Building good credit with student debts to pay off and daily expenses to think about can be challenging because you may have limited options.
Past financial mistakes may have prevented you from opening traditional bank accounts. Now that you’re trying to build your savings and credit, what do you do?
Thankfully, various options can help you open a new bank account and improve your credit score. So it's important not to give up just because you can’t apply for some traditional options.
We want to help, so we've gathered a list of excellent no-credit-check bank account options, checked their official sites, and verified how the process goes.
We’ve also discovered the most significant benefit of having a bank account to your credit when you’re dealing with past financial problems. The items in this list are great options, so find out what’s best for your needs.
What are the best banks with no credit checks?
If you have a limited or poor credit history, you may find it challenging to open a new bank account because some banks might have blacklisted you. However, don’t let this discourage you. Even with bad credit, you can open a bank account through second-chance banking options.
Here are some banks that don’t run credit checks or disqualify based solely on credit scores:
Founded by Stuart Sopp in 2015, Current is a mobile banking app that claims to help users save money in clever ways. Its current services are supported by Choice Financial Group, Metropolitan Commercial Bank, and Members FDIC.
The online banking app also issues a Current Visa Debit Card.
Why is it a good choice for you? You can open a banking account online for free.
Current has no opening deposit, no credit check, zero monthly fees, and no maintaining balance required.
Signing up takes less than two minutes, and you can do it through the website. You only need to provide the following information for identity verification:
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- US residential address (not P.O. box)
- A smartphone for text messages
If you want to open a basic bank account online, we’ve found that Chime is also a worthy choice. It’s one of the best checking accounts for individuals with bad credit.
Although Chime primarily operates online, it has over 60,000 accessible ATMs. This online banking app is a popular option among people trying to build or fix their credit.
Moreover, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures your Chime accounts for up to $250,000 in deposits.
Like Current, you don’t need to worry about a minimum balance requirement when opening an account. It also has no service or overdraft fees, but you must open a Chime checking account before opening a savings account.
Make sure to provide the following details when applying for a Chime Checking Account on the website:
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Email and password
- First and last name
Signing up only takes less than five minutes of your time, but you need to wait for Chime to review and verify your data before you can use the app.
If you’re looking for bank accounts for bad credit, Sable is another good option. This banking platform allows you to own a Mastercard debit card that pays 1% cashback.
However, this is only applicable to certain purchases at Amazon, Spotify, Netflix, Uber, and Hulu, among others.
You can also use the Sable bank account on various payment platforms, including Google Pay and Apple Pay.
There’s no minimum deposit or balance, and you never have to pay monthly fees or other hidden charges.
To apply for a Sable account, go to the website and provide your SSN. However, if you don’t have an SSN, don’t worry. Instead, you can submit the following:
- Your passport
- Proof of your U.S. address
- U.S. visa or Non-Tourist I94 entry of your US visit
Based in San Francisco, SoFi is an online personal finance company that offers refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, and banking through mobile apps and desktop browsers.
You don’t need to worry about monthly fees, deposits, and maintaining balances. All you need to do is to visit its website to sign up, providing the following:
- Legal name
- Date of birth
- Physical address
5. Capital One
If you’re looking for a bank that doesn’t use ChexSystems to look at your credit score, Capital One may not be the best option. However, it assures its users that it also looks at other factors and not just your credit.
To make it accessible, you don’t need to pay monthly fees or prepare for deposits. Capital One also has more than 39,000 ATMs available, which can be convenient if you want to withdraw money.
All you need to do is apply online right from your chosen device. Make sure to prepare the following:
- Two IDs (Driver’s license, SS card, passport, birth certificate)
- Proof of address (Utility bills, other ID cards)
Woodforest is a national bank account with approximately 747 branch locations across 17 states, so you may apply for this no-credit-check bank account near your area.
It allows you to open a bank account without undergoing a credit check, so you don’t have to worry if you have poor credit.
The catch is that you must pay a monthly fee of $9.95 for direct deposit. Paper statements also cost $3, but you can opt for e-statements for free.
You’ll also need to provide a minimum deposit of $25, but you don’t have to maintain your balance.
You can’t apply for a Woodforest account online—you must call the toll-free number at 1 (877) 968-7962 or visit a branch in person. You’ll need to fill out an application, and you must prepare the following:
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license
- Money for the minimum opening deposit ($25)
If you’re wondering what bank is the easiest to get a checking account, this is it.
Varo is an online bank that provides instant online checking accounts for bad credit. You don’t have to worry about credit checks, deposits, and hidden fees.
Those who wish to apply can simply download the Varo Bank app and sign up. You can also do so via the website.
To make your application more manageable, however, have the following on hand:
- Personal identification (ID cards)
If you want to own a traditional checking account but remain unqualified, PNC offers the Foundation Checking account. However, you must first apply for one of its virtual wallet accounts.
You also must consider the $5 monthly service charge and the $25 minimum opening deposit.
You can apply for a PNC account online, but you need to meet the following requirements:
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- A driver’s license, state-issued ID, or military ID
- Valid US address
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth
- Former mailing address(es)
Why is it important to have a bank account?
Apart from having a place to store your money safely, a basic bank account also allows you to enjoy the following benefits:
Improved credit score
By opening a bank account, you can improve your credit score. You can do so by setting up regular Direct Debits, as well as paying your credit card bills on time.
If you’re juggling multiple bills, you can pay your bills easily through online banking or mobile apps.
Transferring money also only takes a few clicks. If you want to use your money in the real world, you can also opt out of ATMs–your debit card will be an accepted form of payment.
Better chances to save money
Although it can be tempting to just keep your money in piggy banks, a bank can help you earn interest and, therefore, grow your money over time. However, it’s essential to choose your bank carefully to avoid paying unfair fees.
What should you look for in a bank when you have bad credit?
Having a bad credit history should never hinder you from owning a bank account, but it’s essential to choose your banks wisely. Here are the top factors to consider:
You need to take balance requirements into account as this will determine how flexible you can be with your money. A high balance requirement restricts how much money you’re allowed to withdraw. Anything lower than the required amount can lead to penalties.
And that’s the frustrating part—it’s your hard-earned money, so why should you be restricted? To avoid such scenarios, choose a bank that won’t require you to maintain a balance.
Traditional banks may end up charging people with poor credit histories higher fees, including overdraft charges that can make your bank account unnecessarily expensive.
You may also have to pay transaction fees just to transfer or pay bills. That said, it’s crucial to research user reviews carefully before opening an account.
Bank interest rates are the rate you receive on the money deposited or the credit card or loan rates you pay. The ideal thing to get the best deal is to find a bank that pays higher-than-average interest on your deposits.
As a bonus, they may charge you lower-than-average interest on your debts. An excellent deposit interest can be up to 5% annually, while a reasonable debt interest rate can be as low as 1%.
Online banking features
You may have your debit card to pay for store transactions, but online banking can take convenience up a notch. You can use it to pay bills online, transfer money from bank to bank, and monitor your money in real-time.
How can you improve your credit rating to get a better bank account?
We all start somewhere. You may currently have a bank account which isn’t ideal, but you can use it as an opportunity to build better credit. Here’s how:
Pay your bills on time
You may have a bank account to help boost your credit, but your capacity to pay your bills on time can make or break your credit. All strategies to improve your credit will be ineffective if you fail to pay your rent, loans, and utility dues.
Late payments can reflect on your credit report—and can stay there for an extended period. If you end up missing a payment beyond 30 days, call your creditor as soon as you can.
Pay for what’s due and ask if they can consider not reporting the missed payment to ensure your credit score isn’t affected.
But even if they don’t agree, make sure to pay—every time you fail to make a payment, your credit score suffers.
Pay credit card balances strategically
Using a credit card may seem straightforward, but there’s a way to run things more strategically. Your credit limit, for example, comes with a portion intended for credit utilization. This means that it’s best to use less than 30% of your limit; the lower, the better.
But why is this important? You want to ensure your balance is low when your card provider reports back to the credit bureaus.
A low balance means you’ll have a good credit score, so pay in full before the billing cycle ends. If it isn’t possible, pay several times throughout the month to keep your balance low.
Report any credit report errors
You may be doing everything right, but sometimes the people in charge of your credit scores can make mistakes. This could pull your score down significantly, so you must dispute any errors as soon as possible.
To do so, get copies of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus via AnnualCreditReport.com. You should check for common errors like:
- Payments wrongfully marked late
- Suspicious credit activity that isn’t yours
- Irrelevant information
As you work toward a sound financial future, it’s essential to understand why you need to have a bank account by your side. It improves your credit score, makes transactions more convenient, and allows you to take better care of your money.
And even with bad credit, you deserve to own an account to help you start anew. Keep the list of banks and tips provided here—soon, you’ll be reaping the benefits.