This is our list of the 10 best checking accounts for bad credit.
Many people have bad credit and are looking for a checking account. You may be wondering, what is the best checking account to get if you have bad credit? How do banks view my credit score? What should I look out for when searching for a checking account? These are all very important questions to consider before making your final decision. In this article, we will explore 10 of the best checking accounts that you can find on the market today!
If you have bad credit today luckily you can open a free checking account with no credit check, no monthly fees, no deposit, and no minimum balance requirements. Banks have made opening a checking account easier for everyone to set up their financial future that can be done by anyone. One of the best ways to open a checking account when you have bad credit is to look for a second chance bank account that requires no credit check.
Best “Second Chance” Bank Account
The 10 Best No Credit Check Checking Accounts For Bad Credit
Big banks like to deny credit and checking accounts for people with bad or no credit history. However, there are still a few banks that offer free checking account opportunities without the need of an in-depth application process. The best option is a second chance bank account that cater to people with bad credit. This type of bank account offer no credit check so anyone can apply. You can find these types of bank accounts with online banks and some credit unions offer no credit check to open an account.
A second chance bank account gives you the opportunity to reestablish your banking history where most banks won’t give you that chance and deny you on the spot.
Here is a look at the 10 best checking account for bad credit.
1. Cit Bank
Cit Bank is an online and mobile bank that is easy and convenient to use for checking accounts, savings account and loan products. They do not have any physical locations or have ATMs of their own, but they do give you up to $30 ATM fee reimbursement per statement cycle.
- No monthly fees
- Monthly ATM fee reimbursement of $30
- 0.40 Annual Percentage Yields (APY) if requirements are met
- Online bank
- Transfer, Purchase or Pay with Zelle, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay
- $100 minimum deposit to open account
- No physical locations
Cit Bank does have one of the higher minimum deposit to open an account ($100), it has the best interest rates for online banks, no monthly fees and you can easily transfer money.
Similar to Chime, Current is not a bank but an online and mobile banking technology company that provides accessible and affordable banking for everyone. Current has banking services provided by Choice Financial Group, member FDIC.
- No credit check
- No minimum balance fees
- No hidden fees
- No overdraft fees
- No bank transfer fees
- No in-network ATM withdrawal fees
- No instant transfer fees (with Current tags members)
- Earn points to get cash back
- Options for teen banking
- No physical locations
- In order to get your direct deposit early you need to upgrade to their Premium account
Current has a free checking account and they do not run a credit check in order to open an account. You only need a social security number, residential address and a smartphone that can receive text messages to apply. Unlike many checking accounts that give you debit cards Current gives you points for each time you use your debit card at participating merchants that you can redeem for cash back or other items. They also have savings pods that will round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the difference to a savings pod so you can save your money.
Current has two types of checking account a free basic account and a Premium account that costs $4.99 a month.
The free account allows you to have standard direct deposits, 1 savings pod, spending insights, instant notifications and no overdraft or hidden fees. The premium account lets you have access to your direct deposit up to 2 days early, 3 savings pods, budgets for each category of spending, spending insights, gas station authorizations immediately credited and no overdraft or hidden fees.
Current also offers bank accounts for kids and teens that can be linked to a parents account so you can teach them about financial responsibility.
Related: The Best Student Checking Accounts
Chime is not a bank but a financial technology company that was founded to be able to making banking services more helpful, easy and free. While it doesn’t have any physical locations, it does allow you to complete all your banking needs online and through their mobile app. Chime is FDIC insured through The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.
- There is no minimum payment required to open an account
- No required minimum balance
- No maintenance fees
- No foreign transaction fees
- No overdraft fees up to $200 with SpotMe
- Get your paycheck two days early when you setup direct deposit
- They don’t use ChexSystems, so your banking record won’t prevent you from opening an account.
- No physical locations
- Some of their features such as overdraft and direct deposit do have eligibility requirement you have to meet in order to access them but you don’t have to use them if you don’t need them.
Chime has over 10 million downloads with over 300,000 five star reviews in app stores, making it one of the most popular banking apps. Chime’s users have praised them for being convenient and easy to use, as well as making the process of opening a bank account fast and easy.
Chime has a SpotMe feature that will spot you up to $200 on debit card purchases and cash withdraws with no overdraft fees. To access this feature you need to set up direct deposit of $200 or more a month to enroll.
Related: How Does Chime Credit Builder Work
4. Axos Bank
Axos is an online bank but does have some physical location in California. They offer several different kinds of checking and high-interest saving accounts as well as personal loans, mortgages and auto loans. Axos second chance bank account is their Essential checking account.
- No monthly fees
- No overdraft fees
- No opening deposit required
- No minimum balance required
- Free checks on account open
- Free incoming wires
- Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
- Early direct deposit up to two days
- $20 referral bonus when you invite friends
- 100% online and mobile banking
- No interest on checking accounts
- No physical branches outside of California
Fifth Third Express Banking offers a simple way to manage your accounts. They have a Visa Debit Card that gives you immediate access to your money. There is no credit score requirement in order to open an account. Fifth Third has branches in 11 states including Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
- No monthly service charge
- No balance requirement
- No overdraft fees with Overdraft Coverage
- Online banking
- Access to more than 50,000 fee free ATMs
- Check writing is not available
- No check deposits at ATMs
6. Bank Novo
Bank Novo is an award winning free business checking account. Even though Novo is for businesses they do not check your credit history when you apply and it will not affect your credit score. Novo does require you to have some business documents such as an LLC. They are backed with FDIC insurance. This is not a second chance bank account but it is one of the best bank accounts for business if you don’t have any business credit.
- No monthly fees
- No hidden fees
- Easy to use mobile app
- Free transfers, mailed checks, and incoming wires
- Integrates with small business tools
- Refunds all ATM fees
- Thousands in exclusive perks
- $50 deposit is requested to unlock all the features but is not a required balance.
- You do need to have business documents in order to apply
7. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is one of the major banks in the United States. Their second chance bank account is called the Clear Access Checking Account. You an access mobile banking and low fees.
This checking account is great for anyone who wants to avoid overdraft fees, don’t need to check writing ability, and for teens.
- Overdraft protection available for free
- Free ATM withdrawals at over 13,000 locations
- Free transfers between Wells Fargo checking and savings account
- Online, mobile banking and 5,400 physical locations
- $25 minimum deposit to open an account
- $5 monthly service fee fr each fee period (fee is waived for primary account owners 13 to 24 years old)
- $15 for cashed/deposited items returned
- $10 for each cashiers check
- $31 for each stop payment
- Wire transfer fees vary from $15 to $30
Capital One is one of the major banks that offers everything from credit cards, checking and savings accounts, auto loans, business credit cards and checking accounts to large commercial accounts. Because Capital One is one of the major banks in the United States they have branches and ATMs all over the country making it convenient to use any of their services.
- 24/7 mobile banking
- No monthly or maintenance fees
- Over 70,000 ATMs
- Ability to lock your debit card if it’s misplaced
- Move money easily with Zelle
- Access your money 2 days early with early direct deposit
- Earn interest on your checking account up to 0.10 APY
- $10 for a Cashiers check purchased at a bank location
- $20 for a Cashiers check purchased online
- Stop payment on a paper check or bill pay is $25
- $25 for an expedited debit card
- $30 for an outgoing domestic wire transfer
- If you are enrolled in Next Day Grace, the overdraft fee is $35 per transaction
- Total purchases or withdrawals are limited to $5,000 a day.
BBVA has over 650 branches located in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. It also offers their online banking services to all 50 states. BBVA is one of the few major banks that offer second chance bank accounts. It has over 55,000 free ATM’s across the country. They have recently announced that they are now part of PNC which will make their network even larger.
- No monthly service charge
- No ATM fees at BBVA ATMs
- Free Visa Debit Card
- Free unlimited check writing
- Customizable alerts
- Free online banking and mobile banking
- Requires a $25 deposit to open
- Offers custom features such as no pay ATM transactions at other ATMs, unlimited supply of standard checks, unlimited cashiers checks, and a safe deposit box for additional fees.
- $38 insufficient funds fee
- $32 stop payment on a check fee
Discover is one of the bigger banks that offers credit cards, checking accounts, savings account and retirement accounts. Discover is an online bank that has over 60,000 no fee ATMS across the United States. They don’t run a credit check when you apply.
- No monthly fee
- No balance or activity requirements
- No fee for expedited delivery of your replacement debit card
- No fee outbound ACH transfers
- No fee check reorder
- 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases per month
- 60,000 no fee ATMS
- Official bank checks
- Zelle for easy to send, receive or transfer money
- Ability to freeze your debit card if you misplace it
- Mobile app for easy access
- While Discover is a bigger bank it still is not accepted at every location you go to
- No physical locations
- No way to deposit cash which is a major downside if you use cash a lot.
Discover is a name we have all heard and while it isn’t one of the major banks it is a large bank that is accepted at most places. Discover is one of the few places that offer cash back rewards for using a debit card. This is a great opportunity to help you make extra money while you spend money that you are already spending.
With the Discover checking account you have access to the best of everything with no fees and over 60,000 ATMS nationwide.
Other – Important Information That Might Help You With Your Credit Score
What Is A Second Chance Bank Account?
A second chance bank account is for people who have bad credit. Most big mainstream banks will deny someone with bad credit so you might want to find a financial institution that offers a second chance bank account that includes no credit check.
Where To Find A Second Chance Bank Account Online?
Some of the best checking accounts are second chance bank accounts. Banks offer this type of account because they understand that there will be customers who have a bad credit score or no history with banking and want to establish their financial future by opening an easy to manage checking account. You can find many of these banks online such as Current, and Chime or at local credit unions.
Some major banks have now opened checking accounts that cater to help with bad credit such as Discover, and Capital One. These banks have made it easier for you to start building a good relationship with them for the future when you want to open credit cards or business banking with them one day.
Related: Best Credit Cards For Bad Credit
How To Find The Best Checking Account For Bad Credit?
To find the best checking account for bad credit, you need to look at a few factors first such as the monthly fee and how many transactions are included in the package. You also want to make sure that it is accepted by your employer or business partner because it will be difficult to deposit funds if the account is not accepted by your party.
Why Do You Need A Bank Account If You Have Bad Credit?
A checking account is the foundation of your financial life. You need to have a bank account that can be used for paying bills or sending money to loved ones if you do not want to use cash only. If you are trying to rebuild bad credit, having a checking and savings accounts with direct deposit will help ensure that payments get made on time and you do not end up with overdraft fees which can cost you hundreds of dollars.
What To Look For When Choosing A Bank Account For Bad Credit?
No or Low Fees
If we are being honest, most second chance bank accounts will have a monthly fee to use their services but try to look for a bank that has low fees that you can afford.
Not every bank will charge you service or maintenance fees. Online banks such as Chime, Current and Aspire offer checking accounts with no monthly fees.
Some big banks do now offer great second chance bank accounts to their customers that do include monthly fees but they can be waived if you meet their eligibility requirements. For instance, Wells Fargo will waive their monthly maintenance fees as long as you keep a minimum amount of direct deposits.
No Minimum Balance Requirements
Another thing you will want to consider is checking account minimum balance requirements.
Some banks make the mistake of having too high a requirement and this leaves them unable to keep up with it, which means they are constantly paying overdraft charges and other fees that can really add up over time. A good bank for bad credit should have no monthly service.
Another thing to consider is how accessible you want your bank account to be.
You may not need a physical branch if all of your banking needs can be done online or through mobile devices.
For instance, both Discover, Chime and Current have excellent apps that allow you to do everything from balance checking and bill paying right on the go!
Another thing to consider when looking for the best bank account with bad credit is whether or not you will need any free services.
Some banks offer no-fee checking accounts that come with all of these features, while others require a minimum balance and/or monthly service fee in order to avoid fees.
If you have very little money but still want to remain as debt-free as possible, it might be best to find a bank that offers free checking.
How Do You Build Your Credit Score?
If you have bad credit, rebuilding your scores can be a long process that requires careful planning and patience. There are many factors that contribute to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion’s scoring models.
The most important thing to understand about a credit score is it means different things for each of the three major bureaus. Not every new account you open will report to all three major credit bureaus, so if you notice a difference in your credit scores that would be the reason.
Another important aspect of your credit score you should be aware of is that their are two main credit scores that are used by different lenders. These scores are the FICO score and the VantageScore. These numbers are calculated differently so they won’t be the same when they are reported. For instance, Credit Karma uses the Vantage Score which is reported to TransUnion and Equifax.
Related: Credit Karma vs FICO Score
5 Tips For Improving Your Credit Score
Lenders use your credit scores as an indicator of how likely you are to default on a loan and whether they should extend you more favorable terms.
If you have bad credit, it’s important to know the factors that contribute to a low score and how you can work on rebuilding your scores over time.
1. Pay Bills On Time
Always pay your bills on time. Late payments can impact your credit score and show that you are not reliable. This is especially true for those with installment loans like a mortgage or student loan, because this type of loan requires regular payments to maintain the account’s good standing.
2. Pay Your Debts
Pay your debts in full. Accumulating debt and not paying it off can lead to more bad credit, so make sure you pay any balances on time or before their due date. The higher amount of debt you have will lower your credit as this makes up 30% of your FICO score. Use less than 25% of your available credit and ask for a credit limit increase.
Related: How To Increase Credit Limit
3. Have A Mix Of Credit
You want to maintain a mix of credit. When you only have one type of credit, it looks like your finances are in bad shape and don’t diversify too much – but having just one account with excellent payment history can also look risky as well. You should have a good mix of credit cards and loans such as mortgage payments, auto loans, personal loans and student loans.
4. Don’t Open Too Many New Accounts In A Short Time Period
If you apply for credit cards, loans or any type of account at the same bank (or with the same creditor) as one that may have caused your bad score to begin with, it could negatively impact your rating again because they’ll see it as an indication of risk. You should only open a new account every six months. Too many new accounts at one time will result in multiple hard inquiries which can negatively impact your credit score and your length of credit history.
Related: What Is A Hard Inquiry
5. Don’t Close Your Accounts
Keep your accounts open even if they’re no longer being used- the length of your credit history accounts for about 10% of your total score. If you are considering closing an old account, make sure it’s not one that has a good standing or chances may be you’ll face the consequences when it comes to maintaining or building up a strong credit rating in the future.
Any time you close an account (credit cards or loans) you will lose your payment history for that account which will lower your credit score. If you close a credit card account that you no longer use you lose the payment history, the credit utilization, and length of credit history.
If you don’t plan on using the credit card often use the credit card for a small purchase such as a recurring bill like your internet, phone or subscription service and set up auto-pay so you don’t forget to pay the bill on time.
If you are looking for the best checking account with bad credit, be sure to select one that offers a fair interest rate. Excellent credit history is essential and will help protect your future financial stability so always do what’s i
n your power to maintain it! If you are struggling to fix your credit consider hiring a credit repair company to help you or take a credit repair course.
Related: Best Credit Repair Companies
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