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The Top 7 Second Chance Bank Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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Some banks don’t like giving second chances to customers who have less-than-stellar financial histories, especially since it could expose them to expensive risks. A record of bounced checks or debit card overdrafts could easily lock you out of the conveniences of modern banking.

Fortunately, banks also like making money, and some offer special “second chance” accounts that minimize their risk while allowing consumers to stay in the banking system. A second chance bank account gives customers with troubled records a fresh opportunity to demonstrate they can bank responsibly.

When it comes to a second chance account, fees are an unfortunate reality. But some accounts offer customers a better deal than others, and we’ve researched our database to find the second chance accounts with the most reasonable fee structures, while also factoring in whether they provide online and mobile banking, and how accessible accounts are throughout the country.

Account Name

Monthly Fee

Minimum to open

Availability

Chime$0$0Nationwide
Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking$4.95 $30Nationwide
GoBank Checking Account$8.95, can be waived if you meet requirements$20Nationwide
Radius Essential Checking$0$10Nationwide
Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts$10, can be waived if you meet requirements$25Nationwide
BBVA Easy Checking$13.95$25Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas
Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking$9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit; $11.95 without a direct deposit$25Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia

Second chance account basics

With a second chance bank account, customers shut out of traditional bank accounts get the opportunity to win their way back into a bank’s good graces. Similar to credit bureaus, financial services company ChexSystems maintains records of consumers’ banking histories. Bounced checks, overdrawn accounts or instances of fraud can all end up on your ChexSystems record; if you accumulate enough black marks on ChexSystems, banks could deny your application to open a new account.

Because second chance accounts are meant for customers who have demonstrated bad banking behavior, some lack features of traditional accounts, such as overdraft protection. In the eyes of the bank, you represent too much of a risk for them to extend you such courtesies.

Nobody likes paying fees, and we generally advise consumers to avoid needless banking fees due to the many fee-free banking options available. But fees are the price you pay for access to banking when you have a poor record. Plus, the second chance accounts listed below give you access to online and mobile banking, which is always a plus.

The 7 best second chance bank accounts

1. Chime

Checking Account

Fintech app developer Chime is not a bank, however their online checking account product is open to everybody no matter how bad your record is with ChexSystems. Chime does not check on applicants with ChexSystems, plus they offer lots of non-traditional features to help you get your financial life back on track. Best of all is the fact that they charge no fees at all, and require neither a minimum opening deposit or a minimum balance.

Chime account features:

  • No opening balance or minimum balance requirements.
  • Set up direct deposit for your paycheck, and the funds from each pay period will be deposited as soon as the transaction is initiated, giving you access to your pay up to two days earlier than conventional checking accounts.
  • Automatic savings features to help you save in your connected Chime Savings account.
  • The app sends you daily bank account balance notifications, and sends transaction alerts every time you use your debit card.
  • You can disable the debit card from the app.

Fees to watch out for:

  • Chime’s service is almost entirely fee-free: No monthly charges, no ACH transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM fees if you withdraw funds from MoneyPass ATMs.
  • If you make an ATM withdrawal outside of these networks, there is a $2.50 fee.
  • Overdrafts are not permitted, so there is never an overdraft fee.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Chime’s secure website

2. Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking

Second Chance Checking

This Texas-based bank offers a second chance bank account that is available nationwide, and so long as you don’t have a record of bank or checking fraud on your record, you should be approved for this account. You’ll need to deposit at least $30 before the bank activates your account and provides you with checks and a debit card.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $4.95 monthly maintenance fee
  • $27.50 overdraft fee
  • $27.50 nonsufficient funds fee
  • $3.95 printed statement fee (which can be avoided with electronic statements)
  • $2.00 ATM withdrawal fee at machines not owned by Peoples Bank
  • $25 stop payment fee
  • $20 account closure fee (if within 90 days of opening account)

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Peoples Bank Cash Solutions’s secure website

3. GoBank Checking Account

Checking account

A brand of Green Dot Bank, GoBank does not run a background check for new checking customers on ChexSystems, and it does not require a credit check. The account comes with a free debit card and fee-free access to a large network of ATMs, although be warned that out-of-network ATM withdrawals carry a $3 fee, on top of whatever the ATM operator charges. GoBank’s $8.95 monthly fee is high. However, this fee can be avoided with a monthly $500 direct deposit.

Account Features:

  • A free debit card
  • 24/7 mobile and online banking
  • Simple budgeting and spending tracker tools
  • Mobile check deposits

Fees to watch out for:

  • $2.95 sign-up fee, waived if you set up your account online
  • $8.95 monthly maintenance fee, waived each month your account receives payroll or government direct deposits totaling at least $500
  • Fees of up to $4.95 charged by retailers to make cash deposits
  • $3 out-of-network ATM withdrawal fee
  • $5 card replacement fee
  • Foreign transaction fee is 3% total transaction

SEE DETAILS Secured

on GoBank’s secure website

4. Radius Essential Checking

Radius Essential Checking

Products from online bank Radius are available to customers nationwide, and accessibility is a strong point in its favor. This second chance bank account only requires customers to deposit $10 to open an Essential Checking account, which is lower than some other accounts on this list.

Account Features:

  • A free debit card
  • 24/7 mobile and online banking
  • Access to Radius’s budgeting and personal finance tracking apps
  • Eligibility to upgrade to Radius’s Reward Checking account after 12 months of positive banking history

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9 monthly maintenance fee
  • $25 per item non-sufficient funds fee (waived on all overdraft items $5 or less)
  • $5 daily overdraft fee

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Radius Bank’s secure website

5. Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts

Opportunity Checking

Wells Fargo’s Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts are tailor-made for folks with a lackluster credit or banking history. With a $25 opening deposit, you’ll get access to a second chance bank account that offers most of the bells and whistles of a traditional bank account. The account does come with a monthly fee, although it’s possible to waive it if you meet a few requirements (see below).

Account features:

  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free transfers are available between Opportunity Checking and Savings accounts
  • You can choose to opt into overdraft protection
  • Free access to bill pay
  • “My Spending Report with Budget Watch” is available if you want to pay extra attention to where your money is going
  • Free debit card with access to more than 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs throughout the country

Fees to watch out for:

  • $10 monthly service fee, waived if any of the following are true:
    • You make 10 posted debit card purchases or payments
    • You keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 in the account
    • You receive $500 total in direct deposits each statement cycle
  • $35 overdraft and returned item fee
  • $12.50 overdraft protection transfer fee
  • $15 fee for excess activity (exceeding withdrawals from your savings account)
  • 3% foreign transaction fee with your debit card
  • $5 for money orders
  • $31 for stop payments

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

6. BBVA Easy Checking

Easy Checking account
BBVA’s Easy Checking product is available as a second chance account to customers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. There is a $13.95 monthly service charge to maintain the account. You can request that BBVA upgrade your account one of their regular checking products after 12 months — and ditch that high monthly fee — so long as the Easy Checking account remains active and has a positive balance.

BBVA Easy Checking features::

  • Online and mobile banking, customized alerts, and a free debit card (with option to personalize)
  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free BBVA ATM withdrawals

Fees to watch out for:

  • $3 fee for out-of-network ATM withdrawals
  • $38 insufficient funds fee ($32 in California)
  • $15 deposit item returned fee
  • $32 stop payment fee made over the phone or in person ($30 in California); $25 if made online

SEE DETAILS Secured

on BBVA’s secure website

7. Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking

Second Chance Checking

This regional bank has a checking account aptly named Second Chance Checking, to help people rejected by other banks access — provided they live in one of the 17 states where a physical branch exists and can meet the $25 minimum opening deposit requirement. Those states are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit
  • $9 one-time account set-up fee
  • $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee when used at a non-Woodforest network ATM
  • $15 debit card set-up fee
  • $32 overdraft fee (for each charge)

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Alternatives to a second chance bank account

Get a prepaid debit card

Tired of the traditional banking experience? You could opt for a prepaid debit card instead. With a prepaid card, you can load money onto it and spend at merchants that accept major credit and debit cards. But if you try and spend more money than what’s on the card, the transaction is declined — although this prevents you from accruing any overdraft or insufficient funds fees. This is useful if you feel you may still have trouble managing your spending and need an extra layer of security to prevent you from getting into trouble.

Some prepaid cards offer extra perks like advance direct deposit and free ATMs so long as you stay in their network.

Open a secured credit card

You may also have better luck applying for a secured credit card if your credit score is in good enough shape. Usually, this requires depositing cash with the lender, who then gives you the credit card for the same amount. Each month that you make on-time payments, the bank will report that good behavior to the credit bureaus, helping you boost your credit score. At the end of the payment period (generally 12 months, though it varies by banks), you’ll get the full deposit back.

Secured cards can come with high interest rates and many don’t feature the enticing rewards other high-end cards do, but they get the basic job done for consumers who don’t need a card with a high credit limit.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Auto Loan, Reviews

Review: Navy Federal Credit Union Auto Loan

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Are you shopping around for your best auto loan rates before you buy a car? If not, you should be.

It helps to get an idea of the type of loan you could be approved for before you make a trip to the dealership. Plus, credit unions like Navy Federal Credit Union may offer some of the best rates compared to traditional banks. Navy Federal auto loan rates range from 1.79% to 17.99% for those eligible for membership, including active-duty military members, veterans, retirees and their families.

Navy Federal auto loan details

APRs (annual percentage rates) start at 1.79% for terms up to 96 months. Like other lenders, however, some of the lowest Navy Federal auto loan rates go to new-car buyers who choose the shortest terms. The credit union has competitive APRs for used cars, too, particularly late-model vehicles. The maximum loan term for used vehicles is 72 months. Used or new, loan amounts start at $250 — there is no maximum.

Starting APRs for New, Used and Refinance Car Loans
Vehicle AgeUp to 36 months37 - 60 months61 - 72 months73 - 84 months85- 96 months
New, up to 7,499 miles1.79%2.19%2.29%4.69%5.59%
Used, within 3 model years, 7,500-30,000 miles2.29%2.39%3.89%N/AN/A
Used, over 30,000 miles3.89%3.89%4.29%N/AN/A

Long auto loans

We don’t recommend an auto loan longer than 72 months. The longer your term is, the more you’re going to pay over the life of the loan. Navy Federal offers a 96-month auto loan, but no one wants to be paying back a car loan for eight years. Stick to your budget and remember not to focus solely on the monthly payment — take the overall cost of the loan into consideration.

The fine print

There are no additional fees associated with a Navy Federal auto loan. Rates are based on your credit (having a FICO Score over 700 helps) and, as mentioned earlier, the year model of the car you’re looking to finance. You may use Navy Federal auto loans to buy from dealerships and private parties.

How to apply for a Navy Federal auto loan

To apply for a Navy Federal car loan, which is possible to do online, you’ll first need to be a member of the credit union. We’ll talk more in a minute about membership requirements, but here’s what you’ll need to start the auto loan application process.

Information needed to apply for an auto loan

For each person that is to be on the loan (including a cosigner, if there is one), you’ll need to provide their name, address, employer and income. From there, the level of information you need depends on where you are in the car-buying process.

If you’re still shopping for a car and looking for a preapproval, you’ll need:

  • Amount you want to borrow. Leave room for taxes and fees, which usually add up to 8% to 10% of the car’s value, and subtract the down payment you plan to make. If possible, we recommend paying cash for taxes and fees instead of rolling those costs into your loan.
  • Trade-in details. If you have a trade-in vehicle, you’ll need to provide its VIN (vehicle identification number) or year, make, model and trim.
  • Loan term. Preferred number of months for repaying the loan.

If you already know the exact car you want to buy, you’ll need to provide additional information:

  • Details of the car you want. Its exact mileage, VIN, year, make, model and trim.
  • The seller’s information. The name and address of the dealership or private seller.

Navy Federal membership requirements

Those with military connections are eligible to join Navy Federal Credit Union. This includes family members of and those who are:

  • Active duty in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard or Space Force
  • A member of the Delayed Entry Program
  • A Department of Defense (DoD) officer candidate or ROTC member
  • DoD Reservists
  • Retirees from any service branch

You may also qualify if you’re:

  • A DoD civilian employee or retiree
  • A federal government employee assigned to a DoD installation
  • A DoD contractor assigned to a federal government installation

Navy Federal defines family members as parents, grandparents, spouses, siblings, grandchildren, children (adopted children and stepchildren included) and members of your household.

Pros and cons of a Navy Federal auto loan

Navy Federal auto loan rates are among the lowest we’ve seen, even among fellow credit unions, which tend to have lower APRs than many banks. But membership criteria is stricter than other credit unions, so a Navy Federal car loan won’t work for everyone.

Pros of a Navy Federal auto loan

  • Competitive APRs
  • APR discount: Active-duty and retired military members with direct deposit could get a 0.25 percentage point discount off even the lowest rates.
  • Auto-buying program: Shop for and finance a car, all in one place, through Navy Federal’s auto-buying program. You may be eligible for member-only pricing on new cars. If you’re car shopping while serving overseas, Navy Federal offers a car-buying program for you, too. Delivery is possible stateside or to your overseas duty station.

Cons of a Navy Federal auto loan

  • Strict membership requirements: If you don’t have a connection to the U.S. armed forces, you might not be eligible to join.
  • Not instant: In a world of near-instant gratification on the internet, it seems odd that you have to go to a branch in person or wait to get your auto loan check in the mail. Other lenders will overnight a check to you or arrange for electronic delivery.

Comparable auto loans

If you don’t meet Navy Federal’s membership criteria, there are still great options out there for an auto loan. We encourage you to reach out to your local credit union or take a look at these other top auto lenders listed on our site:

Consumers Credit Union

  • APRs as low as 2.69%
  • Terms up to 84 months
  • Loan amounts up to $250 - $100,000

Capital One

  • APRs as low as 3.39%
  • Terms from 36 to 84 months
  • Loan amounts from $4,000

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Best of

Top Checking Accounts With No Overdraft Fees

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Reviewed By

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.