CFI Blog

5 Best Second Chance Bank Accounts of 2024 – Repair Poor Banking History

The bank checks a customer’s banking profile when they apply for a bank account, just like lenders check your credit score and history. Do you also have a lot of problems in your banking profile that prevent you from opening a checking account? If this is the case, don’t worry— second-chance checking accounts still let you use banking services even if you run into the same issue. People who have unsatisfactory banking histories can use these accounts to make up for it, and some banks will let you move up to a more conventional account once you manage your account in a great way.

There are also drawbacks of best second chance bank accounts that provide only limited service and also add some fees. The five great 2nd chance bank accounts that we discovered using our original approach are listed below. All of the options are available all over the country. 

What are the Second Chance Bank Accounts?

second chance bank accounts

When a customer accesses a checking account, a reporting program called “ChexSystems” tracks the entire account activity. These ChexSystems reports are used by financial institutions in a similar way that lenders evaluate applicants by looking at their credit reports. Your eligibility for creating a new account may be affected by certain types of activities held by your account like the background of your overdrafts, and account closure involuntarily. 

2nd chance bank accounts fill the banking gap that affects the communities with low income, minorities, and other individuals. For instance, customers with insufficient income may also be unable to meet the bank’s minimum balance and fees requirements. Non-residents and people who have been incarcerated in the past may also face difficulties due to the need for personal history and ID proof.

Customers who open second-chance checking accounts can take advantage of a wide range of essential banking services, some of which may come with lower minimum balance requirements and reduced structure of fees. Additionally, 2nd chance bank accounts can assist you in improving your banking record with ChexSystems. Ultimately, other types of bank accounts might be open to you. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Second Chance Bank Accounts  

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Second Chance Bank Accounts



Some of the ideal features of a standard checking account are also available in second-chance checking accounts such as access to numerous ATMs, the ability to make the cash deposit, and the use of debit cards for people who have a history of banking with high risk

Lower or No Minimum Requirements

Second-chance bank accounts typically have lower minimum balance requirements, allowing you greater financial flexibility. 

Overdraft Security 

Overdraft protection is included in the majority of 2nd chance checking accounts, allowing you to avoid overdraft penalties and fees


In the unlikely event of an insured bank’s failure, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (DIC) safeguards depositors’ funds. If the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures your bank, your account’s fund is secured up to $250,000. 

Upgradation Program Depends On Your Management 

If the way you manage your account is very responsible for 6 to 12 months, your bank may offer you a checking account with fewer restrictions. 



Second chance banks’ accounts typically have higher fees than traditional checking accounts, including overdraft fees, out-of-country transaction fees, maintenance fees every month, fees for setting up an account, and others. 

Fewer Advantages 

In addition to other standard account benefits, some second-chance checking accounts prohibit check writing.

May Ask for a Direct Deposit or a Minimum Initial Balance

Typically, the eligibility of these accounts is not determined by reports from your credit report or ChexSystem. However, they might require a direct deposit or an initial minimum balance to avoid paying the monthly service fee. 

How Do Second Chance Bank Accounts Work? 

As you use the account over time, this may help you establish a positive relationship with ChexSystems. While you wait for your older reports to be removed from your ChexSystems profile, opening a second chance account could make it easier for you to access essential banking services. As you access the account gradually, this way may support you to establish an attractive record with ChexSystems. While you wait for your previous records to be removed from ChexSystems’ profile, opening a second chance checking account could make it easier for you to use important banking services.

Top 5 Second Chance Banks

1. SoFi

Sofi Learn Second Bank Account

SoFi is an online financial company that offers you a fresh start without having to worry about overdrafts or monthly fees. Sign up for this account using direct deposit to get a $50 to $300 welcome bonus and a 3.75 percent annual percentage yield (APY) on all the savings balances. In the event of an overdraft, you will cover up to $50 without incurring any fees if your monthly direct deposit is at least $1,000.

A debit card from SoFi and free use of more than 55,000 ATMs are included in this account. You should install the SoFi money application in order to access your account easily, pay your bill timely, transactions with friends, and deposit and order checks (since you will not get them automatically). A SoFi account is without a doubt a reliable and ideal option for low-risk play because it has almost no charges for many services and all of the other benefits. 

Sofi Bak Account


  • A Wide Selection of inexpensive Investments 
  • Free of cost management 
  • Rebalancing automatically 
  • Ideal support for customers
  • Affordable interest rate 
  • The interest rate is good, even if direct deposit isn’t set up
  • Get paid 2 days before the due date with direct deposit in advance. 
  • No minimum initial deposit 


  • Limited types of accounts 
  • No harvesting of tax losses. 
  • Fee for cash deposit 
  • Only accessible online
  • Refusal to purchase if your balance is over $50

2. Varo Bank

Varo Bank Complete Guide

The second-chance checking accounts offered by Varo Bank are comparable to many of the ideal checking accounts available. For beginners, there are no overdrafts or monthly fees. Credit records and ChexSystems are not checked by the bank. This bank provides 55k+ ATMs around the world and all have fee-free access, debit cards, and the choice to open Varo savings accounts with a high yield. 

You can get direct deposit access early and get your payment up to 2 days sooner. Additionally, the Varo app lets you deposit checks at any time, even though Varo does not accept paper checks. Your credit score will not be affected if you apply online for this account.

Whatever data is associated with this banking account will be protected from time to time by 256-bit AES encryption. Varo has a remarkable pricing structure that does not charge any fees for the replacement of debit cards, international transaction fees, transaction fees, or maintenance fees. 


  • Don’t ask for a minimum balance to open an account
  • Enticing APY on savings (f you meet the requirements, substantially higher interest rate)
  • Overall, excellent customer service
  • Great mobile app 
  • Access to the extensive, chargeless ATM network of Allpoint 
  • There is a call center open every day (with some different times on weekends) 


  • High-yield savings accounts can only be opened by checking account holders.
  • Transferring funds from Varo is only possible if both sides are Varo’s customers. 
  • 24-hour customer helpline service is available. 

3. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo is also one of the best second-chance banking accounts, however, it is impossible to waive the monthly fee and an opening deposit is required. In most cases, overdrafts are prevented before they happen, but if that doesn’t happen, you will not have to pay an overdraft fee. This account can be converted into any standard Wells Fargo checking account after a successful banking year.  

With this account, you will not get checks, but you will get a debit card along with chargeless access to about 12k ATMs. In all of its financial markets, Wells Fargo is committed to providing accountable customer credit. It entirely prohibits deceptive, abusive, or fraudulent practices as a responsible creditor. 

They set prices for all their services on the basis of convenience factors like the cost and risk of providing credit, the strategy and approach of competition and the market, and safety. If you want the convenience of accessing your account and making deposits from a mobile device, we recommend using the Wells Fargo Mobile app.  


  • Easily accessible in a large number of locations.
  • Monthly charges are often waived.
  • Apps for managing money and sharing data that are innovative and safe.
  • Automatic savings can be done easily with bank accounts.
  • Assist in programs related to money.


  • Low rates of interest.
  • Fees for overdrafts are assessed up to 3 times per day.
  • History of Expensive Scandals
  • Only a Few CD options. 

4. Chime

Chime Bank Account

If you access the second chance banking of Chime, you won’t have to worry about paying monthly, minimum balance fees, and out-of-country transaction fees. To avoid overdraft fees, Chime will simply deny any withdrawals or payments that would result in a loss on your account.

You get a chargeless Chime debit card and a savings account in this account, which you can use at over 60k ATMs without including any fees. As per the website of Chime, It should only take a few minutes to apply and it will not affect your credit score at all as Chime covers soft inquiry. Chime is an online bank, so there are no physical branches where you can get help. However, this also means you won’t have to stand in a line or devote time to traveling to its office.

However, this also means that you won’t have to stand in line or devote time to traveling to a branch office. Instead, you can contact customer support via email or the Chime app at any time. Instead, you can get customer support 24/7 in the Chime app or by emailing the support team.  


  • Competitive APY for savings.
  • Tools for automating savings to help you make better financial habits
  • Get paid up to 2 days sooner with direct deposit 
  • More than 60,000 ATMs are available.
  • Build credit with no fees and no credit inquiry
  • Not required minimum balance 
  • There is no limit on how much interest you can earn.


  • There are no face-to-face service branches
  • You can only deposit mobile checks if you have direct deposit set up 
  • Complaints from customers about access to funds and Chime accounts. 

5. US Bank

Us Bank Account

Although the Safe Debit account offered by US Bank does not advertise itself as a 2nd chance bank account, the account’s features and advantages make it a good choice. If you want to get a debit card but don’t need to write checks, this account is right for you. You can get benefits by accessing a free-of-charge debit card that can be used at ATMs all over the nation, a free checking of credit score, and the bank’s mobile service, where you can deposit your checks and pay bills online. Mobile check deposit is not available for the first month after the account is created.

This account is not getting benefits by overdraft protection from US Bank, but there are no overdraft charges as payments will not be made if funds are not available. As per the website of this bank, applying online for a Safe Debit Account should only take some time. It works especially well as a joint account for a minor. 


  • No fee for overdraft 
  • Accessible physical branches
  • Free debit card 
  • Option to lock or unlock card if theft or lost
  • Access to a nationwide ATM network.


  • Unwaived monthly fee 
  • No welcome bonus 
  • Accessible in only 28 states 
  • Doesn’t earn interest 

What to Consider Before Getting into Second Chance Bank Accounts?

Consider Before Getting into Second Chance Bank Accounts?

Are you looking for a second chance at financial stability? Many people find themselves in need of a second chance bank account after making mistakes in their past. If you’ve been turned down by traditional banks due to bad credit or other issues, then you may want to consider getting a second chance checking account. Here’s what you need to know before taking the plunge. 

Minimal or No Monthly Fees 

Minimal or No Monthly Fees

When choosing a second chance bank account, it is important to look for one that has minimal or no monthly fees. This will ensure that you don’t have to worry about your account balance being depleted due to high fees. Make sure to read the fine print and understand all of the terms and conditions associated with the account before signing up. 

Low Minimum Balance Requirements 

Low Minimum Balance Requirements

Another important factor when selecting a second chance bank account is low minimum balance requirements. Many accounts require customers to keep a certain amount of money in their accounts at all times in order for them to remain open and active. Look for an account with a low minimum balance requirement so that it won’t be too difficult for you to maintain your balance over time. 

Reasonable Opening Deposit 

Reasonable Opening Deposit

It is also important to look for an account with reasonable opening deposit amounts. Some banks may require customers to make large deposits when they first open an account, which can be difficult for those who are struggling financially. Make sure that the opening deposit required by the bank is something that you can afford before signing up for an account.  

Online Banking or Mobile App 

Online Banking or Mobile App

In today’s digital age, having access to online banking or a mobile app is essential when it comes to managing your finances on the go. Look for an account that offers either online banking or mobile app access so that you can easily monitor your spending and deposits while away from home or on vacation. This will allow you to keep track of your finances without having to visit a physical branch location every time you need information about your accounts.

Reasonable Pricing Structure  

Reasonable Pricing Structure  

It is important to find an account with a reasonable pricing structure so that you aren’t surprised by unexpected fees or charges associated with using the services offered by them. Some banks may charge customers extra for ATM transactions or debit card purchases, so make sure these types of fees are clearly outlined before signing up for the service. Having this information upfront will help you save money in the long run!         

Low/Cost-Free Services 

Low/Cost-Free Services

Generally, it is best practice when selecting any type of financial product, including second chance bank accounts, to look into what services are available and how much each one costs separately as well as part of an overall package deal if offered by the provider. 

Ways to Apply for Accounts of Second Chance Banks

Ways to Apply for Accounts of Second Chance Banks

You can either fill out an online application or go to a bank branch to talk to a representative about opening second-chance checking accounts. In either case, you will state that you have previously had your checking account closed. A representative may inquire about ongoing banking conditions and the closure of the account. 

During the application process, you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Your Full Name
  • Your Address 
  • Your EMail and Phone Number 
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN) 
  • Employment-based information 
  • Financial and Personal References 

After you have submitted these questions and your application has been reviewed, the bank may get in touch with ChexSystems to learn more about your bank-related history. On the other hand, there are some financial institutions that are ready to neglect a negative/ unfavorable checking history. 

Second Chance Banks Alternatives in 2024

Second Chance Bank account alternatives

Although second-chance accounts are better than standard accounts, you might want to think about other options. Most of the time, these have balance requirements, lack standard banking features, and charge a lot for transactions: 

Prepaid Debit Cards

Obtaining prepaid cards is simple. Some prepaid cards can be ordered online, and they are typically sold at retail places for a fee. Even if you are unable to open a bank account due to a poor banking history, you may still be eligible for one because there is no credit check. Prepaid cards require funds to be loaded prior to use, in contrast to credit cards. 

Secured Credit Cards 

It requires you to make a cash deposit with a creditor before you can obtain a credit card for the exact same amount. There may be higher rates and no appealing rewards associated with these. The issuer has the right to take the money from your deposit if you don’t pay back your bill correctly and timely. This is the reason people with poor or no credit are able to apply for these Secure Credit cards

eWallet Services or Mobile Apps 

Paying with cash, debit cards, cheques, or credit cards is becoming increasingly popular. The use of e-payment transfers or mobile apps to pay for a transaction is a new payment method that is obtaining momentum. You might be able to get a debit card from some of them,  but because these aren’t traditional banks, your money might not be covered by the FDIC

Check Cashing Services 

Without having a bank account, you are able to access your money through check-cashing services. For a fee, you can use the service to cash your paycheck and other checks. For a heavy number of underbanked or unbanked Americans, they are a part of their financial system. Check-cashing services can be used by people who require quick and convenient cash or who are unable to open a standard conventional bank account. These services, on the other hand, can be expensive and have some drawbacks. 

How Did We Choose the Ideal Second Chance Bank Account?

Choose the Ideal Second Chance Bank Account

After conducting research on a variety of bank accounts through many financial sites and other resources, we have compiled a list of the nation’s top five second-chance bank accounts. We chose accounts that are easier to access and less expensive because the majority of second-chance accounts cover fees as a price for having a bad banking history. We gave accounts higher rankings if they covered lower fees, access to online and mobile banking, fewer requirements for opening and maintaining a balance, a large number of fee-free ATMs, and so on. In addition, the following are the points that were taken into consideration while we looked over your second chance banks’ accounts:

  • Easy to get approved for, even if you have a bad banking record
  • A checkbook and charge-free debit card are frequently included 
  • Banks insured by the FDIC 
  • Credit unions insured by the NCUA

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.1- What banks offer second-chance checking accounts?

Some second-chance banks are superior to others. The best accounts come with a lot of benefits, like having access to a lot of ATMs across the country, having low opening and minimum deposit requirements, and so on. Take into consideration these seven excellent options for banks:

  1. Capital One 360 Checking 
  2. Chime Second Chance Banking 
  3. Go2 Bank Checking Account 
  4. GTE Financial Go Further Checking 
  5. Wells Fargo Clear Access Banking

Q.2- Can you be denied a second chance bank account? 

If the financial institution finds that there is a lot of negative information in your report, which is a risk, then a second chance bank account can surely deny your application. 

Q.3- Which banks do not use ChexSystems? 

The best non-ChexSystems second chance banks that you can reliably use are as follows:

  1. Chime 
  2. Varo Bank 
  3. US Bank 
  4. Navy Federal Credit Union 
  5. Wells Fargo 
  6. Renasant Bank 


On this page, we have recommended you for the top second-chance banks and provided sufficient information about them based on Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) research. Please get in touch with us if you want any information regarding these accounts.

Author Profile

Jennifer Garcia
Jennifer Garcia is an expert in the field of credit cards and related services. She has written extensively on a broad range of topics related to credit cards, including different types of offers and benefits, how to compare and choose the best cards for individual needs, and strategies for finding ways to use credit more effectively. She has been an invited speaker at conferences around the world to discuss her research into financial products. Her knowledge of the credit card landscape is unparalleled, with a deep understanding of how each offer or product works in relation to the rest of the industry. Jennifer’s work provides invaluable insight into how to make the most out of any credit product.

Leave a Comment