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Financial Problems? Try a Second Chance Checking Account

Jul 27, 2008
If you've had financial problems that have made you ineligible for a checking account, don't despair. You're not alone. Systems such as ChexSystems or TeleCheck can keep you from having a checking account, as can a bad credit history. If you've been reported to one of these systems and you can no longer get a checking account, you might be eligible for what's called a "second chance" checking account. In fact, it may be the answer to your problems.

Although information usually stays on these reporting agencies for five years or longer, there are steps you can take to obtain a second chance checking account. Often it only takes one financial problem to start a whole chain of events that can cause problems when it comes to opening a checking account.

Banks are beginning to realize this, and to that end they have started to use what are called "second chance" checking accounts for people who have had financial difficulties in the past. When you're looking for a bank that offers second chance checking accounts, check and see if they charge a fee for this. Some banks charge a fee of up to $300 in order for them to approve your checking account.

A second chance bank account is a real bank account. They are available with checks or a debit card. The same benefits that you had with your old bank account will apply to this account as well. You will have a routing number and account number for direct deposits. A true debit card that work at any ATM, with a MasterCard or Visa logo, will be included. They work anywhere that Visa or MasterCard is accepted.

If you opt for just the debit card, a voided check will be included in your set-up so that you can have your paychecks direct deposited. There will be no credit checks or verification through either ChexSystems or TeleCheck. Whereas others offer you a prepaid card, this is a regular debit card.

If you no longer want to pay fees to have a check cashed or to buy money orders to pay your bills, a second chance checking account might just be for you. Most people need a second chance after they've gone through difficult times in their lives. A checking account is nearly essential these days, not only because you'll need to have your checks directly deposited, but because you also need to pay bills. Most people take this convenience for granted. However, if you have unfortunately had some financial difficulty so that you've been denied a checking account, you realize that it can be a difficulty to have no checking account.

Many people do a majority of their banking online. This is impossible to do if you do not have a checking account. Many employers are requiring a bank account rather than paying with paper checks. This eliminates many problems and makes it easier for their payroll department. So today, you need a checking account. Yes, you can open a savings account and have everything deposited there, but this entails having to go to the bank to take money out.

A second chance checking account gives you the opportunity to start fresh. Many banks also realize that this was a temporary problem, perhaps the fault of the account holder and perhaps not. This is why a second chance checking account is being offered. It might just offer you a second chance, too.
About the Author
Steven J. Talrechi has been studying credit reporting and credit reporting practices for over a decade. He specializes in helping others with second chance banking and obtaining a checking account when they have been turned down by banks.
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