. (2021, Mar 19). Retrieved from: https://www.cnbc.com/select/credit-scores-opening-bank-accounts/

2Lake, Rebecca. (2022, May 30). Retrieved from: https://www.investopedia.com/what-to-know-and-do-if-you-re-listed-in-chexsystems-5179535