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Second Chance Checking Accounts Across the U.S.

Banking, Checking Accounts
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Second chance checking accounts provide a bridge to the banking world for those who lack access. That includes nearly 17 million Americans in households without bank accounts.

Banks deny applications for new accounts partly because of applicants’ flawed banking histories. Mistakes — such as a closed bank account due to unpaid overdraft fees — can put you on a list held by consumer reporting agency ChexSystems, which makes banks less likely to approve you.

The good news is that some banks and credit unions offer so-called “second chance” checking accounts that do exactly that: give people another shot at traditional banking. The accounts don’t have all the services that come with regular checking accounts, but they can help people rebuild their banking histories.

Here’s an overview of second chance checking accounts. To learn more about where to find them at bank branches in your area, use the table below or scroll to the bottom.

NATIONWIDEREGIONAL
STATE BY STATE
AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansas
CaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware
District of ColumbiaFloridaGeorgiaHawaii
IdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaine
MarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesota
MississippiMissouriMontanaNebraska
NevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew Mexico
New YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode Island
South CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexas
UtahVermontVirginiaWashington
West VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

What is second chance checking?

Without a bank account, people tend to use prepaid debit cards or check-cashing services to make deposits or receive other traditional banking services. But these alternatives can come with costly transaction fees. They may also lack certain convenient features like online banking.

Second chance checking accounts can be a better short- and long-term option. They usually have low or no minimum balance requirements, and can be more manageable for customers not used to banking. And if you can avoid negative balances or fees, many second chance checking accounts let you upgrade to a regular checking within six months to a year.

These accounts come with more limitations than other checking accounts, though. Second chance checking accounts usually have monthly fees that can’t be waived, as well as requirements like setting up direct deposit or completing a money management class. You often can’t enroll in an overdraft program, since the point of a second chance account is to demonstrate that you can avoid overdrawing.

Although these checking accounts help improve banking history, they don’t rebuild credit. For that, consider a secured credit card.

Best second chance checking accounts

Choice accounts come with:

  • Low or no monthly fees.
  • No minimum balance requirements.
  • Services such as debit card access, online bill pay and unlimited check writing privileges — for free.
  • Few limits like daily or monthly maximum transaction amounts.

However, not all second chance checking have these features. Some charge monthly fees as high as $20 and don’t issue debit cards or checks to account holders. Check fees and requirements before applying.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best prepaid debit cards

Where to find second chance banking

Although most major banks don’t offer second chance checking, many community banks and credit unions have them under various names, such as Opportunity Checking and Fresh Start Checking. Check the list below to find one near you.

If there isn’t one, see if your community participates in a Bank On program. This is an initiative many communities have joined that lets city governments and local banks work together to serve those who are trying to get back in the banking system. Another option is to consider a prepaid debit card with robust services and few fees.

Second chance checking accounts

Financial institutionAccountLocations

Nationwide [Back to table]

Green Dot BankGoBankOnline and at Wal-Mart stores
Wells FargoOpportunity Checking40 states and DC

Regional []

Appalachian Community Federal Credit UnionFresh Start CheckingKY, TN, VA
Bank of the OzarksPathway CheckingAL, AR, CA, FL, GA, NC, NY, SC, TX
BBVA CompassEasy CheckingAL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, NM, TX
Centennial BankOpportunity 100 CheckingAL, AR, FL
City National BankBounce Back CheckingKY, OH, VA, WV
CommonWealth One Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance CheckingDC, MD, PA, VA
Corporate America Family Credit UnionFresh Start CheckingAZ, CA, CT, GA, IL, KS, NC, OH, PA, TX, VA
Energy One Federal Credit UnionFresh Start CheckingCA, GA, OK, TX
Farmers and Merchants State BankClean Start CheckingIN, MI, OH
GenFed FinancialNew Start CheckingIL, IN, OH
HomeStreet BankBank On CheckingAZ, CA, HI, ID, OR, UT, WA
Hope Credit UnionEasy CheckingAR, LA, MS, TN
InTouch Credit UnionFresh Start CheckingMI, NV, TN, TX, VA
Landmark BankRebound CheckingMO, OK, TX
MainSource BankFresh Start CheckingIL, IN, KY, OH
OneUnited BankU2 CheckingCA, FL, MA
Park Community Credit UnionFresh Start CheckingAL, IN, KY
PNC BankFoundation CheckingNot advertised, but available in AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, VA, WI, WV
Premier BankStartFresh CheckingDC, MD, VA, WV
Republic BankChecking BuilderFL, IN, KY, OH, TN
Staley Credit UnionRenew CheckingIL, IN, TN
Webster BankOpportunity CheckingCT, NY, RI
Western Federal Credit UnionRight Start CheckingAR, CA, CO, IN, KY, MI, MS, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV
Woodforest National BankSecond Chance CheckingAL, FL, GA, KY, IL, LA, MD, MS, NC, NY, OH, PA, SC, TX, VA, WV

Alabama []

Alabama Credit UnionOn-Track CheckingAlso in FL
Avadian Credit Unione-Checking
Azalea City Credit UnionOpportunity Draft
Community Bank & TrustSecond Slice CheckingAlso in GA
Family Security Credit UnionGive Me a Break Checking
First National BankCredit Builder AccountAlso in TN
Guardian Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
United BankGateway CheckingAlso in FL
West Alabama BankFresh Start Checking

Alaska []

True North Federal Credit UnionTrue Options Checking

Arizona []

Alhambra Credit UnionBasic Checking
Bank of ArizonaOpportunity Checking
Banner Federal Credit UnionOpportunity Checking
Canyon State Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
MariSol Federal Credit UnionBasic Checking
Pima Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
TruWest Credit UnionOpportunity CheckingAlso in TX
Tucson Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Tucson Old Pueblo Credit UnionMission Checking

Arkansas []

Bank of ArkansasOpportunity Checking
Diamond BankEncore Checking
Fairfield Community Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Focus BankFresh Start CheckingAlso in MO
Red River Credit UnionFresh Start CheckingAlso in TX
River Valley Community Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking

California []

Alliance Credit UnionFresh Start CheckingAlso in NC
Allied Healthcare Federal Credit UnionHealthy Start Checking
Alta Vista Credit UnionOpportunity Checking
American United Federal Credit UnionFreshStart CheckingAlso in UT
E-Central Credit UnionE-Builder Checking
Foothill Credit UnionRebound Checking
Heritage Community Credit Union2nd Chance Checking
Kaiperm North Bay Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Kern Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Los Angeles Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Mid Cities Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
North County Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Pacific Community Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Premier America Credit UnionFresh Start CheckingAlso in TX
Priority One Credit UnionNew Leaf Checking
University Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Ventura County Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking

Colorado []

Colorado State Bank and TrustOpportunity Checking
Liberty Savings BankClean Slate CheckingAlso in FL
Metrum Community Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
NuVista Federal Credit Union2nd Chance Checking

Connecticut []

Eastern Savings BankSecond Chance Checking
Finex Credit UnionRe-Start Checking
Hartford Federal Credit Union2nd Chance Checking
Tobacco Valley Teachers Federal Credit UnionmyChance Checking (Draft)

Delaware []

WSFS BankFresh Start Checking

District of Columbia []

No accounts found at D.C.-based financial institutions -- Check regional banks for DC locations

Florida []

1st National Bank of South FloridaNew Opportunity Checking
Alabama Credit UnionOn-Track CheckingAlso in AL
Axiom BankOpportunity Checking
CenterState BankFresh Start Checking
Central Credit Union of FloridaFresh Start Checking
City County Employees Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Community First Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Compass Financial Federal Credit UnionRestart Checking
First American BankFresh Start CheckingAlso in IL
First Florida Credit UnionSmart Track Checking
Gold Coast Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Gulf Winds Federal Credit UnionMyOpportunity Checking
Jax Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
JetStream Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance CheckingAlso in Puerto Rico
Liberty Savings BankClean Slate CheckingAlso in CO
McCoy Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
MembersFirst Credit Union of FloridaSecond Chance Checking
Okaloosa County Teachers Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
One South BankOpportunity Checking
Priority One Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
San Antonio Citizens Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
South Florida Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking

Georgia []

Atlanta Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Community Bank & Trust ("Red Apple")Second Slice CheckingAlso in AL
Doco Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Excel Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Georgia United Credit UnionRestart Checking
Georgia's Own Credit UnionResolution Checking
Health Center Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Members United Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Peach State Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking

Hawaii []

No accounts found at state-based financial institutions -- Check regional banks for HI locations

Idaho []

Scenic Falls Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking

Illinois []

Catholic & Community Credit UnionRebound Checking
First American BankFresh Start CheckingAlso in FL
First Eagle BankFresh Start Checking
First National Bank and Trust CompanyRenew CheckingAlso in WI
Great Lakes Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Marquette BankReStart Checking
Prairieland Federal Credit UnionNot Your Normal Checking2
Rock Valley Credit UnionBasic Checking

Indiana []

Centra Credit UnionOpportunity Checking
Diamond Valley Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Evansville Teachers Federal Credit UnionET Opportunity CheckingAlso in KY
Heritage Federal Credit Union2nd Chance Checking
Horizon BankFresh Start CheckingAlso in MI
Interra Credit UnionOpportunity Checking
One Vision Federal Credit UnionRising Star Checking
Regional Federal Credit UnionFirst Step Checking
Your Community BankNew Opportunity CheckingAlso in KY

Iowa []

Collins Community Credit UnionTake2 Checking
Federation BankFresh Start Checking
Greater Iowa Credit UnionSecond-chance Checking
North Iowa Community Credit UnionFresh Start Debit

Kansas []

Central National BankSecond Chance CheckingAlso in NE
United Consumers Credit UnionSecond Chance CheckingAlso in MO
National Bank of Kansas CityFreshStart CheckingAlso in MO

Kentucky []

C-Plant Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance CheckingAccount is offered but not advertised.
The Cecilian BankChoice Opportunity Checking
Central BankClean Start Checking
Citizens Union BankSecond Chance Checking
Evansville Teachers Federal Credit UnionET Opportunity CheckingAlso in IN
First United Bank & Trust CompanyFresh Start Checking
FNB BankSecond Chance Checking
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union2nd Chance Checking
Home Federal BankSquare One CheckingAlso in TN
Your Community BankNew Opportunity CheckingAlso in IN

Louisiana []

Neighbors Federal Credit UnionBasic Checking
Pelican State Credit UnionHorizon Checking
Southwest Louisiana Credit UnionFresh Start Checking

Maine []

Five County Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking

Maryland []

Central Credit Union of MarylandRenew Checking
Clear Mountain BankStartFresh CheckingAlso in WV
Market USA Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Security Plus Federal Credit UnionRevive Checking

Massachusetts []

Alden Credit UnionNo Boundaries Checking
Athol Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Tremont Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Washington Savings BankRewards Card Checking

Michigan []

Clarkston Brandon Community Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Credit Union OneBasic Checking
Horizon BankFresh Start CheckingAlso in IN
Marshall Community Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Members First Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Michigan State University Federal Credit UnionRebuild Checking

Minnesota []

Minnesota Valley Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Peoples Community Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Westconsin Credit UnionFoundations CheckingAlso in WI

Mississippi []

Citizens National BankClean Slate Checking
Gulf Coast Community Credit UnionNew Chance Checking
Magnolia Federal Credit UnionOpportunity Checking
MUNA Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking

Missouri []

Alliance Credit UnionFreshStart Checking
Bank of Kansas CityOpportunity Checking
The Bank of MissouriSelect 2 Checking
Columbia Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Electro Savings Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
First State Community BankNew Opportunity Checking
Focus BankFresh Start CheckingAlso in AR
Health Care Family Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Montgomery BankMontgomery New Start Checking
NBKC Bank (National Bank of Kansas City)FreshStart CheckingAlso in KS
St. Johns BankFresh Start Checking
St. Louis Community Credit UnionFreedom Checking
Town & Country BankOpportunity Checking
United Consumers Credit UnionSecond Chance CheckingAlso in KS
United Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Vantage Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Wood & Huston BankStartFresh Checking

Montana []

Valley Federal Credit UnionOpportunity CheckingAlso in WY

Nebraska

Central National BankSecond Chance CheckingAlso in KS
Western Heritage Credit UnionSimple and Free Checking

Nevada []

Clark County Credit UnionCheckAgain Checking
One Nevada Credit UnionNew Start Checking
WestStar Credit UnionFresh Start Checking

New Hampshire []

No accounts found at state-based financial institutions -- Check regional banks for NH locations

New Jersey []

Atlantic Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Credit Union of New JerseyRight Turn Checking
Jersey Shore Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
United Teletech Financial Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking

New Mexico []

Bank of AlbuquerqueOpportunity Checking
Lea County State BankSecond Chance Checking

New York []

Alternatives Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Financial Trust Federal Credit Union2nd Chance Checking
Fulton Savings BankNew Opportunity Checking
Genesee Valley Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Jeff BankFresh Start Checking
UFirst Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking

North Carolina []

American Partners Federal Credit UnionEZ 4 U Checking
Charlotte Metro Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking

North Dakota []

No accounts found at state-based financial institutions -- Check national banks

Ohio []

Buckeye State Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Chaco Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Cheviot Savings BankClean Slate Personal Checking
Eaton Family Credit Union, Inc.2nd Chance Checking
Hopewell Federal Credit UnionRebound Checking
IHECU (International Harvester Employee Credit Union, Inc.)Fresh Start Checking
Kemba Financial Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Members Trust Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Sun Federal Credit UnionFresh Start CheckingAlso in PA
Superior Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking

Oklahoma []

Allegiance Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Bank of OklahomaOpportunity Checking
Citizens Bank of EdmondFresh Start Checking
Oklahoma Educators Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Oklahoma Employees Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
TTCU The Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Weokie (Credit Union)Second Chance Checking
Western Sun Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking

Oregon []

Point West Credit UnionFresh Start Checking

Pennsylvania []

Allegent Community Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Erie Community Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Sun Federal Credit UnionFresh Start CheckingAlso in OH
Utilities Employees Credit UnionAdvantages Green Light Checking
West Branch Valley Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking

Rhode Island []

No accounts found at state-based financial institutions

South Carolina []

Carolina Collegiate Federal Credit UnionRebound Checking
Carolina Trust Federal Credit UnionEncore Checking
GAFCU (Greater Abbeville Federal Credit Union)Fresh Start Checking
Vital Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking

South Dakota []

No accounts found at state-based financial institutions

Tennessee []

First National BankCredit Builder AccountAlso in AL
Greater Eastern Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Holston Methodist Federal Credit UnionSecond-chance Checking
Home Federal BankSquare One CheckingAlso in KY
Select Seven Credit UnionSecond Chance Sharedraft Checking

Texas []

Abilene Teachers Federal Credit UnionRestart Checking
Air Force Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Allied Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
American Airlines Credit UnionAscend Checking
Associated Credit Union of Texas180 Checking
Bank of TexasOpportunity Checking
Baptist Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Chocolate Bayou Community Federal Credit UnionClean Slate Checking
First Service Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Houston Metropolitan Federal Credit UnionFreedom-2nd Chance Checking
Kelly Community Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Las Colinas Federal Credit Union2nd Chance Checking
MemberSource Credit UnionSelect Checking
Members Trust Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Memorial Credit UnionNew Path Checking
Nascoga Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Neighborhood Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
North East Texas Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Peoples BankSecond Chance Checking
Postel Family Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Premier America Credit UnionFresh Start CheckingAlso in CA
Prestige Community Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Red River Credit UnionFresh Start CheckingAlso in AR
Rio BankFresh Start Checking
Select Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Southside BankNext Checking
Tarrant County's Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Texas People Federal Credit UnionOpportunity Checking
TruWest Credit UnionOpportunity CheckingAlso in AZ
United Heritage Credit UnionChoice Checking
Unity One Credit UnionClean Start Checking
Velocity Credit UnionAccess Checking

Utah []

American United Federal Credit UnionFreshStart CheckingAlso in CA
Cyprus Credit UnionFresh Start Checking

Vermont []

No accounts found at state-based financial institutions

Virginia []

Healthcare Systems Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Checking
Member One Federal Credit UnionSmart Choice Checking
PortAlliance Federal Credit UnionSmart Choice Checking
Central Virginia Federal Credit UnionFresh Start

Washington []

MountainCrest Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Salal Credit UnionPathway CheckingAccount is offered but not advertised.

West Virginia []

Clear Mountain BankStartFresh CheckingAlso in MD
West Virginia Federal Credit UnionFresh Start Checking

Wisconsin []

Brewery Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Dane County Credit UnionRelationship Builder Checking
Educators Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
First National Bank and Trust CompanyRenew CheckingAlso in IL
Schneider Community Credit UnionFresh Start Checking
Tomahawk Community BankFresh Start Checking

Wyoming []

Greater Wyoming Federal Credit UnionFreshStart Checking
WyHy Federal Credit UnionSecond Chance Share Draft Checking
WYO Central Federal Credit Union2nd Chance Checking
Valley Federal Credit UnionOpportunity CheckingAlso in MT

Did we leave your financial institution off this list? Please let us know.

Spencer Tierney is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: spencer@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @SpencerNerd.

This article was updated on June 20, 2016. It was originally published May 8, 2012.