If you have bad credit, you may find it is difficult to have any of the basic financial services you used to enjoy such as a credit cards and a checking account. However, as more and more people have bad credit and file for bankruptcy, more banks are beginning to offer services to those individuals. If you have bad credit, here are a few banks that will forgive you and give you a second chance:
- Wells-Fargo. Wells-Fargo offers an Opportunity Package which includes a checking account and up to three other services. Some details of their opportunity package may vary by state, but in general, expect to pay a $10 a month fee if you have a balance lower than a minimum daily average of $1,000 or if you don’t have a maintain a qualifying monthly direct deposit.
- WoodForest National Bank. Although a bit pricier, you can also open a second chance checking account with WoodForest National Bank. If you maintain a monthly direct deposit, they charge $7.95 per month to maintain the checking account. Without the monthly direct deposit, you will pay $9.95 per month. You also pay a one-time $9.00 fee when you set up the account.
- First American Bank. First American Bank offers a Fresh Start checking account and charges a $9.95 monthly fee. You are required to have $50 when you open the account, but after that there is no minimum account balance required.
- Central Bank. Although not much information is available online, Central Bank offers a Clean Start checking account. There is a minimum balance required, though you would have to call the bank to get full details. There is also a monthly fee of $8.
- Liberty Savings Bank. Liberty Savings Bank offers a Clean Slate checking account. This account does not require an account minimum, and if you can avoid have non-sufficient funds (NSF), for 12 months, they will transfer your Clean Slate checking account into a regular checking account. There is a monthly fee for this account, though the amount is not disclosed on the website.
Many of the banks that will allow you to open second chance checking accounts are smaller, local banks and credit unions. The site Second Chance Checking Accounts gives a list of banks by state that will allow you to open a second chance checking account. If you’re in another country, you should be able to search to find a good local company that can help. For example, Positive home loans are perfect for Australian citizens.
One More Important Step to Take
If your checking account has had non-sufficient funds (NSF) before, or other problems, it was reported to the ChexSystem. Before you look to open a new account, make sure you have paid any fees and other penalties so your record will be clear. You will still show up on the ChexSystem, but it will also show that you have paid the money you owe.
Many banks are reluctant to allow people to open checking accounts when they have previously mismanaged their accounts. However, there are a handful of national banks and many small, local banks that will offer you the opportunity of a fresh start. After you have opened the new account, keep the checking account in good standing so you will eventually be allowed to transfer to a checking account with lower monthly fees.