Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

Best second-chance checking accounts

Our top 5 picks can help if you have poor credit or a troubled financial past.

Updated

Fact checked

Finder's pick for no fees: Chime Spending account

Chime Spending account logo

$0

Deposit to Open

  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly service fees
  • Get your paycheck early
Go to site
A second-chance checking account should help you gain financial ground — not punish you with high fees and deposit requirements. That’s why we chose our top five accounts with you in mind.

Most second-chance checking accounts have unavoidable monthly fees. We began our search by looking for second-chance accounts with $0 to low monthly fees and small opening deposits to help you avoid problems you might’ve experienced with banks in the past. We then considered other factors like accessibility, overdraft protection and account perks to pinpoint which ones will help you get your financial life back on track.

Best second-chance checking accounts

Chime Spending account

Chime Spending account logo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

★★★★★

Apply now
at Chime Bank's secure site
N/A
APY
None
Fees
None
Min. opening deposit
Chime Spending account is a digital checking account that comes with a free savings account when you sign up. With these linked accounts, you can enable features that let you automatically save 10% of every paycheck and save your spare change by rounding up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar. Plus, dip your card into 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide for free.
  • Early direct deposits. Set up direct deposits and get your money up to two days early.
  • No hidden fees. Chime doesn't charge any fees for overdrafts, foreign transactions, transfers or minimum balance requirements.
  • Earns interest. You'll earn 1% APY on your total savings balance, unlike other second-chance accounts.
  • No 24/7 support. Unlike other only banks, Chime doesn't offer around the clock customer service via phone. You can reach them Monday–Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST).
  • No joint accounts. Chime doesn't support joint accounts and you can't get more than one debit card at a time.
APY 0%
Account fees $0 monthly
Can the fee be waived? No
ATM transaction fee $0
Foreign transaction fee 0%
Overdraft fee $0

Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking

N/A
APY
$10 monthly
Fees
$25
Min. opening deposit
Wells Fargo waives the $10 monthly fee for this second-chance checking account if you meet a transaction, deposit or balance requirement. The minimum opening deposit is $25, and the account is available in all 39 states where a Wells Fargo branch is located, plus Washington, D.C.
  • Low opening deposit. $25 is all you need to open this account.
  • Overdraft protection. Avoid overdraft fees when you open a linked Opportunity Savings account.
  • Avoidable monthly fee. Avoid the $10 monthly fee in one of three ways: Use your debit card at least 10 times a month, receive at least $500 in monthly direct deposits, or keep a $1,500 minimum daily balance.
  • Probation period. If you overdraft your account or can't pay your monthly fee within the first six months, Wells Fargo will automatically close your account.
  • Can't open directly. You can't apply for this account upfront. Instead, you must apply for another Wells Fargo checking account and then wait for the bank to contact you if you're denied.
  • Not available nationwide. Wells Fargo doesn't have branch locations in HI, KY, LA, MA, ME, MO, NH, OK, RI, VT or WV.
APY 0%
Account fees $10 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
Do any ONE of the following:
• $1,500 minimum daily balance
• OR Direct deposits totaling $500 or more
• OR 10 or more posted debit card transactions (any combination of posted debit card purchases or posted debit card payments of bills) from this checking account
Insufficient funds fee $35
ATM transaction fee $0
Overdraft fee $35

BBVA Easy Checking

BBVA Easy Checking logo
N/A
APY
$13.95 monthly
Fees
$25
Min. opening deposit
The BBVA Easy Checking is for those who are unable to open a BBVA Free Checking account. It has an unavoidable monthly fee, but BBVA will upgrade you to a free checking account if your second-chance account is in good standing after 12 months.
  • Free upgrade after 12 months. If your account is active and has a positive balance after 12 months, you can upgrade to BBVA's Free Checking account, which has no monthly fee.
  • Free debit card. Withdraw cash for free at over 1,000 BBVA ATMs nationwide with your free Visa debit card.
  • Financial resources. BBVA has an extensive blog that teaches customers how to get out of debt, boost their credit, improve their financial lives and more.
  • $13.95 monthly fee. The monthly service fee for this account can't be waived.
  • Can't apply for it directly. You must apply for the BBVA Free Checking account first. If you don't qualify, then you can open an Easy Checking account.
APY 0%
Account fees $13.95 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
Insufficient funds fee $38
ATM transaction fee $0
Paper statement fee $3
Accout closure fee $25
$25 fee If account closed within 180 days of opening

Peoples Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking

Peoples Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking logo
N/A
APY
$4.95 monthly
Fees
$30
Min. opening deposit
The Cash Solutions second-chance checking account is open to anyone with a past ChexSystems denial. Open your account with a $30 deposit and pay a $4.95 monthly fee to deposit cash, pay bills online and access worldwide ATMs.
  • Low monthly fee. Although the $4.95 monthly fee is unavoidable, it's lower than other second-chance checking accounts.
  • Free transfers. Send money to family and friends with free online money transfers.
  • No minimum balance requirements. Even though there's a $30 opening deposit, you don't have to maintain a certain account balance to be in good standing.
  • Limited customer support. Peoples Bank customer support is only available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT.
  • No mobile app. Peoples Cash Solutions doesn't support mobile banking, but you can still manage your account by going to its website.
APY 0%
Account fees $4.95 monthly
Can the fee be waived? No

Radius Bank Essential Checking

Radius Bank Essential Checking logo
N/A
APY
$9 monthly
Fees
$10
Min. opening deposit
Radius Essential Checking works like a prepaid debit card, but with the added benefit of FDIC protection. To qualify for this account, you must first be denied for a Radius Rewards or Superhero Checking account.
  • Low minimum deposit. Radius lets you open this account with as little as $10.
  • Can't overdraft. Because this account works like a prepaid card, you can't overdraft on your account. If you don't have enough money to cover a purchase, it will get denied.
  • Upgrade after 12 months. Get upgraded to a Rewards Checking account once you have 12 months of positive banking history.
  • Unavoidable fee. There's no way to waive the $9 monthly fee.
  • Mobile check deposit limits. You can't mobile deposit more than $1,000 a day or $2,000 every 10 days.
  • Withdraw limits. There's a $500 daily debit card limit and a mobile check deposit limit of $1,000 a day.
APY 0%
Account fees $9 monthly
Can the fee be waived? Yes
Insufficient funds fee $25
ATM transaction fee $0
Accout closure fee $5
$5 per month fee only applies to personal checking accounts that have been inactive for 12 consecutive months.

How to choose the best second-chance checking account

Many big-name banks choose not to offer second-chance bank accounts. Shop around local credit unions or smaller banks, which are often more willing to meet members where they are.

When deciding which to choose, look for some or all of the following features:

  • Low opening deposits. Find an account that supports your budget out the gate.
  • Minimal fees. Look for an account with low or no monthly maintenance fees. Some banks waive fees if you enroll in direct deposit or keep their balance above a stated minimum.
  • Extra features. Strong accounts that offer ATM access, autopay and mobile banking will offer easier everyday banking in the long run.
  • High spending limits. To cover the perceived risk of taking on those with a less-than-perfect financial past, banks often set spending caps that could limit your account’s flexibility.
  • Account upgrade eligibility. Many second-chance checking accounts will allow you to upgrade to a stronger account with more benefits after your account is in good standing for a specified period, typically 12 months. These benefits can include no monthly maintenance fees or spending limits.

What are the pros and cons of second-chance checking accounts?

Second-chance checking accounts help you develop good money management skills that keep your future bank accounts out of the red. They have these pros and cons:

Pros

  • Avoid overdraft fees. These accounts help you avoid costly overdraft fees by automatically declining any transactions that would bring your account below $0.
  • Cheaper than prepaid cards. Despite having unavoidable monthly fees, second-chance checking accounts are often a cheaper alternative to prepaid debit cards.
  • Upgrades available. Most banks let you upgrade your second-chance checking account to a regular checking account once you’ve built up six to 12 months of good banking history.

Cons

  • Unavoidable fees. The monthly fees associated with your second-chance checking account are usually unavoidable, unlike other checking options.
  • Low spending limits. Be prepared to have lower daily spending and withdrawal limits than you would with a regular checking account.
  • Can’t apply for directly. Most banks only offer you a second-chance checking account once you’ve applied for a regular checking account and been denied.

What is a second-chance checking account?

Second-chance checking accounts are deposit accounts designed specifically for those who have a bad banking history or negative marks on their ChexSystems report. These accounts typically have restrictive features that help you rebuild your banking history and get back on track financially.

What is ChexSystems?

ChexSystems is a credit reporting agency focused on deposit accounts — like savings and checking accounts. Similar to the major credit bureaus, it gathers the details of your banking history in a report that financial institutions review before approving you for accounts.

Your ChexSystems reports can include any unpaid fees, negative balances, bounced checks and fraudulent activity over the most recent five years. Also like the credit bureaus, ChexSystems is required to provide you with one free copy of your report each year.

Bottom Line

If past financial mistakes have made it difficult for you to open a new checking account, there’s still hope. There are several quality banks out there that offer second-chance checking accounts for those who have endured bankruptcy, bad credit and issues with ChexSystems.

Compare your bank account options to find the right account for your needs.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site