ChexSystems and other such databases list customers who have defaulted, in one way or the other, with a previous checking account or credit facility. Most banks and other credit and financial institutions keep up to date with the list in these databases, especially ChexSystems, for the simple reason that it helps them minimize risk; no bank wants to do business with an unreliable person. Though, a person is supposed to be removed from ChexSystem’s list after five years, the worst part of the story is that once your name gets into the list, it becomes almost impossible to get out off the list.
The implication of this fact is that without a second chance checking account, getting to open an account for someone listed in the ChexSystems might be an impossible task. You now understand why second chance checking account is good news to people affected.
As you would expected, most banks that allow second chance checking accounts place several restrictions on the features of a checking account as well as the type of transactions that you can perform. For instance, some banks will deny you a checkbook.
However, it is difficult to make generalizations about the features of this type of checking account. The reason is not far fetched. The way and manner banks use the ChexSystem database varies widely, so the degree of restrictions varies, too. Also, the eligibility and requirements to open a second chance checking account varies across banks. While some banks will demand huge sums of initial deposit, others may not be that hard on you.
The good news is that, most of the basic features of a checking account, such as ATM withdrawals, online bill payments and direct deposits are also applicable to second chance checking accounts.
Besides, most banks now realize that ChexSystems does a poor job of assessing the risk a customer posses, and that their database contains several people that should not have been in the list, in the first place, these coupled with the fact that people are not readily removed from the list, even when the time is due, has led most banks to relax their requirements for opening a second chance checking account. In fact, some banks have offered to open a second chance checking account, with minimal or no restrictions for anyone found in the ChexSystems database, as long as the individual has not committed any major outright fraud.
The bottom line is that, whatever your previous credit issues are, you can still open a fully functional checking account. And who knows, if you do your research diligently, you might get a checking account offer that ‘second chance’ only in the name i.e. with no restrictions attached.