Fresh Start Checking Account

Get a Second Chance Checking Account

Everyone deserves a second chance. Life is not perfect and achieving perfection is an impossible feat. As such, we are destined to make mistakes, sometime the same mistakes are repeated over and over again. One of the most common mistakes that people tend to talk about usually revolves around their finances. While we all know that protecting our credit and keeping our credit score high is very important to any major or minor financial decisions we will ever make, we still tend to stray off the right path every now and then.

We still pay our bills late, we still overdraw our checking accounts, we still miss making our regular payments on our bills, and some of us still have a tendency to write bad checks. The end result of all of this is that it leaves us with a poor or very poor credit score.

How does this translate to your checking account? Well, banks are hesitant to offer a checking account to people with poor credit scores. Sometimes a person’s credit score is so bad that no bank is willing to take them on as a customer. Maybe you are one of those people or maybe you are heading in that direction. If you are already there, you probably conduct all of your banking transactions in cash. This can be both good and bad.

The great part is that you have learned to live within your means. You only buy what you can afford, and you only spend the cash that you have on hand. The bad part is that the world is forever moving forward. Everything happens at the blink of an eye and sometimes emergencies will arise. If an emergency does arise and you do not have the emergency cash on hand to deal with the problem, you are going to be out of luck. One can only imagine how much more difficult and complicated life can be if an individual is not able to do something as simple as write a check to pay for something that they really need.

While the average individual who has a checking account with a bank, credit union or some other financial institution worries about whether or not they are going to be charged a fee for their checking account; or has questions about how many free checks they will be able to write this month; or becomes concerned about the level of interest that is paid on the money in their checking account…there are many who are not even able to open such an account, much less have those types of worries. For those individuals with difficulty opening a regular checking account, many banks and credit unions offer a fresh start checking account that they may be able to take advantage of.

Fresh start checking accounts are known by a variety of different names depending on the institution. The most common names are second chance checking, fresh start checking and opportunity checking; however they there are many other names that they go by.


Here are some of the most popular names for these types of accounts:

  • Second-Chance Checking
  • Fresh Start Checking
  • Opportunity Checking
  • 2nd Chance Checking
  • New Opportunity Checking
  • Bad Credit Checking
  • Rebound Checking
  • Bounce Back Checking
  • Clean Start Checking
  • New Start Checking
  • Restart Checking
  • Rebuild Checking
  • StartFresh Checking
  • Another Chance Checking


A fresh start checking account is designed specifically for banking customers with bad credit. If you’ve ever seen one of those advertisements for bad credit checking accounts, they were referring to a second chance checking/fresh start checking account.


Questions about Second Chance Checking Accounts: 

  1. What is a second chance checking account?
  2. How can you open a second chance checking account?
  3. Which banks and credit unions offer second chance checking accounts?


There is something known as the ChexSystems, which can play a critical role in helping a bank determine whether or not to grant you a checking account. ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency much like Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. The difference is that ChexSystems focuses on the banking account history of individuals.

If you have an individual who is careless with his/her account, constantly writes bad checks, is constantly overdrawn in their checking account, or maybe someone who owes banking fees to a bank…if say that individual tries to open another account with a different bank that uses ChexSystems, there is an overwhelming probability that the individual will be denied a checking account with the new bank. Statistics show that 80% of banks in the United States use the ChexSystems.

The question that you may have is how can you open a fresh start checking account if 80% of banks use ChexSystems? How do you find a bank that knows of your past negative banking history and is still willing to give you a second chance? Where is there such a bank that understands that you are a high risk customer, yet is still willing to take a chance on you with an opportunity checking account? The only way around this will be to find a non-ChexSystems bank, or find a bank that offers second chance checking accounts. If a bank offers second chance checking then you are in luck. A lot of banks have traditionally shied away from these types of accounts.

In 2012, CNN Money reported that 10 million U.S. households did not have a bank account. By 2015, the number of American households without bank accounts was believed to be around 9 million; however, the FDIC reported that around the same time, 24.5 million households were considered to be underbanked.

As for which banks are willing to allow you to hit the restart button with a fresh start checking account, there is a growing number that seem to be willing to take a chance and they are located all over the United States. Of course, since you are going to be considered as a high risk customer, you will have to pay additional fees and your account will be subject to certain restrictions. However, this is a small price to pay when you consider the overall benefit of being able to have access to a checking account. In addition, maintaining a checking account in a responsible manner will help you rebuild your credit history and in time the bank might open up additional services to you.

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