This article is part of a larger series on Business Banking.
When you’re looking for a business checking account with a bank that doesn’t use ChexSystems, be sure to consider fees and limits. Some second chance checking accounts charge monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, or other hidden fees. Also, look at the bank’s daily limits for deposits, withdrawals, and purchases. Make sure they aren’t so low that they’ll affect how you run your business negatively.
Although 80% of banks and credit unions use ChexSystems to screen new bank customers, a few institutions do not. Here’s a selection of banks that don’t use ChexSystems and conveniently allow you to apply for an account online:
- Novo: Best for no-fee banking
- Bluevine: Best for high-yield checking
- Wells Fargo: Best for convenient branch and ATM access
- LendingClub Bank: Best for low minimum opening deposit
Keep in mind that even if a bank or credit union doesn’t use ChexSystems, it may use other methods like Early Warning Services (EWS), TeleCheck, or pull your credit report when you apply for an account. You can learn more about ChexSystems and how it works, how it impacts you, and how you can avoid it.
Novo: Best for No-fee Banking
Novo is a financial technology (fintech) company that operates as an online-only bank. It doesn’t use ChexSystems and won’t run a credit check, either. Its online and mobile banking platforms are designed conveniently to help business owners bank easily.
With Novo you get:
- No monthly maintenance fee
- No transaction fees
- No automated clearing house (ACH) fees
- No hidden fees
- No opening deposit
- No minimum balance
- Reimbursement for all ATM fees at the end of each month
There’s no minimum balance or minimum opening deposit requirements. Novo doesn’t accept cash deposits, but if you need to deposit cash occasionally, you can purchase a money order with the funds, then use the mobile app to deposit the funds into your account.
Bluevine: Best for High-yield Checking
Bluevine is an online-only bank that doesn’t use ChexSystems. If you’re a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation, it won’t run a credit check. However, it’ll run a credit check if you’re a sole proprietor or part of a general partnership.
Bluevine offers the following:
- One of the highest-yield business checking accounts at 1.50% annual percentage yield (APY) up to $100,000—to qualify for APY you must spend $500 per month on your Bluevine Business Debit card, or receive $2,500 per month in customer payments to your account via ACH, wire transfer, mobile deposit, or directly from your merchant payment processor.
- Withdraw cash without fees at 37,000 ATMs through the MoneyPass network
- Deposit checks and cash at 90,000 retail locations through Green Dot
- No monthly maintenance fee
- No nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees
Two free checkbooks are included as long as you have a balance in your account.
Wells Fargo: Best for Convenient Branch & ATM Access
Wells Fargo offers a second chance account, Clear Access BankingSM (formerly Opportunity Checking®).
Clear Access BankingSM features include:
- Send and receive funds with Zelle
- Make payments and purchases with a debit card or digital wallet
- No overdraft or NSF fees
- No ATM fees if you use a Wells Fargo ATM
- Minimum opening deposit of $25
- Access to finance tools for budgeting and cash flow
- Set up account alerts
- Online account opening for those 18 years or older
- $5 monthly service fee, which you can avoid if you’re age 24 or younger
This account doesn’t include check-writing ability. However, after 365 days of account ownership, you’re eligible to switch over to any regular Wells Fargo personal checking account that includes checks.
Even though it’s a personal account, you can use it for business transactions. To keep your business and personal funds separate, you may want to open a second checking account for your personal use. Once your account is set up, you have the option to either visit a branch or use online banking to access your account, and it’s easy to find a Wells Fargo with almost 5,000 branches and 12,000 ATMs across the country.
LendingClub Bank: Best for Low Minimum Opening Deposit
LendingClub Bank offers Essential Checking, a second-chance checking account.
Essential Checking offers:
- $9 monthly service fee
- $10 minimum to open the account
- No minimum balance to maintain
- Debit card limit of $250 for the first 30 days that increases to $500 on day 31; the daily debit card limit includes all transactions, including ATM withdrawals
- Mobile deposit limit of $1,000 per day and a limit of $2,000 for ten consecutive days
- Add your debit card to Apple Pay®, Google PayTM, or Samsung Pay®
- Deposit cash or checks or make withdrawals for free at any MoneyPass® deposit-taking ATM or NYCE® Shared Deposit Program ATM; if you’re in the Boston area, you can use one of LendingClub Bank’s ATMs
After 12 months, you may be eligible to upgrade to LendingClub Bank’s Rewards Checking account.
Local Banks and Credit Unions
Sometimes it’s easier for a smaller community bank or credit union to make exceptions for past credit issues based on your circumstances. Local community banks and credit unions in your neighborhood may be willing to take on slightly more risk with potential customers than larger institutions. As with most credit unions, you’ll need to meet membership qualifications like where you live, organization association, or your industry.
How to Recover from a Negative ChexSystems Report
ChexSystems will hold any negative history, including insufficient funds, unpaid overdraft balances, returned checks, and fraud, for up to five years. If you have a negative ChexSystems report, there are steps you can take to fix it. Once the negative report has been cleared, it’ll no longer appear in ChexSystems.
1. Request a Copy of Your Report
Request a report from ChexSystems to review the negative banking activity. Look over the report for any possible errors. If you discover an error, you can file a ChexSystems dispute. ChexSystems is required to investigate the error. Any incorrect information will be removed from the report within 30 days.
2. Pay Any Debts
If the ChexSystems report is correct and you owe funds, reach out to your debtors and pay them as soon as possible. If money is tight, explain your situation, and you may be able to negotiate a lesser payback amount.
3. Ask the Collection Agency to Remove the Negative Record
Once the debt is paid, reach out to your creditors directly to update your ChexSystems report. Keep records of any receipts, letters, emails, or communication in case of a dispute.
4. Manage Your Accounts Responsibly
Keeping track of your accounts is important for your financial health. By staying on top of your accounts, you won’t be surprised by any negative dings or loss of access to your funds. Here are some suggestions:
- Avoid spending more than you have in your account
- If there’s a hold on a deposit, find out when it’ll be released
- Check your account with online or mobile banking before you withdraw cash at an ATM or make a payment
- Sign up for transaction alerts via email or text
- Keep a minimum balance on your account in case of unexpected charges
- Consider signing up for your bank’s financial wellness program to get useful tips and help with money management at no cost
When you’re looking for a business checking account with no ChexSystems, look for one with reasonable fees and limits that work well for your business. If it’s a business account, not a personal account, the bank will ask for your business documentation. The documentation you’ll need, depending on your industry, can be found here in our article on how to open a business bank account.
While it’s possible to open an account with a negative report in ChexSystems, it’s better to correct any mistakes in ChexSystems or pay any collections you owe. Without a record in ChexSystems, you’ll have many more options when choosing where to bank. Since there’s a lot to consider when selecting a bank for your small business, we’ve put together some tips on how to choose a bank for your small business.