Best Second Chance Checking Accounts with No Monthly Fees and No ChexSystems Check

According to recent data, an estimated 4.5 percent of households in the U.S. were unbanked, or without a checking or savings account, in 2021. The most common explanation among respondents is not making enough money to satisfy bank account minimum requirements.

But access to checking and savings is vital to financial health. Thankfully, there are many banking institutions and financial technology companies providing options for basic checking accounts. Below is our list of the best second chance checking accounts with no monthly fees and no ChexSystems Check. 

Best Second Chance Checking Accounts

What Is ChexSystems?

Similar to a credit bureau, ChexSystems is a reporting agency that banks use to find out if you had issues with checking accounts in the past. Things like fraud, fees, and unpaid negative balances can follow you around for years and prevent you from getting approved for checking and savings accounts.

Negative activity usually lasts around five years from the first date that it’s reported. Before applying for an account, it may be prudent to check your report in ChexSystems, just like you would check your credit score before applying for a loan or a credit card. 

What Is Second Chance Checking?

Second chance banking allows access to a bank account for those who don’t qualify for a traditional account or a traditional bank. A second chance account will oftentimes overlook parts of your history in ChexSystems, or even neglect to pull your report altogether. As a tradeoff, some second chance accounts may be subject to extra fees and may limit certain features like overdraw allowances. 

You can find second chance accounts at some traditional banks, online, and fintech banks. Below is a list of our favorite second chance checking account options.

Best Second Chance Checking Accounts with No Monthly Fee and No ChexSystems Check


Chime is a financial technology company and banking alternative. Chime offers a checking account with no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees, and access to a network of over 60,000 fee-free˜ ATMs. It also offers features that you might get with a traditional account, including getting paid up to 2 days early^ with direct deposit.

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC

^Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

~Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.

Capital One 360 Checking

Back in 2014, Capital One pledged to limit their use of ChexSystems when reviewing candidates for their 360 Checking Account in an attempt to equalize financial health. Though they promise to minimize traditional barriers to approval, their website notes that they will still pull a ChexSystems report to check for things like fraud. 

Their 360 Checking Account has no minimum, no fees, early direct deposit, and overdraft options like free transfer from another account. They also have a network of brick-and-mortar locations where you can get in-person guidance and deposit cash. Their mobile app offers monitoring, alerts, and mobile check deposits. 

Varo Second Chance Banking

Varo is an online bank with a mission to provide equal banking regardless of individual net worth. Varo offers a second chance checking account with no ChexSystems or credit report check. There's also no minimum balance requirement or monthly fees.

The account also offers common banking features such as early direct deposit and access to free ATMs. Users also get a debit card and have the option to open a high-yield savings account. 

SoFi Checking and Savings

SoFi is an online bank and while their bread and butter is lending, SoFi does offer a Checking and Savings account. Their checking has no account fees whatsoever (overdraft, minimum balance, maintenance, ATM), early direct deposit, and overdraft coverage up to $50.

As a bonus, when you open an account with SoFi and make a certain number of qualifying purchases, you can earn up to a $250 sign-up bonus. Not a bad way to start your journey to financial health! 

Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking (No Fees for 13 – 24-year-olds)

Wells Fargo provides a second chance banking option, though it comes with some limitations, and does seem to require a ChexSystems check. If you have negative activity on the report and choose to go with the Wells Fargo Clear Access Account, you may be eligible to convert your account to any other Wells Fargo checking account after one year (assuming you don’t have any additional negative activity).

There are no monthly fees for customers ages 13-24; after that, your account is subject to a $5 monthly fee. There is a $25 minimum opening balance, but no daily minimum after that and there are no overdraft fees.

What to Look for in a Checking Account

The best checking accounts have:

No Monthly Fees

If you’re trying to get back on track financially, you don’t want to have to put any of your hard-earned money toward managing a basic bank account. Many banks agree with that sentiment, providing options that are completely fee-free. The fact that there are so many attainable options out there is another compelling reason never to pay a monthly fee. 

Easy to Maintain

One of the easiest ways to rack up fees when you don’t have a lot of cash flow is by not maintaining an account minimum. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, it can be very difficult to keep a balance month to month. But you don’t want to be penalized for that, especially when there are so many options that don’t require a minimum. Additionally, you don’t want to be forced to make a certain number of transactions if you are trying to limit or maintain your spending, so look for accounts with no transaction requirements. 

Access to Your Money 

If your job pays you in cash, or you happen to receive a lot of cash, you will want to have an easy way to make deposits into your checking account. That might mean looking for an account option with a brick-and-mortar location, or at least one with plenty of accessible and convenient ATMs. 

Mobile App

In today’s world, never underestimate a good mobile app. Among other things, mobile banking allows you to move money quickly and easily and track your balance, which can be crucial in avoiding overdrafts and building your financial health. 


Can you overdraft a second chance checking account?

Many second chance accounts will not allow you to overdraft your account, which means any transaction that is going to cause an overdraft will be declined. However, not every account on this list is a classic second chance account, and many of them do offer overdraft protection up to a certain amount.

Can you be denied a second chance checking account?

There is still an application process, so any institution has the right to deny you an account.

How long does ChexSystems stay on your record?

Negative activity reported in ChexSystems will generally show up for about five years from the time it’s reported.

How do you clear your ChexSystems report?

If the information on your ChexSystems report is true and correct, you may be able to ask the bank that reported the negative activity to remove it, but they are not obligated to do so. If you can’t get the bank to remove it, you may have to wait for the information to clear out on its own (usually five years), and in the meantime, avoid accruing any additional negative reports.

Final Thoughts

Access to basic banking is important to equalize access to wealth and is becoming more widespread through the competitive market of online banks and financial technology. If you do have some negative activity in ChexSystems, there are still options for you to work toward building back to a healthy financial future.