Credit Union Second Chance Checking Accounts - NerdWallet

Credit Union Second Chance Checking Accounts

Second chance checking accounts are specialized checking accounts that offer a fresh start for consumers who may have had trouble with bank accounts in the past and were reported to the ChexSystems network. Once reported, it can be very difficult to open a new account because banks tend to see a risky proposition if you have a history of account mismanagement. But just because you have had trouble in the past doesn’t mean you should have to give up on ever having a checking account again.

You’ve Got to Work for It

Now, second chance checking accounts are not usually free. They tend to have transaction restrictions, monthly charges and balance requirements that encourage you to prove you can manage your account efficiently. However, most second chance checking accounts turn into regular checking accounts if you meet their requirements over a certain amount of time. This works as a reward for the hard work you put into maintaining your account. We’ve searched across the country and found some great second chance checking accounts at credit unions for you. Credit unions are usually more consumer conscious and member oriented, so they are a good bet if you’re trying to improve your banking opportunities.

Second Chance Checking – Tarrant County Credit Union (Fort Worth, TX)

Tarrant County Credit Union wants to help you get back on your feet with as little trouble as possible. Their Second Chance Checking account is available free of monthly fees, requires no money to open and has no minimum balance requirements. Tarrant County Credit Union also offers free financial education classes to help improve your banking IQ. Tarrant County Credit Union has branches in Arlington, Fort Worth, Hurst, Lake Worth and Mansfield, Texas. Anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Tarrant County, Texas, is eligible for membership.

Vista Checking – CDC Federal Credit Union (Atlanta, GA)

Vista Checking at CDC Federal Credit Union offers you a second chance at checking. To qualify, you must be a Georgia resident of at least one year, be gainfully employed and provide a valid state-issued driver’s license and mailing address. The account has a $50 minimum opening deposit requirement, a $12 monthly fee and a $100 limit for ATM card usage per day. 12 instances of non-sufficient funds will result in account closure and extended holds will be placed on check deposits. But after 12 months of meeting these requirements, members will be eligible for other checking accounts. CDC Federal Credit Union has 3 branches in the Atlanta area. Membership is available to CDC employees and residents of DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett Counties, Georgia. Additional membership details can be found here.

2nd Chance Checking – WEOKIE (Oklahoma City, OK)

WEOKIE makes banking better and easier if you need a second chance. Their 2nd Chance Checking account can be opened with $50 and has no minimum balance requirements. A monthly fee is applied to the account, but you get perks like access to 250,000 ATMs nationwide, a free VISA check card upon credit approval, free online banking and courtesy pay up to $300 after 90 days. WEOKIE’s FoolProof Solo online interactive program helps you learn about money and credit and gives you lessons in money management. WEOKIE has 9 branches in the Greater Oklahoma City area. Membership is available to residents of several Oklahoma counties.

Second Chance Checking – Rock Valley Credit Union (Loves Park, IL)

Second Chance Checking at Rock Valley Credit Union gives you a chance to rebuild with a free account that has limited restrictions. There are no monthly charges and no minimum balance requirements. You get a VISA Check Card with direct deposit, free Internet and mobile banking, and ATM access to over 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Rock Valley Credit Union has locations in Rochelle, Machesney Park and Loves Park, Illinois, and membership is available to residents of Winnebago County and the city of Rochelle.

Second Chance – First New England Federal Credit Union (East Hartford, CT)

If you’ve had problems with banking in the past, First New England Federal Credit Union understands. They offer Second Chance checking for members with one occurrence on ChexSystems of $500 or less with no minimum balance, unlimited check writing and a free debit card. The ChexSystems occurrence must be 12 months or more removed from the opening of the account. There is a $15 monthly fee. Direct deposit or a current phone bill is required to open the account, and there is a $200 day maximum for ATM/debit card transactions. First New England Federal Credit Union has locations in Hartford, Vernon and Newington, Connecticut. Membership is available to Vernon, Connecticut, residents, and friends of the Lucy Robbins Welles Library.

Fresh Start Checking – Neighborhood Credit Union (Dallas, TX)

Available to members who have had one or two problems with other financial institutions, Fresh Start Checking helps you wipe the slate clean. You can open the account with $25 and there is no minimum balance requirement. Courtesy pay is available after 30 days with a $200 limit, but direct deposit is required if you want to use it. A $17 monthly service fee is applied to the account, but after 6 months of satisfactory account history and completion of the BALANCE Checking Course online finance education program, you will be eligible for other checking accounts. Neighborhood Credit Union has 9 locations in Northeast Texas, and membership is available to residents of Dallas County, Ellis County, the City of Arlington and the City of Richardson, Texas. Additional membership details can be found here.

Fresh Start Checking – Jax Federal Credit Union (Jacksonville, FL)

Jax Federal Credit Union is another credit union looking to help you get a fresh start. Part of the free Fresh $tart program, Jax Federal Credit Union’s second chance account requires a completion certificate from the Fresh Start Workshop which helps educate members about money management. The account has no minimum deposit or balance requirement and the $5 monthly fee is waived with a $300 monthly direct deposit. A VISA debit card is included with the account. Jax Federal Credit Union has branches in Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, Orange Park and Hilliard, Florida. You could be eligible for membership if you live, work, worship or attend school in Duval, Clay, Nassau, Baker or St. Johns Counties.

2nd Chance Checking – Heritage Community Credit Union (Rancho Cordova, CA)

For members who have a ChexSystems record, 2nd Chance Checking at Heritage Community Credit Union is a good place to start checking again. The account can be opened with $25 and has no direct deposit or minimum balance requirements. A low monthly fee applies, but you get Purchase Rewards with your VISA Check Card, free ATM access at over 28,000 CO-OP Network ATMs and a complimentary Financial Fitness consultation. Membership is available to Sacramento and Place county residents and Heritage Community Credit Union has 8 locations in those counties.

Second Chance Checking – Greater Iowa Credit Union (Ames, IA)

Second Chance Checking at Greater Iowa Credit Union is the perfect account if you’ve been turned down at other financial institutions. The account is completely free with no minimum balance, no monthly charges and no minimum deposit to open. Not to mention, transactions are unlimited. Greater Iowa Credit Union has 6 branches in Ames, Des Moines and Denison, Iowa. Click here for membership details.

Fresh Start Checking – Vantage Credit Union (Bridgeton, MO)

Have you had some issues with credit or your bank account? Are you at least 25 years old? Then Vantage Credit Union wants to help you out with their Fresh Start Checking account. You get free online banking, free bill pay, a VISA check card and there are no minimum balance requirements. There is a $12 monthly service charge, but it can be reduced with direct deposit, ACH debit and/or a monthly automatic transfer. There are some restrictions, including no ATM deposits and no overdraft protection, and e-statements are required. After 12 months of active use and no more than 6 non-sufficient fund overdrafts (as well as no non-sufficient fund overdrafts in the 3 months leading up to eligibility), you will be eligible for Basic Checking. Vantage Credit Union has 14 branches located in and serving the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan area, including Madison and St. Clair counties in Illinois. Membership details can be found here.

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