You can be denied a bank account for suspected fraud, a closed account with a negative balance, too many returned checks, excessive overdrafts, or too many inquiries. If you're denied, you can review your reports and look into second-chance accounts.
Reasons You May Have Been Denied a Checking Account
Too many past bounced checks or overdrafts. Unpaid fees or negative balances from a current or closed account. Suspected fraud or identity theft. Too many accounts applied for over a short amount of time.
A bank or credit union may refuse to open a checking account for someone who cannot provide the identification that it requests. Tip: If you can't get a checking account because you are listed as having a prior problem with handling a checking account, try another bank or credit union.
How long do you stay on ChexSystems? Usually five years. Although federal regulations allow ChexSystems to keep records for up to seven years, the agency keeps them for five.
Consumers can request a ChexSystems report over the phone by calling 1-800-428-9623. Callers will then verify personal information through ChexSystem's voice messaging system. Order a ChexSystems report by fax.
A second-chance checking account is an account where the bank or credit union either doesn't check your ChexSystems report or is willing to look past your previous missteps.
A few banks and financial companies backed by banks offer second chance checking nationwide: Chime (account name: Spending Account, available online) Green Dot Bank (account name: GoBank, available online and at Walmart stores). LendingClub (account name: Essential Checking, available online).
There's no hard and fast rule that says you can't open a bank account if you owe a bank money. But since many banks check credit reports and bank consumer behavior reports in order to avoid risky customers, doing so can often be difficult unless you open an account geared toward people in that situation.
When you apply to open a checking or savings account, most financial institutions will run your name in the ChexSystems database to see if you have a report. Some financial institutions may deny everyone who has a ChexSystems report, while others may only deny people with certain types of activity.
We did some research and found consumers who had been denied for checking accounts with scores of 174, 295 and 553. We also talked to one banker who said that a "safe score" which would make you likely for approval is 581 or better.
Your ChexSystems report has no direct impact on your credit score. However, if you've been denied a checking or savings account and have a ding on your ChexSystems report, it may be a sign that you've had difficulties in the past that may also have an impact on your credit history.
Of the top 10 banks in the U.S. by deposits, only one of them (Wells Fargo) provide actual second chance checking accounts. Three other banks (Chase, PNC Bank, BB&T) offer prepaid debit card accounts in lieu of second chance checking accounts. Now, here's the interesting tidbit.
Anyone who has ever opened a bank account in the U.S. is likely to have a ChexSystems record. ChexSystems reports only negative information, including every banking transgression you — or someone pretending to be you — committed in the past five years.
You can be blacklisted by ChexSystems for a variety of reasons, but they all relate to your record of handling, or mishandling, a bank account. Commonly, people are blacklisted by ChexSystems for writing bad checks, failing to pay overdraft fees, or rating suspicion of fraudulent behavior.
Check and Bank Account Reports
Many banks will pull your report and consider the information when reviewing your application for a new account. Unlike consumer credit reports, your ChexSystems report won't have positive information. Instead, they only show negative marks, such bounced checks or unpaid fees.
You cannot go to jail for not paying your debts when there is a judgment against you. You can, however, be liquidated, sequestrated, an emoluments attachment order placed on your salary or your assets attached.
You'll owe more money as penalties, fees, and interest charges build up on your account as a result. Your credit scores will also fall. It may take several years to recover, but you can rebuild your credit and borrow again, sometimes within just a few years. So don't give up hope.
If you've ever overdrawn your checking account, you know that cringeworthy feeling, especially if you were then hit by a steep fee. But if you're stressed about how an overdraft will impact your overall financial health, take a deep breath: Checking account overdrafts don't directly affect your credit score.
The two main checking account screening companies are ChexSystems and Early Warning Services. You can be denied a bank account for suspected fraud, a closed account with a negative balance, too many returned checks, excessive overdrafts, or too many inquiries.