11 Credit Unions That Don’t Use ChexSystems (2024)

If you have a poor ChexSystems report, you may have trouble opening new bank accounts and accessing basic financial services. A simple solution is to explore alternative options, such as credit unions and banks that don’t review ChexSystems reports to approve new accounts.

We’ve researched extensively to provide you with a list of 8 Credit Unions that don’t use ChexSystems, all federally insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)

Explore the results of our analysis of over 150 checking account choices.

Credit Unions That Don’t Use ChexSystems

Instead of focusing on traditional banks, let’s explore credit unions that offer accessible checking accounts even to individuals with negative ChexSystems reports and bad credit history.

Following are the 8 Credit unions confirmed not to use ChexSystems reports:

PenFed Credit Union 

Established in 1935, PenFed Credit Union is the second-largest federal credit union in the United States, with over 2.9 million members and assets exceeding $35.4 billion.

According to the representatives at PenFed Credit Union, they do not rely on ChexSystems to review member accounts. Instead, they utilize FICO scores to assess checking account applications. Their Free Checking account is designed for individuals looking for a fresh start in their financial journey.

Locations: 11 states, including Virginia, Texas, and Maryland

  • Suggested account: Free Checking
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance required: $0

Additional features:

  • 24/7 digital banking options and automatic scheduled payments (auto-pay)
  • Deposit checks using mobile deposit on your phone.
  • Over 85,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
  • Availability of overdraft protection options 
  • Direct deposit funds available up to 2 days before the expected date.

Navy Federal Credit Union


Navy Federal Credit Union, founded in 1933, caters to individuals actively serving or have retired from the Department of Defence (DoD), the armed forces, the National Guard, and their families. Its account eligibility is primarily based on military service or a family relationship with a current member.

According to Navy Federal Credit Union representatives, the institution relies on Early Warning Services rather than ChexSystems reports to approve new applicants for opening accounts.

Locations: 343 physical branches across the East Coast.

  • Suggested account: Free Everyday Checking 
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance required: $0

Additional features:

  • 0.01% APY1 and 0.01% Dividend Rate 
  • Digital banking with Mobile Deposits* and Bill Pay
  • No ATM fees for in-network and CO-OP ATM transactions. 
  • $1 charge for out-of-network ATM usage.
  • Competitive certificate rates for CDs (Certificates Of Deposit)
  • Free ‘GO Prepaid Card’ and ‘Navy Federal Debit Card’

State Department Federal Credit Union

Established in 1935, the State Department Federal Credit Union (SDFCU) is open to individuals affiliated with the Department of State. SDFCU operates from its headquarters in Old Town Alexandria, VA, with six branches to serve its members.

When applying for membership, SDFCU does use Chexsystems, and there is a hard pull on the applicant’s credit. SDFCU uses Experian to pull the applicant’s credit. In the case of poor credit history, individuals can apply for their ‘Regular Share Savings Account’ instead of a checking account.

Locations: 6 branches across Virginia, Washington, D.C., and South Carolina.

  • Suggested account: Regular Savings Account
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance required: $0

Additional features:

  • Access to over 5,000 shared branches 
  • Nearly 30,000 free ATMs across the US through the CO-OP Network
  • Dividends and mobile app access w/ virtual services

Hope Credit Union

Since 1994, Hope Credit Union (Deep South focus) has helped 2 million people with $3.6B in financing. Their ‘Easy Checking’ offers second chance banking, ideal for financial newcomers, rebuilders, or ex-payday loan users. Access funds through 23 locations + 5,000+ in the Shared Branching Network.

The Credit Union informed us that they rely exclusively on ‘Experian’ and ‘TransUnion’ for their approval process and do not consider ChexSystems reports.

Locations: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

  • Suggested account: Easy Checking
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $9.95 fee, waived with a $200 minimum balance
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance required: $25

Additional features:

  • Unlimited Paperless Transactions
  • 5,000+ branch locations nationwide
  • Low non-network ATM fees at $1.50 per transaction
  • Offers individual Retirement Accounts

California Community Credit Union

Founded in 1939 and headquartered in Sacramento, California Community Credit Union (CACCU) offers their checking account, ‘New Beginnings Checking,’ designed specifically for individuals looking to re-establish their banking history.

Our team reached out to them, and according to their response, CACCU does not rely on ChexSystems for account approval. Instead, they may perform a credit check.

Individuals residing in, consistently working in, or regularly participating in worship in Sacramento, Placer, or Stanislaus County are eligible for membership.

Locations: Sacramento, Elk Grove, Modesto, and Roseville

  • Suggested account: New Beginnings Checking account
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $9.95
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance required: $0 if you apply for Regular ‘FREE’ Checking after a year.

Additional features:

  • Free Online Banking, Bill Payer. & E-statements
  • Free ATM access at over 30,000 Co-op Network ATM
  • Unlimited check-writing capabilities
  • Money Market Accounts available to earn higher dividends 


Tip: Start by applying for the New Beginnings Checking account. If rejected, apply for the New Beginnings Basic Checking account, which does not include check-writing features.

North Georgia Credit Union 


Founded in 1941 as LeTourneau Federal Credit Union, later rebranded as North Georgia Credit Union (NGCU), it expanded its membership beyond employee groups to include residents and workers in Stephens, Franklin, Hart, or Rabun counties. 

No, we do not use ChexSystems reports to approve checking accounts; instead, we pull a credit report to review for approval,” they told our team.

>> Read up on How to Get Something Off Your Credit Report

To apply for a checking account at NGCU, one must first open a standard share/savings account. Only Stephens, Franklin, Hart, and Rabun County residents or employees can open accounts at this credit union.


Locations: Toccoa, Hartwell & Lavonia

  • Suggested account: Checking account 
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $30
  • Minimum balance required: $0

Additional features:

  • No per-check fee and network ATM fees
  • Free VISA Debit Card
  • E-statements or monthly statements mailed
  • Free home banking, bill pay, direct deposit, and payroll deduction
  • Mobile check deposit through the mobile app – ‘Mobiliti’

Langley Federal Credit Union 


Langley Federal Credit Union (Langley FCU), headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, provides convenient financial services throughout the Hampton Roads region with 21 branches.

Langley FCU informed us that they prioritize a soft credit pull instead of relying on ChexSystems or Early Warning Service for new account applications.

Their dedicated second chance account called the ‘Essential Checking’ is available for residents of Hampton Roads, Surry County, Richmond-Petersburg, and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill only.

Locations: 20+ branches in Virginia.

  • Suggested account: Essential Checking
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $5 (reimbursed if the debit card is used once a month)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $20
  • Minimum balance required: $0

Additional features:

  • Online banking and bill payment
  • Debit Card with access to over 55,000 ATMs
  • Early Payday Deposits (With Direct Deposit)

Tip: Apply for the ‘Smart Checking’ with most features. If denied, go for Essential Checking, but note restrictions: no service center, ATM deposits, or mobile check deposit.


Cardinal Community Credit Union 

Cardinal Community Credit Union operates as a financial cooperative, offering various financial solutions, including personal loans, savings accounts, credit and debit cards, and online banking.

Although they use ChexSystems reports to approve all checking products, their savings accounts are opened without ChexSystems: “Just our savings accounts are opened without ChexSystems.”

The membership requirement is that you need to reside, work, worship, or attend school in Lake, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Ashtabula, Portage, Summit, Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana counties.

Locations: 7 branches in Ohio, including Mentor, Ashtabula, and Austintown.

  • Suggested account: The Savings (Share) Account 
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance required: $5

Additional features:

  • Pays dividends with a minimum $100 average daily
  • Zero Network ATM Withdrawal Fee
  • ‘Bill Pay’ for automatic and scheduled payments 
  • Several Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are available
  • Money Market Accounts available with competitive interest rates

11 Credit Unions That Do Use ChexSystems

Based on our research, certain credit unions do use ChexSystems reports to approve all their accounts. If you want to avoid ChexSystems at this point in your banking journey, you may skip the following credit unions.

Note that the credit unions listed below are excellent choices for all eligible applicants. We aren’t implying that they are unsuitable in general; rather, they may not be the best options exclusively for individuals with negative ChexSystems reports.

  1. American Airlines Credit Union
    “We run Chex Systems for all of our share and checking accounts. Certain accounts require that a specific score be met .”
  2. Staley Credit Union
    “Yes, we pull a ChexSystems report for all accounts.”
  3. America First Credit Union
    “We do use ChexSystems for all accounts.”
  4. American United Federal Credit Union
    “We do, in fact, run ChexSystems to see what checking account you qualify for.”
  5. Southwest Financial
    “Yes, we do use ChexSystems for checking accounts. Anytime we open a new account membership, we will have to use ChexSystems.”
  6. Excite Credit Union
    “All of our accounts run a ChexSystems report for approvals.”
  1. Texas Trust Credit Union
    “Yes, we do use them (ChexSystems reports) for all accounts.”
  2. Los Angeles Federal Credit Union
    “A “ChexSystems” and hard-hit on your credit will be run.”
  3. Consumers Credit Union
    “CCU does review ChexSystems information when approving new deposit accounts for new members.”
  4.  Premier America Credit Union
    “It (ChexSystems reports) is a part of our process, but we use a lot of factors in our account opening process.”
  5. Foothill Credit Union
    Yes, we only use ChexSystems reports.”

Non-ChexSystems Banks: Alternatives To Credit Unions

If Credit Unions aren’t your only option, you may consider the following conventional banks, neobanks, and fintech firms, guaranteed through our research, that don’t use ChexSystems.

PNC Bank

Locations: Available in all states except Alaska and Hawaii.

Suggested account: Foundation Checking

Monthly service fee: $5 (waived for individuals aged over 62 years)

Minimum opening deposit: $0

Minimum balance required: $0

Wells Fargo Bank

Locations: 37 states, including California, Texas and Florida. 

Suggested account: Clear Access Banking

Monthly Service Fee: $5 (waived for individuals aged 13 to 24)

Minimum opening deposit: $25

Minimum balance required: $0

FSNB

Locations: 9 states, including Oklahoma, Carolinas, and Tennessee.
Suggested account: Basic Checking

Monthly service fee: $6.50 (if balance falls below $100)

Minimum opening deposit: $5

Minimum balance required: $100 to avoid the monthly maintenance fee

Chime

Locations: Online platform; no physical branches.
Suggested account: Chime Checking Account

Monthly service fee: $0

Minimum deposit: $0

Minimum balance required: $0

>> For the complete list, check out 10 Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems Records.

What Is a Credit Union?

A credit union is a non-profit organization and a financial institution operated and owned by its members. It provides financial services such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, and investment products.

The members collectively contribute to the decision-making process, often through democratic elections for leadership roles. 

To join a credit union, you must typically meet specific membership requirements, such as working or living in a particular geographic area or being employed by a particular company. 

What are the differences between Credit Unions and Banks?

Credit unions differ from banks in ownership structure. Unlike banks owned by shareholders, credit unions are owned by their members. This translates to a focus on serving member needs rather than maximizing profits for shareholders.

Credit unions are usually smaller and more community-oriented than banks. This allows them to provide more personalized service to specific groups, such as employees of a particular company or members of a particular religious or ethnic group.

>> Learn more: Credit Unions vs. Banks: The Ultimate Guide

What Is ChexSystems: A Brief Overview

ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency specializing in tracking information about savings and checking account history. 

It gathers data on unpaid overdrafts, bounced checks, negative account balances, account closures, suspected fraud, and account applications from your closed deposit accounts. This data is used to compile a ChexSystems consumer report and ChexSystems scores that range from 100 to 899.

Banks and credit unions review ChexSystems reports to assess the risk of opening new accounts for customers.

>> Explore further in our Comprehensive Guide On ChexSystems.

ChexSystems Reports and Credit Bureau Reports: what’s the difference?

ChexSystems generates reports for screening checking account applicants by banks and credit unions. However, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, the major credit bureaus in the US, also compile reports for financial institutions.

Q. Do consumer/credit reports affect credit scores?

ChexSystems reports do not impact credit scores as they focus on checking and savings account history. Credit bureau reports do impact credit scores and center on credit history, including auto loans, personal loans, credit cards, and late payments.

>> Read up on 10 Ways to Raise Credit Score

How To Clear A ChexSystems Report? (Fix The Problem)


If you face challenges opening regular bank accounts due to negative marks on your ChexSystems report, start by getting a free copy of your report—you’re entitled to one every 12 months under federal regulations. 

Once you have your report, carefully review it for any errors or signs of fraud. If you find anything suspicious, you have the right to dispute it. You can either contact the company that reported the information or let ChexSystems handle the dispute process for you.

Next, check your report for any outstanding balances you owe to banks. If you find any, reach out to the banks directly to settle them. Once you’ve paid off the debts, ask the banks to remove the negative marks from your ChexSystems report.

>> Read our full step-by-step guide on How to Get Out of ChexSystems

What Are the Alternatives to ChexSystems?

ChexSystems is a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) in the U.S., but it is not the only one.

There are CRAs that specialize in checking and savings account history, like ChexSystems, including Early Warning Services (EWS) and Cross Check.

Then there are CRAs that specialize in credit history (Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies), which includes Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. 

Lastly, there are CRAs that specialize in check verification, such as Telecheck Services, Inc., Certegy Check Services, and Shared Check Authorization Network (SCAN

Conclusion

Opening bank accounts and accessing essential services can prove difficult once your consumer reports have negative entries. 

The immediate plan of action should be to find financial institutions that don’t use these consumer reports agencies like ChexSystems. Alternatively, explore second chance bank accounts offered by institutions that are willing to overlook past mistakes on your reports.

Accessing your money is a fundamental right, not a privilege denied by past mistakes. Take control, educate yourself, build financial literacy, and make positive changes. Every step paves the path to financial freedom. It’s time to start fresh and be free.

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Prajjwal

Prajjwal

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