Bad credit can ruin your life financially in multiple ways. If you have bad credit, you already know how true this can be. Having bad credit means that the majority of financial institutions won’t allow you to open checking accounts, get debit and credit cards, or open any lines of credit unless they come with a crazy ridiculous amount of fees and interest rates.
However, just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean that there aren’t any banks willing to let you open an account with them for checking or savings accounts.
In this article, we’ll provide you with a list of the best banks that are willing to work with your bad credit.
Banks, Credit Checks, and Chexsystems
Banks conduct credit checks to receive credit reports on any individual seeking to open a basic bank account with them for access to checking and savings accounts.
Based on their information with these credit checks, they may add various fees and interest rates to your account due to your bad credit score. Your credit score is determined by the three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
ChexSystems is one such credit report that the bank will use for your credit check. ChexSystems gathers information concerning any problems or issues you’ve experienced with checking accounts or banking history within the past five years.
Your ChexSystems report that the banks use to determine whether or not you can open an account with them includes:
- Personal information such as your name, SSN, and addresses you’ve lived at
- Any negative account balances that are in the negative
- Potentially fraudulent activity or charges
- Applications with other banks
- Public records
The Top 7 Best Banks Accounts to Open for Bad Credit
Chime is a new way to do banking in an online digital world. Unlike most traditional banks and credit unions, Chime does not rely on unnecessary fees like initial sign-up fees, monthly service fees, overdraft fees, etc for their online checking account.
However, technically speaking, Chime is not a bank. Instead, Chime works as a financial technology company that can provide banking services. This is possible because Chime partners with regional banks to create banking services that benefit their members.
Benefits of banking with Chime:
- You never have to worry about paying unnecessary fees like sign-up fees, service fees, or ridiculous overdraft fees
- Get your paycheck deposited into your account up to 2 days early with Chime’s direct deposit
- Improve your bad credit with Chime’s Credit Builder program
- One of the best checking accounts on this list
SoFi recently received a charter to become a national bank, providing SoFi additional legitimacy in the banking world. They are a financial technology company that offers financial products to their members to help them gain control of their money and their credit.
They have been in business since 2011 with over 2.5 million members. They pride themselves on putting their member’s financial security first.
As a member of SoFi, you gain access to their professional and credentialed financial advisors, referral bonuses for any friends you bring over to SoFi, and member discount rates.
Benefits of banking with SoFi:
- The accessibility to work with a credentialed financial advisor to build a personalized financial map to build your credit and take control of your finances
- Access to their unemployment protection program that allows you to temporarily modify loan agreements while you search for your next job
- Join the exclusive SoFi online community that comes with various networking events and lifetime experiences
Current prides itself as another financial technology company that is not a traditional bank. Instead, their primary financial service uses their mobile app and debit card that provides their members with financial education, budgeting, and early direct deposits.
They offer a hassle-free sign-up process that takes less than 5 minutes to access their financial services. They were built on the idea and dream to make banking easy, accessible, and affordable to everyone.
Benefits of banking with Current:
- Get your paychecks up to 2 days earlier than expected, giving you more time with your well-earned money
- You don’t have to worry about any hidden fees, overdraft fees, or even minimum balance fees
- You can set up an automatic savings routine that will completely remove the hassle of trying to remember to personally transfer money into a savings account each time you get paid
LendingClub was founded in 2007 and reinvented the way people bank and get personal loans. Not only do they operate as a personal loan lending company that is willing to work with anyone, but they also operate as an investing company.
Meaning if anyone is seeking a sound and legitimate company to invest their money with a promise of an ROI, they can invest their money into the LendingClub Banking system.
LendingClub’s mission is to change the way people approach personal loans and debt consolidation in a way that doesn’t leave their members hurting for money due to hidden fees or unfair interest rates.
Benefits of Banking with LendingClub:
- You can get a personal loan up to $40,000 to consolidate any current debts you have all into one singular loan at a lower rate than your previous debts and loans
- No monthly fees for many of their products
- Invest your money into LendingClub’s system with a guaranteed .075% APY on your first $20,000
People’s Cash Solution considers itself a “second chance checking account” for people who have bad credit and would normally be declined by a regular bank.
Once you’ve created an account with their online banking system, you will gain access to their banking system that will allow you to have a checking account with a debit card without the insane fees other banks will charge you because of your bad credit.
Benefits of Banking with People’s Cash Solution:
- You don’t have to worry about being denied a checking account or debit card with them because they don’t make their member decisions based on your ChexSystems report
- You will receive a free Debit MasterCard and free checkbook when you create your checking account with them
- The only fee you will ever have to pay is a small $4.95 monthly service fee
Varo is a non-discriminating digital consumer bank built on the belief that your bank should be up-front and completely transparent with you, which works for you to help you become financially stable and healthy.
A visit to their website will list all the fees they charge their members (which there aren’t many fees they do charge) to make banking with them possible.
Since its founding in 2015, Varo has put itself on the fast track to becoming the world’s first digital consumer bank that faces the financial inequality that traditional banks impose on their members.
Benefits of banking with Varo:
- Absolutely no hidden fees. They are honest and transparent on their website about the fees that they do charge their members for and the features that they do not charge for
- Varo processes direct deposits up to 2 days faster than traditional banks, meaning that if your coworkers get paid on Friday, you could already have your money on Wednesdays
- Gain access to membership perks such as up to 15% cashback on select purchases
Backed by multiple financial investors, Acorns is a financial app built to educate people about how to gain control of their money accounts, thanks to their simple and easy-to-use money app.
They offer an all-digital banking service that gives you complete control over your accounts, debit card, and investments, with no hidden fees.
Benefits of banking with Acorns Checking:
- No hidden fees. They are completely transparent on their website of the cost of their membership fees
- Instantaneous savings and investing rounded up from your spare change on all purchases to help you build your savings, investments, and retirement funds naturally
- Smarter direct deposit process that gets you your paycheck up to 2 days faster than traditional banks
What is Second Chance Banking?
Second Chance Bank accounts, also known as “Bad Credit History Checking”, is a financial service provided by banks or credit unions who work together to provide banking for people with previous bad debts.
Like regular checking accounts, these Bad Credit Checking Accounts allow you to take advantage of direct deposit and online bill pay options. If you are starting out with building your credit, this is an excellent account to help you establish yourself as someone who can be trusted with finances.
These checking accounts are called “Second Chance” Checking Accounts because they give people an opportunity to rebuild their credit.
If you are someone who has a poor credit score, these types of accounts are a great way to establish yourself as someone who can be trusted with finances.
This type of banking service may be referred to as “second chance banking,” “rebuilding your credit checking,” or even “bad credit checking.”
These checking accounts do not come without their downsides, however.
Because Second Chance accounts comes with the possibility of high fees and low-interest rates, it is essential to weigh out all your options before choosing one.
Unlike regular banks, where you will need to have a minimum balance requirements in order for you to waive any monthly fees, many second chance checking accounts will waive monthly fees if you choose direct deposit for your paycheck.
It’s important to remember that Second Chance Checking comes with the possibility of high fees and low-interest rates, so it is essential to weigh out all your options before choosing one.
Is Second Chance Banking A Better Option Than A Prepaid Card
In most cases, Second Chance Checking accounts are a better option than prepaid debit cards.
Prepaid debit cards usually have monthly fees, and there is a chance you will be charged every time you use your card.
With a Second Chance Checking account, you can open up a checking account with Direct Deposit for free and avoid any extra charges associated with a prepaid debit card. You can also avoid a monthly fee with a Second Chance Checking account as long as you have a Direct Deposit set up for your paycheck.
Finally, with a Second-Chance Checking account, you can build your credit and become more trustworthy to the banks while having the chance to avoid any extra fees that prepaid debit cards may charge.
Wrapping It Up
Having bad credit no longer means total financial ruin. While bad credit is something that you should and want to improve for your overall financial health, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to have a regular checking account, savings account, or debit card.
Several financial technology companies exist and are viable options to replace traditional banking for those of us with bad credit. the banks we reviewed are a great option as several don’t require a minimum deposit or monthly maintenance fee unlike a standard account from the major banks.
These financial technology companies such as Chime, SoFi, Current, and the others listed above all have the desire and mission statement to make banking accessible and affordable to everyone with no hidden fees attached.
For those of you reading this article that decides to sign-up for membership with any of these digital banking alternatives, they do offer the proper education, materials, and professional assistance that you need to get you back control over your finances and set yourself up to improve your credit along the way.
Don’t let your low credit score prevent you from getting a new bank account. You can get a fresh start with a bank regardless of your poor credit history.