February 26, 2024

9 Best Second Chance Bank Accounts of July 2023

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If a bank previously closed your account due to a negative bank account history, you might not be able to open a bank account at some financial institutions.

Select financial institutions, however, provide second chance banking so you still have access to financial services regardless of what happened in your past. We’ve reviewed over a dozen institutions and here are our picks for the best checking accounts for people who have a negative banking history.

Best Second Chance Bank Accounts

All of the financial institutions on our list are protected by FDIC or NCUA insurance. Although First Republic Bank was recently shut down, bear in mind your money is safe at a federally insured financial institution. When a financial institution is federally insured, up to $250,000 per depositor is secure in a bank account.

Compare Second Chance Bank Accounts

Chime Checking Account

4/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee

Chime Checking Account

4/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee


Chime Checking Account

Details


Fees

no monthly service fee


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Pros & Cons
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Chime Savings Account

4.25/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

2.00%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee

Chime Savings Account

4.25/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

2.00%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee


Chime Savings Account

Details


Fees

no monthly service fee


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

2.00%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Pros & Cons
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Varo Bank Varo Bank Account

Varo Bank Account

4.25/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee

Varo Bank Varo Bank Account

Varo Bank Account

4.25/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee


Varo Bank Account

Details


Fees

no monthly service fee


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Pros & Cons
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Varo Bank Varo Savings Account

Varo Savings Account

4.75/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3.00% to 5.00%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee

Varo Bank Varo Savings Account

Varo Savings Account

4.75/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3.00% to 5.00%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee


Varo Savings Account

Details


Fees

no monthly service fee


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3.00% to 5.00%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Pros & Cons
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Capital One Capital One 360 Checking®

Capital One 360 Checking®

4.5/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.10%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee

Capital One Capital One 360 Checking®

Capital One 360 Checking®

4.5/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.10%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee


Capital One 360 Checking®

Details


Fees

no monthly service fee


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.10%


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Pros & Cons
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SoFi Checking and Savings

4.25/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

up to 4.40% with direct deposit


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

$0 monthly service fees

SoFi Checking and Savings

4.25/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

up to 4.40% with direct deposit


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

$0 monthly service fees


SoFi Checking and Savings

SoFi Checking and Savings is a great account option if you don’t mind keeping your savings and checking in one account.

Details


Fees

$0 monthly service fees


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

up to 4.40% with direct deposit

SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 4.40% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for the 4.40% APY for savings. Members without direct deposit will earn up to 1.20% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 7/11/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at

Show more


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Pros & Cons
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Dora Financial Dora Financial Everyday Checking Account

Dora Financial Everyday Checking Account

4/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee

Dora Financial Dora Financial Everyday Checking Account

Dora Financial Everyday Checking Account

4/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0


Fees

no monthly service fee

Dora, FDIC Insured Account


Dora Financial Everyday Checking Account

Details


Fees

no monthly service fee


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Pros & Cons
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Dave Spending Account

4/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Dave Spending Account

4/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Dave, FDIC Insured Account


Dave Spending Account

Details


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$0

Pros & Cons
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The First Bank TheFirst Step Checking

TheFirst Step Checking

4/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$15


Fees

$3 monthly service fee

The First Bank TheFirst Step Checking

TheFirst Step Checking

4/5

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Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$15


Fees

$3 monthly service fee

The First Bank, Member FDIC


TheFirst Step Checking

Details


Fees

$3 monthly service fee


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

$15

Pros & Cons
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Expert Advice on Choosing the Best Bank Account

To learn more about what makes a good bank or credit union and how to choose the best fit, four experts weighed in:

PFI Banking Expert Panel that includes: Tania Brown, Roger Ma, Sophia Acevedo, and Mykail James

Insider



Some second chance bank accounts may not have checks or a debit card, so you can avoid overdrawing from an account. Also check to see if the bank lets you upgrade to a regular bank account for maintaining a positive balance on a second chance bank account for a certain period of time.

Other than that, the things you should look for in a second-chance bank account are about the same as any other bank account:

  • Are you clear on the fees, and whether you can waive them?
  • Are you confident in bank security, and how accessible your money is in-person or online?
  • Is the bank FDIC-insured?
  • How easy is it to get ahold of customer service, and when are they available?
  • How easy is it to transfer money in and out of your account?

Why Trust Us: How We Chose the Best Second Chance Bank Accounts

At Personal Finance Insider, our goal is to create useful content that helps you make good decisions about your money. We recognize every person has distinct preferences, so we provide ample options to help you find the most suitable financial product or account.

We research extensively to make sure you know the standout features and limitations of a financial institution.

First, we researched to find financial institutions that offered second chance bank accounts. We looked at our Hispanic American-owned banks and credit unions state guide, our Black-owned banks and credit unions state guide, best banks of 2023 guide, and CDFI reviews to compile a list of institutions to consider. 

Then, we reviewed second chance bank accounts to find the most-well rounded banking options. Our top picks have low minimum opening deposits and low monthly services fees. Several of our favorite accounts can be easily opened from anywhere in the US.

See our full ratings methodology for checking, business checking, savings, and money market accounts »

Second Chance Bank Accounts: Frequently Asked Questions

A second chance bank account is a unique type of bank account that doesn’t review a person’s past banking history.

The best second chance bank account for you will depend on your preferences and where you live. Second chance bank accounts are only available at some banks and credit unions. If you’d like to open a second chance bank account with a brick-and-mortar bank, you might consider looking at regional banks, CDFIs, or minority depository institutions. If you prefer bank accounts with budgeting tools or strong mobile and online banking, some online banking platforms have second chance bank accounts.

Online institutions usually offer second chance bank accounts that don’t allow you to overdraw from your bank account. Second chance bank accounts at brick-and-mortar banks may have limited banking features to avoid potential bank fees. For example, some accounts will not come with checks or debit cards, so they’re a bit easier to manage.

Second Chance Bank Account Reviews

Chime Checking and Savings Account

Why both stand out: The Chime Checking Account and Chime Savings Account do not require a credit check or review by ChexSystems.

Chime also stands out because it doesn’t charge monthly service fees, and you may open an online account from anywhere in the US.

What to look out for: Before you open a savings account, you’re required to open a checking account. This is also an online-only account, so you’ll have to be comfortable with online banking. 

Chime Bank Review

Varo Bank and Savings Account

Why both stand out: Varo doesn’t use ChexSystems to review your bank account history. You also don’t need to worry about a credit check. 

The Varo Bank Account, which is the bank’s version of a checking account, is a great choice if you’re looking for a second chance bank account with zero monthly service fees. It also offers early direct deposit.

At Varo, you could also get a high-yield savings account with a competitive interest rate. The Varo Savings Account pays 5.00% APY on up to $5,000 if you receive direct deposits of $1,000 each month and keep a positive balance in the Varo Bank Account and Savings Account. 

What to look out for: To qualify for the the Varo Savings Account, you must open the Varo Bank Account first. Varo is also an online-only financial institution so it doesn’t have physical branches. 

Varo Bank Review

Capital One 360 Checking

Why it stands out: Capital One 360 doesn’t use ChexSystems to assess your risk as a consumer when opening a bank account.

Capital One 360 Checking® is notably one of our top picks best checking accounts guide. It doesn’t charge monthly service fees, foreign transaction fees, or overdraft fees. You’ll also have access to 70,000 surcharge-free ATMs through the Capital One, MoneyPass, and AllPoint ATM networks.

At Capital One, you’ll also be able to open a high-yield savings account and CDs without having to worry about ChexSystems.

What to look out for: Capital One 360 Checking Accounts automatically decline overdrafts if you don’t choose an overdraft service. The bank also charges a $2 fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.

Capital One 360 Bank Review

SoFi Checking and Savings

Why it stands out: SoFi doesn’t use ChexSystems to see if you qualify for SoFi Checking and Savings. You also might like this account if you’re comfortable maintaining your checking and savings in one account. 

SoFi is offering a cash bonus of up to $250. To qualify for the bonus, you’ll need to open an account by December 31, 2023. To earn a $50 cash bonus, you have to receive $1,000 and $4,999.99 in qualifying direct deposits during the first 30 days of opening an account. To earn a $250 cash bonus, you must receive over $5,000.

What to look out for: The account works best if you set up a direct deposit. That way, you’ll qualify for the cash bonus and the highest-tier interest rate on savings account balances.

SoFi Bank Review

Dora Financial Everyday Checking Account

Why it stands out: The Dora Financial Everyday Checking Account is Bank On certified, which means it meets the program’s requirements of low costs and low fees. It’s a great option if you’d like to open an online account with a $0.

Dora Financial may also stand out if you primarily speak Spanish. The platform’s mobile app is available in English and Spanish.

What to look out for: Customer support may be limited since it’s only available through the platform’s mobile app or email. If you prefer telephone customer support, you might consider other accounts. 

Doral Financial Review

Dave Spending Account

Why it stands out: Dave is a mobile fintech platform with a bank account and financial tools for building your credit and financial history. 

You might like the Dave Spending Account if you’re searching for a banking option with budgeting features and rewards. You may set up individual personal finance goals or keep track of how much you spend in a specific category by creating a budget. Dave also has a unique feature called Dave Side Hustle. You can find remote work opportunities by setting up a profile through the app.

What to look out for: There’s a $1 monthly membership fee to use the Dave mobile app. If you don’t want to deal with monthly fees, you might consider choosing one of our other top picks.

Dave Spending Account Review

The First Bank First Step Checking 

Why it stands out: The First Bank is one of the largest community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to offer a second chance bank account in multiple states. First Step Checking might be ideal if you’d like to open an account with a brick-and-mortar bank.

Compared to other second chance bank accounts at brick-and-mortar financial institutions, it has a low monthly service fee. 

What to look out for: The First Bank only serves residents in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana. The account also doesn’t include checks. You’ll need to upgrade to a traditional checking account after six months to have access to check writing.

The First Bank Review

Other Second Chance Bank Accounts That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • Carver State Bank: Carver State Bank is a Black-owned bank with a second chance checking account and a first-time checking account. However, the bank only serves residents in Savannah, Georgia.
  • Citizens National Bank: Citizens National Bank is a community development financial institution. The bank’s CleanSlate Program lets you open a second chance checking and savings account, but you’re eligible only if you live in Mississippi. 
  • Commonwealth National Bank: This Black-owned bank might be a good option if you live in Mobile, Alabama. There’s an $8.95 monthly service fee on the second chance checking account that can’t be waived, though. 
  • First Independence Bank: First Independence Bank is a Black-owned bank in Michigan. The bank’s second chance checking account is only accessible if you live in Detroit and Clinton Township.
  • First Imperial Credit Union: The Hispanic American-led credit union’s Opportunity Checking Account is available to anyone who struggles to open a traditional checking account. You’ll be eligible for the account if you or a family member live in specific areas in Southern California.
  • GECU: GECU is a Hispanic American-led credit union with 12 branches in El Paso, Texas. You may like the bank’s second chance checking account if you’d like an account with a low minimum opening deposit, but bear in mind the second chance checking account has a $15 monthly service fee.
  • Guadalupe Credit Union: This Hispanic American-led bank might be worthwhile if you want to open a second chance checking account with zero minimum balance requirements. To qualify for membership at Guadalupe Credit Union, you or a family member must live in a specific New Mexico county. 
  • Hope Credit Union: Hope Credit Union is a Black-owned credit union, and it might be worth looking into if you live in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. There’s a $9.95 monthly service fee with the bank’s second chance checking account, though. 
  • OneUnited Bank: OneUnited Bank is the largest Black-owned bank in the US and it offers online accounts. The bank’s second chance checking account has a low minimum opening deposit, but there’s a monthly service fee of over $5 if you don’t meet certain requirements. 
  • Rio Bank: Rio Bank is a Hispanic American-led bank in Texas. It only serves a few cities in Texas, while some of our top picks are more available in more areas. 
  • River City Federal Credit Union: This Hispanic American-led credit union could be a decent choice if you’d like to open a second chance checking account with a debit card. To qualify for the credit union, you must live, work, or go to school in Bexar County, Texas.
  • St. Louis Community Credit Union: St. Louis Community Credit Union is a Black-led financial institution with 17 branches in Missouri. You might find the bank’s second chance checking account appealing if you’d like a bank account with checks and a debit card. To open an account, you must meet the bank’s membership requirements. 
  • Sun Community Federal Credit Union: You might like Sun Community Credit Union if you’d like to open a second chance bank account and live, work, or volunteer in Imperial or Coachella Valley, California. If you don’t live in the area, you can’t become a member of the credit union. 
  • Transit Employees Federal Credit Union: TEFCU is a minority-led credit union that might be worth exploring if you live in Virginia and Washington, DC. You’ll need to meet the credit union’s membership requirements to open a second chance bank account, though.
  • Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo has the most branches in most US states, but its trustworthiness rating is lower than some of our top picks. The bank’s second chance checking account also requires a $5 monthly service fee.
  • Woodforest: Woodforest has 17 branches on the East Coast. The bank’s second chance checking account has a low minimum opening deposit, but there’s a $9.95 to $11.95 monthly service fee, depending on whether you receive a monthly direct deposit or not.

Bank Trustworthiness and BBB Ratings

The Better Business Bureau assesses businesses based on responses to customer complaints, honesty in advertising, and transparency about business practices.

Below are the BBB ratings of our favorite banking options. Dora Financial hasn’t been rated by the BBB, yet. Hence, we used the BBB rating of USAlliance Financial for Dora Financial since the Dora Financial Everyday Checking Account is federally insured through USAlliance Financial. 

Varo received an A rating and Dave has a B rating because the two companies have received a high volume of customer complaints on the BBB website.

Chime received an F rating because it has received a high volume of complaints on the BBB website, failed to respond to several of them, and taken a long time to respond.

USAlliance Financial received a D- rating because it has failed to respond to five customer complaints.

Capital One and Chime have been involved in a recent public controversies

In 2021, Chime was involved in a settlement with the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation. The platform used the URL “Chimebank.com” and the words “bank” and “banking” but Chime isn’t licensed as a bank. Chime is a banking platform, and is insured by a bank.

Capital One paid $80 million in a settlement after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency stated that the bank was partially responsible for a 2019 data breach in which a hacker accessed over 100 million credit card applications. The OCC said Capital One’s security was inefficient at the time.

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